Conducted once every four years by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) compares the Mathematics and Science achievement of 4th and 8th-grade students in the United States to their counterparts in other countries.

Top in TIMSS

Singapore has consistently been among the top ranking countries in TIMSS since 1995 and again in the most recent study of 2011. Singapore remains on top in Mathematics and Science for both 4th and 8th-grade (Table 1).

Table 1: Top-performing countries in TIMSS 2011

In each level and subject, Singapore has among the highest proportion of highly competent students. The studies reaffirm that Singapore’s students are improving significantly and among the best across Reading, Mathematics and Science, as compared to their peers internationally. This strong foundation once again shows that Singapore students are well-equipped for the 21st century.

Figure 1: Improvement in Average ‘Reasoning’ Score for Maths and Science

In 2011, our performance in the study attests to the quality of materials available to students and the direction that the Singapore education system has taken. One of the key findings was the improvement of academically-weaker students in Singapore – with the proportion of students in Singapore performing below the “Low” benchmark falling much lower than the international average (Table 2).

Table 2: Proportion of low-performing students 

Summary on Singapore's top performance in:
- TIMSS 2007

Press Release (Ministry of Education, Singapore)
- 2012
- 2008
- 2004
- 2000
- 1997

- 2011 (Mathematics)
- 2011 (Science)
- 2007 (Mathematics)
- 2007 (Science)
- 2003 (Mathematics)
- 2003 (Science)
- 1999 (Mathematics)
- 1999 (Science)
- 1995 (Mathematics)
- 1995 (Science)