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Project duration 01.02.2012 - 28.02.2017

TIMSS 2015 - Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study

TIMSS is an international comparative school achievement survey. It focuses on the mathematical and scientific competencies of pupils in different grades. With the 2015 study, Germany participated in TIMSS for the third time with students in the fourth grade.

Project description

The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) is an international comparative school performance study conducted every four years by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). The focus is on the mathematical and scientific competencies of students in different grades, which are examined under consideration of central framework conditions of school learning environments.

Rundes Symbol mit schwarz-weißen Schriftzug des Projektnamens IEA TIMSS 2015

The survey takes place in Germany in all 16 federal states. A sample of approximately 4,000 children in the fourth grade at 200 primary and special schools, who were randomly selected, is examined.

The achievement tests used in TIMSS include tasks with different cognitive demands (e.g. problem solving) from different content areas (e.g. arithmetic or biology). Each child works on tasks from the areas of science and mathematics in 40 minutes. In some cases, the questions are given alternative answers; in others, the children have to formulate their own answers. In addition, the participating children, their parents, the teaching staff in the subjects mathematics and science and the school administrators are questioned in writing in TIMSS. The questionnaires serve to collect relevant information on the school and family background of the pupils in order to be able to interpret the performance results appropriately in the context of the sometimes very different social and school framework conditions.

A central concern of the study is to document long-term developments in the participating education systems. Germany's participation is part of the overall strategy for education monitoring in Germany and is based on a resolution of the KMK and an agreement between the KMK and the BMBF.

Lead researcher at IFS

Project management

  • Dr. Heike Wendt

Project team

  • Dr. Daniel Kasper
  • Dr. phil. Svenja Rieser
  • Martin Goy
  • Dan Chen
  • Daniel Scott Smith

External project partners

Scientific Consortium

Co-opted members of the Consortium

Publication of the results

TIMSS 2015 results were released on 29 November 2016 at 11am.


Further information


Forerunner projects at the IFS

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Location & approach

The most convenient highway exits are on the B 1/A 40 (Dortmund-Barop) (closer to the North Campus) and on the A45 (Dortmund-Eichlinghofen). The university is signposted at both exits. In the local road network you will find signs to Campus Nord, where the Campus Treff is also located. From Emil-Figge-Strasse, entrance no. 18 and from Vogelspothsweg entrance no. 23 lead to parking spaces near the venue.

From Dortmund main station, take the S-Bahn "S1" in the direction of Solingen on track 7 to the stop "Dortmund-Universität" (price level A). The S-Bahn runs every 15 minutes during peak hours on weekdays and takes about 6 minutes. From Düsseldorf, the S-Bahn runs every 30 minutes. Directly at the S-Bahn station you will find the CDI building, which houses the Center for Research on Education and School Development.

One of the university's landmarks is the H-Bahn, which has two terminuses on the North Campus. One is located directly above the S-Bahn station and is easily accessible from it by elevators. The other is located in the center of Campus North at the bridge between the University Library and the Mensa, right next to the Audimax. The H-Bahn runs from here to the South Campus and the Eichlinghofen district.

Dortmund has an airport connected with some destinations in Central Europe. There are regular flights, for example, to Amsterdam, Berlin, Dresden, Katowice, Krakow, Leipzig-Halle, London, Munich, Nuremberg, Paris, Poznan, Stuttgart, Vienna and Zurich. For the approximately 20 kilometers from the Dortmund airport to the campus, you can take the bus to the main train station and from there the S-Bahn. Faster is usually the use of a cab. Far more international flight connections are offered by the Rhine-Ruhr Airport in Düsseldorf, about 60 kilometers away, which can be reached directly by S-Bahn from the university station.