S’pore students come in 1st out of 57 countries in international math and science tests
These included the U.S., Scandinavian countries, Japan and South Korea.
The scores for the TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) test in 2015 were released on Tuesday (Nov. 29), and students in Singapore are world number 1 in both subjects.
Out of the 64 countries and benchmarks, Singapore scored the highest ranking for both Grade 4 (Primary 4) and 8 (Secondary 2) mathematics and science domains.
In Singapore, the TIMSS test, conducted once every four years, is given to students in Primary 4 and Secondary 2, who are roughly equivalent to Grade 4 and Grade 8 respectively.
In 2007, we were second for Grade 4 mathematics, behind Hong Kong, and third for Grade 8 maths, behind Korea and Chinese Taipei (Taiwan); We were first for Grade 4 and Grade 8 science.
The average scores our students attained are going up, too:
Now, at this point, you may be wondering if we “cheated” and sent our “best and brightest” students from the “top-tier” schools to sit for the test — actually, 6,500 Primary 4 and 6,100 secondary 2 students from all schools in Singapore were randomly selected across streams to take it. None were prepared beforehand in any way.
Some sample questions
Test questions range from “low” benchmark questions, which tests basic math and science knowledge and skills like this:
To more complex “high” and “advanced” benchmark questions, ones that require students to apply understanding and knowledge and explain their reasoning.
Singapore has participated in TIMSS since its inception in 1995, 2015 being the sixth time our country has took part in the test.
Here’s a look at how the participating countries performed:
Top image via
Screenshots of statistics from the IEA Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)