Fourth Class

Ireland is one of approximately 70 countries participating in TIMSS 2023. The 2023 cycle will mark Ireland’s transition to digital assessment, reflecting the widespread use of technology in society.

In March/April 2023, the TIMSS Main Study will be carried out with a nationally representative sample of approximately 200 randomly selected primary schools.

In smaller schools that are selected to participate, all Fourth class pupils are asked to take part in the assessment. In schools with two or more Fourth class groups, more than one class groups are randomly selected to participate.

Pupils participating in TIMSS are asked to complete a computer-based maths and science test. Ireland will also administer paper-based assessments to an additional sample of pupils (‘bridge sample’, also referred to as the ‘national comparison sample’), which will allow for a comparison of performance between the paper- and computer-based assessments. The TIMSS 2023 assessment will include new and engaging item formats, interactive features, and scenario-based Problem Solving and Inquiry tasks (PSIs) that motivate pupils and capitalise on the digital environment.

Following the assessment, pupils are given a Pupil Questionnaire which asks some questions about themselves, what they think about school, and what they think about maths and science.

TIMSS also aims to gather useful background information from other sources in order to build up a better picture of the Irish education system. Principals, teachers, and parents or guardians of Fourth class pupils who participate in TIMSS are asked to complete school, teacher, and home questionnaires, respectively. These can be completed by paper or online and are an important part of the TIMSS study. Information collected through these questionnaires is valuable in interpreting the results of the assessment, and in providing a snapshot of pupils’ views on their educational experience.

Examples of TIMSS test content

Some examples of the type of maths and science questions that were used in previous TIMSS Fourth grade (Fourth Class) assessments have been made available to the public.

  • Sample content from TIMSS 2019 Fourth grade (Fourth Class) assessment can be accessed here
  • Sample content from TIMSS 2015 Fourth grade (Fourth Class) assessment can be accessed here

More Information

  • If you would like more information about TIMSS in Ireland, click here
  • For the TIMSS 2019 summary flyer and infographic for Fourth Class in Ireland, click here
  • For Ireland’s TIMSS 2019 results, click here
  • For a full list of publications from TIMSS 2019, 2015, and 2011 in Ireland, click here
  • More information on TIMSS internationally can be found here