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 3: Mathematics Grade 8


Screen 3 – Roof

The question about the roof required eighth grade students to select the expression to calculate the width of the roof that was based on the Pythagorean Theorem. Students needed to read the lengths shown in the diagram to determine that the length of the base of the right angle triangle supporting the roof was 4 m. They did not have to actually calculate the width of the roof or necessarily even sum the squares of 2 m and 4 m.

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Maximum Score Points: 1
Content Domain: Geometry
Topic Area: Geometric Shapes and Measurement
Cognitive Domain: Applying


Exhibit 27 shows that, on average across countries, 23 percent of eighth grade students answered this item correctly. Three East Asian countries had the highest achievement—Singapore, Chinese Taipei, and Hong Kong SAR (56, 52, 42 percent correct, respectively). The next highest achievement was by the Russian Federation and Italian students with 27 and 26 percent correct, respectively. There was a slight difference in average achievement favoring boys.