TIMSS & PIRLS
Phone: 1800 818 095
TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) and PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) are large-scale assessments designed to inform educational policy and practice by providing an international perspective on teaching and learning in mathematics, science and reading.
TIMSS conducts comprehensive state-of the-art assessments of mathematics and science for students in Year 4 and Year 8, supported with extensive data about country, school, and classroom learning environments. First conducted in 1995, TIMSS reports every four years on the achievement of Year 4 and Year 8 students. Australia has participated in all five cycles.
Introduced in 2001, PIRLS is conducted every five years to measure progress in the reading achievement of students in Year 4, as well as trends in the associated home and school contexts for learning to read.
In 2011, the five yearly testing cycle for PIRLS comes in to alignment with the four-year cycle for TIMSS, allowing countries who are participating in both of these international studies to gain comprehensive information about the achievement of their fourth grade students in three core curriculum areas- reading, mathematics and science. Australia will be participating for the first time in PIRLS 2011.
Although both studies are referred to as 2011, in Australia the assessment took place in 2010, because of differences in the timing of the school year in the northern and southern hemispheres.
More than 60 countries from all over the world participated in TIMSS 2011, while over 50 participated in PIRLS. Most of those participating in PIRLS are also participating in TIMSS.
In Australia, 480 schools and over 14,000 students at Year 4 and Year 8 were involved.
TIMSS & PIRLS are projects of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) and is directed by the TIMSS International Study Center at Boston College in collaboration with a worldwide network of organizations and representatives from the participating countries. ACER is responsible for undertaking the data collection in Australian schools.