Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 2003
Education Survey [es]
To facilitate secondary analyses aimed at improving mathematics and science education, the TIMSS 2003 International Database makes available to researchers, analysts, and other users the data collected and processed by IEA's TIMSS 2003 project. This database comprises student achievement data in mathematics and science as well as student, teacher, school, and curricular background data for the 48 countries that participated in TIMSS 2003 at the eighth grade and 26 countries that participated in TIMSS 2003 at the fourth grade. The database includes data from over 360,000 students, about 25,000 teachers, about 12,000 school principals, and the National Research Coordinators of each country. All participating countries gave the IEA permission to release their national data.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data
Unit of Analysis
Individuals and institutions
v1.1: Edited, anonymised data for public distribution
In the original version of the TIMSS 2003, the data was made available in country, population (i.e. grade) and survey subtype specific chunks. The original version of this dataset was only available in raw data form from the IEA website.
Version 1.1 is a repackaging of that original data, with the raw datafiles converted and collated for each survey subtype and population, and variables and values labelled.
At the heart of the TIMSS 2003 International Database are the student achievement scores in mathematics and science, together with responses of students, teachers, and principals to the background questionnaires. Student achievement scores and student questionnaire responses have been merged to facilitate secondary analyses. More specifically, the database includes the following for each country for which internationally comparable data are available:
• Students' responses to each of the mathematics and science items administered in the study
• Student achievement scores in mathematics and science
• Students' responses to the student questionnaires
• Teachers' responses to the teacher questionnaires
• Principals' responses to the school questionnaires
The study covered curricula and textbooks, teachers and pupils at selected schools in the country
Producers and sponsors
TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center
National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education
National Science Foundation, U.S.
The basic sample design used by TIMSS is generally referred to as a two-stage stratified cluster sample design. The first stage consisted of a sample of schools, which may be stratified; the second stage consisted of samples of classrooms from each eligible target grade in sampled schools. In some countries, a third stage consisted of sampling students within classrooms. Exclusions could occur at the school level, student level, or both.
Deviations from the Sample Design
Participants could exclude schools from the sampling frame if they were in geographically remote regions, were extremely small, offered curriculum or structure different from the mainstream, or provided instruction only to students in the “within-school” exclusion categories. The general TIMSS rules for defining within-school exclusions can be found in the technical documents.
Weighted and unweighted response rates were computed for each participating country by grade, at the school level, and at the student level. Overall response rates (combined school and student response rates) also were computed.
The students within each country were selected using probability sampling. A consequence of this is that each student had a known probability of selection. The inverse of this selection probability is the sampling weight. In a properly selected and weighted sample, the sum of the weights for the sample approximates the size of the population. In TIMSS, the sum of the sampling weights for a country sample is an estimate of the size of the population of students within the country in the sampled grade(s).
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Data Collection Notes
Each participating country was responsible for carrying out all aspects of the data collection, using standardized procedures developed for the study. Training manuals were created for school coordinators and test administrators that explained procedures for receipt and distribution of materials as well as for the activities related to the testing sessions. These manuals covered procedures for test security, standardized scripts to regulate directions and timing, rules for answering students’ questions, and steps to ensure that identifi cation on the test booklets and questionnaires corresponded to the information on the forms used to track students.
By gathering information about students’ educational experiences together with their mathematics and science achievement on the TIMSS assessment, it is possible to identify factors or combinations of factors related to high achievement. As in previous assessments, TIMSS in 2003 administered a broad array of questionnaires to collect data on the educational context for student achievement. For TIMSS 2003, a concerted effort was made to streamline and upgrade the questionnaires. The TIMSS 2003 contextual framework (Mullis, et al., 2003) articulated the goals of the questionnaire data collection and laid the foundation for the questionnaire development work.
Across the two grades and two subjects, TIMSS 2003 involved 11 questionnaires. National Research Coordinators completed four questionnaires. With the assistance of their curriculum experts, they provided detailed information on the organization, emphasis, and content coverage of the mathematics and science curriculum at fourth and eighth grades. The fourth- and eighth-grade students who were tested answered questions pertaining to their attitudes towards mathematics and science, their academic self-concept, classroom activities, home background, and out-of-school activities. The mathematics and science teachers of sampled students responded to questions about teaching emphasis on the topics in the curriculum frameworks, instructional practices, professional training and education, and their views on mathematics and science.
Separate questionnaires for mathematics and science teachers were administered at the eighth grade, while to refl ect the fact that most younger students are taught all subjects by the same teacher, a single questionnaire was used
at the fourth grade. The principals or heads of schools at the fourth and eighth grades responded to questions about school staffi ng and resources, school safety, mathematics and science course offerings, and teacher support.
TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center. Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 2003 [dataset]. Version 1.1. Chestnut Hill, MA: Boston College [producer], 2005. Cape Town: DataFirst [distributor], 2012. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25828/54bw-f785