The country came in 24th of 49 nations in the TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) exams, five places lower than in 2007. In more specific science exams, Israel came in 25th – only two spots lower than last year.
The exams are administered by the IEA (International Association for the Evaluation of Education Achievement), based on results from students ages 9 to 13. Some 4,300 students in Israel were tests.
Singapore scored first place in science exams, followed by Taiwan, Japan and then South Korea. Ghana placed last of among the nations tested. Although Israel did not score among the top nations, it did outpace Egypt, Kuwait and Iran.
Taiwan was the top scorer in mathematics exams, followed by South Korea, Singapore and then Hong-Kong, with Qatar coming in last. Israel scored higher than Lebanon, Jordan, Thailand and Indonesia, among others.
It should be noted that, while scores decreased during the tenure of current Education Minister Yuli Tamir, the opposite was true during the tenure of her predecessor, Limor Livnat. In 2003, Israel's scores rose to 19th place in mathematics and 23rd place in the sciences – both significant improvements compared to the five years prior to that.