# TIMSS Slovenia

**RESULTS OF TIMSS 2015 in Slovenia**

# Slovenia TIMSS Advanced results:

Slovene population in TIMSS Advanced Mathematics shows the largest coverage index of 34,4. This population of general secondary schools preparing students for university studies consists of students who decide (during grade 13) to take the compulsory final exam from mathematics at high level (mostly entering STEM university studies) and those who decide to take the final exam from mathematics at basic level (mostly entering non-STEM university studies). All of them follow the same mathematics course in schools, but learn mathematics for different level of examination standards at each level. Their results are reported nationally.

*The overview of the secondary school Advanced Mathematics and Physics in Slovenia*

Elementary school: grades 1 to 9, separate science subjects

General secondary school: grades 10 to 13

Coverage index: 34%, National Curriculum with standards of knowledge for each subject

Grades 10 to 12:

Compulsory mathematics (includes algebra, calculus, geometry, trigonometry, probability), 4h/week + compulsory physics, 2h/week (1 h = 45 min)

Grade 13:

Compulsory mathematics + preparation course for the final examination, 5h/w

Advanced physics course (if chosen by a student as one of 2 optional subjects at final examination) (4h/week+)

Final Matura examination at the end of grade 13, also requested for entrance into university academic studies, with 5 compulsory exams:

- mathematics /optional basic (CI 26.2) or high (CI 8.2) level;
- Mother & 1st foreign language, and 2 optional subjects, can be physics (CI 7.6)
- Syllabi & Examination standards of knowledge for each subject, available to students

The important findings of TIMSS 2015 are increasing trends in mathematics and science, grade 4 and 8, and the increase in mathematics score among secondary school students taking high level of the final exam from mathematics. Gender gap in Advanced Mathematics and Physics is relatively large. The decrease in Physics average score is observed among girls only.

How it is that Slovenia is able to teach such a large percentage of its students advanced math and physics at such high levels of achievement?

In Slovenia, math and science curriculum and universal standards are well aligned with national-assessment and Curriculum-Based External Examination System. Passing the Matura exam with compulsory math proves the general ability for any academic course. The math score is even more important for applicants for most prestigious university studies with entrance limitations. These students should take math at the high level and many of them should prove excellence by taking physics or chemistry or biology or two of them as additional Matura subjects. With well-educated math and science teachers and hard work a large percentage of students can achieve high standards. For effectiveness and improvement issues teachers and school leaders have access to School Performance Feedback System, Assessment for/of Learning Analytic Tool, for confidential analysis of long-term students’ achievement.

*Dr. **Darko* *Zupanc, **D**irector of the National Examinations Centre*

Reason for good results are also relatively high homogeneity of Slovenian population (in all respects: economical, ethnic, religious) and high level of subject knowledge of math and physics teachers. In Slovenia, it is required by law that high-school math and physics teachers are single subject teachers that have to have major in the disciple they teach. In addition there are only two universities that prepare future math and physics teachers and both of them are committed to high level standards in teacher preparation.

*Dr. **Gorazd* *Planinšič, **Faculty for Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana*

# MEDIA COVERAGE

**Slovenian students show good results, but trust in educational system remains low**

Slovenia has reached above average, and very high results in proficiency in elementary school mathematics and natural science subjects, and mathematics and physics in grammar schools, reported the Educational Research Institute, yet the trust in educational system still remains remarkably low.

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# Slovenia makes headway in TIMSS study

STA, Ljubljana, 29 November – Slovenian students performed well in the latest TIMSS study of mathematics and science proficiency, improving performance compared to four years ago across all segments, show results released on Tuesday.

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Analyses of TIMSS data with R: **Analysis of TIMSS data by R** by Mihaela Štiglic.