TIMSS Assessment Frameworks
and Specifications 2003

TIMSS Assessment Frameworks and Specifications 2003

The TIMSS Assessment Frameworks and Specifications 2003 is the publication that describes in some detail the mathematics and science content to be assessed. The document also presents a framework describing the contextual factors associated with students’ learning in mathematics and science. Finally, it provides an overview of the assessment design and the guidelines for item development.

Developing the frameworks was a collaborative effort involving widespread participation and reviews by educators around the world. It was important to ensure that the mathematics and science frameworks included goals of mathematics and science education regarded as important in a significant number of countries. The frameworks, however, are not constrained to content and behaviors included in the curricula of all participating countries but look to the future. Designed to permit the content assessed by TIMSS to evolve, the frameworks reflect changes during the last decade in mathematics and science curricula and the way these subjects are taught. In particular, the 2003 frameworks were expanded to provide specific objectives for assessing students at the fourth and eighth grades. Similarly, it was important to ensure that the framework for contextual factors addressed policy relevant areas and provided the basis for producing internationally significant research. At the time of data collection, the second edition of the frameworks was produced to include a range of examples of assessment items from the field test along with sample student responses.

The IEA is deeply grateful to the U.S. National Science Foundation, the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, and to the participating countries for helping to fund the development of the TIMSS frameworks presented herein.

The TIMSS Frameworks may be downloaded
from this web site, free of charge.

Table of ContentsDownload Report

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Overview
  • The TIMSS Curriculum Model
  • The Development Process for the TIMSS Assessment Frameworks and Specifications
  • The TIMSS Tests
  • Student Populations Assessed
  • Mathematics Framework
  • Overview
  • Mathematics Content Domains
  • Mathematics Cognitive Domains
  • Communicating Mathematically
  • Guidelines for Calculator Use
  • Science Framework
  • Overview
  • Science Content Domains
  • Science Cognitive Domains
  • Scientific Inquiry
  • Contextual Framework
  • Overview
  • The Curriculum
  • The Schools
  • Teachers and Their Preparation
  • Classroom Activities and Characteristics
  • The Students
  • Assessment Design
  • Scope of the Assessment
  • Dividing up the Item Pool
  • Block Design for Student Booklets
  • Question Types and Scoring Procedures
  • Scales for Reporting Student Achievement
  • Releasing Assessment Material to the Public
  • Background Questionnaires
  • Endnotes
  • Appendix A
  • National Research Coordinators
  • Appendix B
  • Example Mathematics Items
  • Appendix C
  • Example Science Items