Third International Mathematics and Science Study: Third National Report

Wendy Keys, Cres Fernandes, Sue Harris

01 December 1997

This report presents the national results for secondary school students in Year 9 on an optional component of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). This component, known as the Performance Assessment, measured students' practical, investigative, problem-solving and analytical skills by means of 'hands-on' tasks in mathematics and science. The results on this aspect of TIMSS supplement the findings from the written tests completed by 13-year-old students, and the questionnaires completed by the students, their mathematics and science teachers and their headteachers which were the subject of two earlier national reports.

The report shows the six mathematics tasks and the six science tasks that were attended by students, and gives the results for students in England together with comparisons with other countries and the international averages. In additions to presenting information about students' performance on each of the 12 tasks, the report shows the results of additional analyses which were carried out to determine performance on the following skills areas across different tasks:

  • performing mathematical procedures
  • problem-solving and mathematical reasoning
  • scientific problem-solving and applying concept knowledge
  • using scientific procedures
  • scientific investigating.

This report will be of interest to all readers of the previous national reports on TIMSS, including teachers, school governors, LEA advisory teams, policy makers and researchers.