Comparison of mathematics achievement: timss advanced and general matura at the end of gymnasia attendance in Slovenia Barbara Japelj Pavešić and Gašper Cankar
Summary: The authors show a link between student achievement in TIMSS Advanced study and achievement in public examinations at the end of gymnasia attendance, the General Matura. At the school level, for the majority of schools, increasing TIMSS achievement is linked to increased grades in Matura exams in mathematics. At the student level, TIMSS achievement is strongly connected with grades in the Matura as it is connected with final grades in mathematics given at the end of the 4th grade of gymnasia. Some highest achieving TIMSS students did not get the highest grades in the Matura because they chose to take the basic level of Matura mathematics exam only. Gender comparison shows higher TIMSS achievement for boys and higher mathematics grades at the end of gymnasia attendance for girls but no differences between boys and girls in grades in the Matura. Analysis of the content of TIMSS items compared to the Matura mathematics exam found more problem-solving items in TIMSS, measuring advanced mathematics concepts in a different context from Matura items. Students’ expectations about their area of university study are different for boys and girls. Boys who wish to study science, medicine, technology, computer science and social sciences have the same or higher TIMSS achievement as girls. Girls who wish to study mathematics have higher TIMSS achievement than boys and the situation is similar in the Matura – future female mathematics and economics university students have the same or higher mathematics grades in the Matura than future male students.