Findings from the TIMSS 2019 Problem Solving and Inquiry Tasks

Ina V.S. Mullis, Michael O. Martin, Bethany Fishbein, Pierre Foy, and Sebastian Moncaleano

Chapter 2: Science Grade 4

Farm Investigation

Screen 8 – Animals in the Garden

On Screen 8, students are asked to identify which two of the four suspect animals (cow, chicken, dog, or goat) were most likely to have eaten the plants and explain their choices. This item assesses basic knowledge of the kinds of foods eaten by domestic animals and does require some life science knowledge. Students were awarded full credit (1 point) for correctly identifying the cow and the goat, and explaining that those animals like to eat plants, or that chickens and dogs prefer to eat other food and do not usually eat plants.

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Maximum Score Points: 1
Content Domain: Life Science
Topic Area: Characteristics and Life Processes of Organisms
Cognitive Domain: Knowing


Exhibit 20 shows that, on average internationally, more than half the students (52%) correctly identified the cow and goat as likely suspects and provided an acceptable explanation. A further 16 percent identified the two animals but did not provide an explanation, and another 4 percent correctly identified only one animal but without an explanation. There was a small gender difference favoring girls (2 percentage points on average internationally).