To provide an interpretation of the results on the TIMSS eighth grade science achievement scale in relation to the students’ performance on the assessment items, TIMSS describes achievement at four points along the scale as International Benchmarks: Advanced International Benchmark (625), High International Benchmark (550), Intermediate International Benchmark (475), and Low International Benchmark (400). The descriptions of science achievement at the International Benchmarks were updated from TIMSS 2015 based on an analysis of the items that students with average achievement at each of the benchmarks answered successfully in TIMSS 2019.
Exhibit 4.7 summarizes what eighth grade students who reached each of the TIMSS International Benchmarks in 2019 could do in science. The progression in science achievement is evident from benchmark to benchmark, from limited knowledge of science facts at the Low International Benchmark to communicating conceptual understanding in a variety of science contexts at the Advanced International Benchmark. As much as possible, each description references achievement in the four content areas covered in the assessment at the eighth grade— biology, chemistry, physics, and Earth science—as well as science practices assessed by TIMSS. Science practices include skills from daily life and school studies that students use systematically to conduct scientific inquiry and investigation. The following tables show the target percentages for the content and cognitive domains.
The interactive map of the benchmark descriptions links to example items. It provides an overview of the science understanding demonstrated by the eighth grade students who performed at the four different levels on the achievement scale. The following sections provide more information about students’ achievement in TIMSS 2019 at each International Benchmark as well as more detailed descriptions of each level together with example items.+ Read More