The Robustness of Conclusions Based on TIMSS Mean Grades Academic Article uri icon


  • Globalization and computerization enable the wide use of comparisons of average grades achieved in standardized exams by students from different nations and the rankings of the nations, based on the average grades of their students. The results are reported in front pages of newspapers. This paper suggests a method for examining the robustness of those results and illustrates it by analyzing the results of five countries reported in TIMSS. In more than sixty five percent of the comparisons examined it is found that there exists an alternative legitimate exam that will reverse the ranking of the countries.

publication date

  • January 1, 2008