Contrary to popular belief, England or even the United States of America are not the top countries where students have been excelling in mathematics. The top ranks in the global ranking system for mathematics are steadily held by both the primary schools and secondary schools in Singapore. Their ranking is not just in mathematics but also in sciences too. The TIMSS which is published once in four years assesses over 500k students around the word for their performances in both math and science. The last exam for TIMSS was held in 2015 during which time; these reports were generated.
The top countries in math and science according to the International Association for The Evaluation of Education Achievement are:
- South Korea
- Hong Kong
- The United States, and
In Europe, Northern Ireland took a firm place at the top followed firmly behind other countries in and around Europe. However, nothing even comes close to the performance of students from Asian countries. The tests have been administered since 1995 and in 2015 over 60 countries participated. Many governments around the world have used the scores to aim toward developing the educational standards of the country.
The Secret Behind the Asian Success
Students in Singapore have held the top spot for several years and in both mathematics and science. The nation is a small island, but the potential that the students bring forth from there is fabulous. A typical 14-year-old in Singapore undergoes at least 129 hours of study in mathematics every year. Even though the countries like the US give their students 155 hours of education, the results were inferior.
Korea is another country where the students spend very little time studying math. They give their 14-year-olds only 114 hours a year of mathematics. The results go well to prove that the teaching methodologies that are taught in students in these countries are efficient. The Asian countries that participated in the exam have also seen a remarkable difference in their scoring system since they first attended in 1995.
The exam does well to prove that governments should aim at providing a more holistic approach to a child’s life rather than cramming them with education. The exams have also seen a massive difference in the number of participants from both genders. While this is excellent, some countries who did well in their earlier exams did not do well in consecutive years. In all the years that the exam has been conducted, significant improvements have been noticed with only nine countries while others are usually stagnant or lagging.
Perhaps, this is an excellent opportunity for countries to take their education system seriously and look into improving themselves. When students are compared to other countries, it gives countries a fair idea of where their education system sits and the improvements they can make based on what they have noticed from different nationalities.