Israeli students achieved their best results ever in international standardized tests for math. The results of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) showed Israeli students reaching seventh place in the worldwide rankings.
The results released Tuesday are for the test that was given at the end of the 2011 school year to eighth graders. The test is given every four years; in 2007, Israeli students came in 24th in the math component of the test. In the science section, Israeli students came in 14th in 2011, compared to 25th in 2007. The test also includes a reading component, in which Israeli students were ranked at 18th in the world in the latest test, compared to 31st in 2007.
Topping the list for eighth grade math was South Korea, followed by Singapore and Taiwan. Israel scored two slots ahead of the United States. The next highest scoring Middle Eastern countries were United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Lebanon, scoring 23rd, 24th, and 25th respectively. Iran, ranked 32nd, came in near the bottom of the list. Tops in eighth grade science were Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan, with the U.S. coming in 10th.
In a statement, Education Minister Giden Sa'ar praised students for their achievements, attributing the strong advances to the policies of the current government. “The sharp rise in achievements for Israeli students speaks for itself, and are result of important changes we have made in the educational system in recent years,” Sa'ar said. “This is truly a day of national pride and hopethe . We have proven that positive change is possible. My congratulations to the students and educators responsible for this.”