Filipino performance inMath and Science

Overall Achievement

Student performance in mathematics was higher than that in science at Grade 4, while at Second Year High School, performance in the two subject areas was almost the same (Figure 4). The scores (Grade 4: mathematics – 358, science – 332, Second Year High School: mathematics – 378, science – 377) are very low, considering benchmarks in earlier TIMSS. In 1995 and 1999 TIMSS, a score of 400 was the low (bottom 25% of students) international benchmark, while a score of 625 was the advanced (top 10% of students) international benchmark.


Fig 4

Overall Average Achievement (for Grade 4 and Second Year High School)

The Philippines participated, too, in TIMSS 1999 for Grade 8 (age 13, Grade 7 or First Year High School in the Philippines). How do the scores in 2003 and 1999 compare? The 2003 scores in mathematics and science increased significantly, compared to the 1999 scores: 33 points for mathematics and 32 points for science (Figure 5). This may be explained by the fact that in the Philippines, Grade 7 (age 13) students took the 1999 test, since age, rather than grade level, was the criterion for the sample.


Fig 5

Trends in Science and Mathematics Achievement (for Second Year High School)

Practically all the participating countries had majority of their 13-year old students at Grade 8. The entry age for Filipino students at Grade 1 was lowered from 7 years to 6 years in 1995. Thus, in 2003, majority of students who took the test were 13 years old and at Second Year High School. The one-year grade difference could have accounted for the significant increase in scores.

Students in the private schools expectedly performed better than those in the public schools in science and mathematics at the two grade levels (Figures 6 and 7). The differences at Grade 4 in mathematics and science were more marked than at Second Year High School.


Fig 6

Average Science Achievement by School Type (for Grade 4 and Second Year High School)


Fig 7

Average Mathematics Achievement by School Type (for Grade 4 and Second Year High School)

Across regions in the country, Region IVA did best in mathematics and science at Grade 4 (Figures 8 and 9). In contrast, Region IVB, which has many island schools, had the lowest score in the two subject areas. Other regions significantly above the national mean in mathematics and science were NCR, CAR and Region I.


Fig 8

Average Mathematics Achievement of Students by Region (for Grade 4) in TIMSS 2003


Fig 9

Average Science Achievement of Students by Region (for Grade 4) in TIMSS 2003

At Second Year High School, two more regions, Regions XII and V, were significantly above the national mean (Figures 10 and 11). CAR was the highest in both subject areas, while Region IX was the lowest.


Fig 10

Average Mathematics Achievement of Students by Region (for Second Year High School) in TIMSS 2003


Fig 11

Average Science Achievement of Students by Region (for Second Year High School) in TIMSS 2003

Figures 12 and 13 show the mean scores in mathematics and science in TIMSS 1999 of First Year High School students by region. The 1999 results showed that Regions X, NCR, XII, and II were significantly higher than the national mean in mathematics achievement. In science, Regions II, NCR, XII and X were the top four with mean scores significantly higher than the national mean.


Fig 12

Average Mathematics Achievement of Students by Region (for First Year High School) in TIMSS 1999


Fig 13

Average Science Achievement of Students by Region (for First Year High School) in TIMSS 1999

Table 2 shows the rank of each region in mathematics achievement in both TIMSS 1999 and TIMSS 2003. CAR, Regions I, III, V, VI, VII, and XII improved their ranks in Mathematics Achievement in TIMSS 2003.


Tab 2

Rank by Region in Mathematics Achievement in TIMSS 1999 and TIMSS 2003

Table 3 shows the rank of each region in science achievement in both TIMSS 1999 and TIMSS 2003. CAR, Regions I, III, V, VII, and XII improved their ranks in Science Achievement in TIMSS 2003.


Tab 3

Rank by Region in Science Achievement in TIMSS 1999 and TIMSS 2003

However, achievement tests for 2003 and 1999 were not identical. Furthermore, comparison of the regional performance in the two tests for the common items will be made.



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