IEA & UNESCO | TIMSS 2019 Joint Report (EN)


Measuring global education goals: How TIMSS helps

countries that took part in the 2015 and 2019 rounds, the average growth in the percentage of students that achieved minimum proficiency in mathematics was 0.3 percentage points at fourth grade and 0.5 percentage points at eighth grade, in annual terms. Some countries are on course to achieve the SDG 4 target by 2030 and several countries have experienced robust growth (Figure 4.1.2) . For instance, in Chile the percentage of eighth-grade students that achieved minimum proficiency in mathematics has grown from 41% in 2003, to 57% in 2011 and 70% in 2019. If the country were able to maintain the same growth rate, it would be on course to achieve the SDG 4 target by 2030. However, other countries have stagnated. For instance, 79% of Romanian students achieved minimum proficiency in 1995 and 78% in 2019 (Figure 4.1.2) .

Among participating countries and territories in TIMSS 2019, 86% of Grade 4 students and 80% of Grade 8 students achieved minimum proficiency in mathematics. While the vast majority of students in high-income countries achieve this level, far fewer do so in middle-income, and especially lower-middle- income countries. For example, in Morocco, 43% of fourth-grade and 41% of eighth-grade students achieve the Low International Benchmark (Figure 4.1.1) . TIMSS has been implemented for a quarter of a century. While 10, mostly high-income, countries have taken part in each of the seven rounds since 1995, many more have taken part in at least two rounds. Valuable information can therefore be extracted to assess countries’ potential to ensure that all students achieve minimum proficiency level by 2030. Among

FIGURE 4.1.2: Percentage of eighth-grade students who achieved minimum proficiency in mathematics, selected countries, 1995–2019

Countries making fast progress

Countries making slow or no progress




Kazakhstan New Zealand Romania U. A. Emirates United States



Chile Georgia Iran, Isl. Rep.








Saudi Arabia



← 2030 SDG 4 deadline

← 2030 SDG 4 deadline


1995 2003 2011 2019 2027 2035

1995 2003 2011 2019 2027 2035

TIMSS 2019 participating entities reflected in the figure above have been selected by and named according to UNESCO.

Note: The figure includes selected countries that have participated in more than one Grade 8 TIMSS round since 1995. Percentages are estimates; standard errors not displayed 8 .

8 For detailed trend results, please view the TIMSS 2019 International Results in Mathematics and Science: timss2019/international-results/

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