Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 2011
Education Survey [es]
TIMSS measures trends in mathematics and science achievement at the fourth and eighth grades in participating countries around the world, while also monitoring curricular implementation and identifying promising instructional practices. Conducted on a regular 4-year cycle, TIMSS has assessed mathematics and science in 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2011. TIMSS collects a rich array of background information to provide comparative perspectives on trends in mathematics and science achievement in the context of different educational systems, school organizational approaches, and instructional practices.
To support and promote secondary analyses aimed at improving mathematics and science education at the fourth and eighth grades, the TIMSS 2011 International Database makes available to researchers, analysts, and other users the data collected and processed by the TIMSS project. This database comprises student achievement data as well as student, home, teacher, school, and curricular background data for 63 countries and 14 benchmarking participants. Across both grades, the database includes data from 608,641 students, 49,429 teachers, 19,612 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 2007, 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 country, and variables and values labelled.
TIMSS 2011 collected detailed information about mathematics and science curriculum coverage and implementation, as well as teacher preparation, resource availability, and the use of technology.
The international target populations for the TIMSS 2011 are fourth and eighth grade of participant countries, defined as the grades that represented 4 and 8 years of formal schooling, respectively, counting from the first year of primary or elementary schooling.
For most countries participating in TIMSS, the target grades did indeed turn out to be the grades with 4 and 8 years of schooling, i.e., fourth and eighth grades, respectively. In England, Malta, and New Zealand, children begin primary school at an early age. Therefore, these countries administered the TIMSS fourth grade assessment in the fifth year of schooling and England and New Zealand administered the TIMSS eighth grade assessment in the ninth year of schooling. To provide a better match with the demands of the assessments, several countries, including Botswana, Honduras, Yemen, and South Africa, availed of the option to assess students at a higher grade.
Producers and sponsors
TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center
National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education
National Science Foundation, U.S.
National Foundation for Educational Research (UK)
A systematic, two-stage probability proportional-to-size (PPS) sampling technique was used, where schools are first sampled and then classes within sampled (and participating) schools. . Because of its large population sizes, it was necessary to include a preliminary sampling stage in the Russian Federation, where regions were sampled first and then schools. Singapore also had a third sampling stage, where students were sampled within classes
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).
Several sampling and weighting variables are included in the TIMSS 2011 data files. They are listed and described in Exhibit 4.9 and Exhibit 4.10 (on page 94 & 95 of the TIMSS 2011 user guide) and illustrate the location of the various sampling and weighting variables among the different types of data files. It is important to note that the teacher background data files do not have any sampling and weighting variables, nor do the home background data files.
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.
The study used the following questionnaires: Fourth Grade Student Questionnaire, Fourth Grade Teacher Questionnaire, Fourth Grade School Questionnaire, Eighth Grade Student Questionnaire, Eighth Grade Mathematics Teacher Questionnaire, Eighth Grade Science Teacher Questionnaire, and Eighth Grade School Questionnaire. Information on the variables obtained or derived from questions in the survey is available in the TIMSS 2011 user guide for the international database: Data Supplement 3: Variables derived from the Student, Teacher, and School Questionnaire data.
TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center. Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 2011 Version 1.1 [dataset]. Chestnut Hill, MA: Boston College [producer], 2013. Cape Town, South Africa: DataFirst [distributor], 2015. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25828/y56f-r240