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Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 2011 (TIMSS 2011)

Research Question

TIMSS 2011 is an international educational large scale student assessment. The investigation is focused on mathematical and scientific skills of primary school children in Germany in an international comparison. It is carried out every four years. TIMSS examined student performance in math and science area, taking account of curricular requirements and other key conditions of school learning environment.

Test Language


Test Period


Test Area and International Link

National /  international connection by international sample

Target Persons

Primary school students in grade 4 at general education schools

Context Persons

Students, parents, teachers, school principals

Population / Sample

The randomly drawn school sample for Germany initially comprised 200 schools stratified federal states and type of school.

Of the 4,229 students at the 197 schools of the final German TIMSS-sample, 3,995 students actually participated in the TIMSS test. The non-participation of 234 students is due to several reasons (reasons of exclusions mentioned above, leaving school before the test day or absence on the test day). Thus, Germany achieves, similar to TIMSS 2007, an overall achievement rate (for students and schools) of 92 percent excluding respectively 95 percent including alternative schools.

Sample Size

n= circa 4,200 students

Survey Procedure and Instruments

Competence tests in mathematics and natural sciences and background questionnaires for students, teachers and school principals.

A key feature of TIMSS is that the achievement tests are adapted to the mathematics and science curricula in each participating country, with experts completing questionnaires on the intended curriculum for each individual country. The intended curriculum can then be compared to the implemented curriculum, the assessment of which was based on principals’ and teacher questionnaires. In a subsequent step, students were given achievement tests and questionnaires with regard to their classroom experiences, thereby providing information on the attained curriculum. This approach enables researchers to make more precise statements on the influence of the school environment and other contextual factors on students' learning progress.

Link to the Detailed Description of the Study

Persistent Identifier

DOI: 10.5159/IQB_TIMSS_2011_v1

Data Accessible via Research Data Centre

To the Study Documentation at the FDZ at the IQB:

Information about the using conditions can be found here:

Documentation of Variables


Monika Lacher
FDZ Secretary
Phone: +49 30 / 20 93 - 465 52
Email: fdz[at]

Selection of Publications using the Data (in German)

Related Data

Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 2007 (TIMSS 2007)
Progress in International Reading Literary Study 2011 (IGLU 2011)
National Assessment Study in Primary Schools 2011 (IQB-LV 2011)

In 2011, the implementing cycles of TIMSS and IGLU / PIRLS, another IEA study, coincided for the first time, so that the two studies fused at the operational level and used the same sample.

Research Area(s)