User Guide

Navigating the Tool + -

For each topic selected, you may either explore the TIMSS framework and U.S. learning standards or explore TIMSS and TIMSS Advanced items.

Explore the TIMSS framework and U.S. learning standards

In this section, you will find information about the selected topic summarized from the TIMSS assessment framework and U.S. national learning standards documents in the corresponding subject – either the

The summary information is organized by grade-band, and users select the grade band of interest—grades 3-5 (upper elementary), grades 6-8 (middle school), or grades 9-12 (high school)—from tabs at the top of the page.

These successive tabs allow users to click through the grade bands to develop an understanding of the expected progression of conceptual understanding in the topic.

Within each grade band, there are Key Takeaways and Expectations in U.S. Learning Standards Compared to TIMSS Items followed by separate tabs for the TIMSS Framework and the relevant U.S. Learning Standards documents in mathematics or science. These separate tabs include more detailed information about the specific set of TIMSS assessment framework objectives related to the topic and the corresponding performance expectations in the U.S. national learning standards documents.

The table below shows the resources the tool provides for each selected topic at each grade level and how these resources may be used by teachers.

What the Tool provides
Possible uses
Key takeaways about how TIMSS assessments compare to curricular expectations in the United States
  • Consider how to use TIMSS and TIMSS Advanced items as measures of student achievement based on U.S. standards
Summaries of expectations in the U.S. learning standards compared to TIMSS items at the corresponding grade level
  • Learn how topic coverage in TIMSS and TIMSS Advanced relate to national standards at the corresponding grade level
  • Use the summaries related to the topic at different grade levels to plan sequences of instruction
  • Plan instruction within a grade level that accounts for what students may have learned before and what they will be learning later
The full set TIMSS assessment framework objectives and the performance expectations in the national standards documents related to the topic
  • Gain a deeper understanding of how international and U.S. expectations are similar and different at the corresponding grade level.

Explore TIMSS and TIMSS Advanced items

In this section, you will find a list of the expected student performances that are measured by the TIMSS items for the selected mathematics or science topic, and the grades for which items are available. For science, the tool also lists associated student misconceptions and the grades for which items that reveal those misconceptions are available.

You are able to select expected student performances and, in science, specific types of misconceptions.

For each student performance or misconception selected, the Educator Tool provides a list of available TIMSS and TIMSS Advanced items, organized by grade.

The table below shows the resources the tool provides for each item and how these resources may be used by teachers.

What the Tool provides
Possible uses

The completed item (question and correct answers) and a link to download a print-ready version of the item and scoring guide for classroom use.

Commentary that describes

  • item content
  • student performance
  • addressing misconceptions
  • supporting instruction

A table that compares the percentages of U.S. and international students who gave correct, partially correct, and incorrect responses to the item (including those related to common misconceptions or errors)

  • Use TIMSS items and scoring guides to diagnostically probe student understanding prior to instruction or to measure achievement after instruction
  • Expand your understanding of a topic and how to provide related instruction
  • Recognize and address misconceptions and errors that are common among students
  • Compare student performance in your classroom to U.S. and international average performance