Dubai: Students in Dubai have for the first time risen above the international average of 500 points in a standardised maths and science test, it was announced on Wednesday.

However, the overall average for the whole of the UAE is still under 500 points in the latest TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study). The latest round of TIMSS, held every four years, took place in 2015. TIMSS tests achievement in maths and science for pupils in grades four and eight.

Dubai’s fourth graders scored 511 points in maths and 518 points in science, up from 468 and 461, respectively, in 2011

Meanwhile, eighth graders scored 512 points in maths and 525 points in science, up from 478 and 485 points, respectively, in 2011.

Over 13,000 students from across Dubai’s private schools were involved in the 2015 TIMSS assessment.

Overall, the UAE average score for grade four pupils is 452 in maths and 451 in science. For eighth grade, students in the UAE lead in Gulf countries, earning 465 in maths and 477 in science.

In total, 38,000 students in the UAE took the TIMSS 2015 tests. Dubai students have been participating in TIMSS since 2007.

In Dubai, TIMSS results are positively correlated with annual school inspections, which identify the best-performing schools and curricula.

Dr Abdullah Al Karam, director-general of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in Dubai, said: “Schools in Dubai are part of an education culture that values collaboration and positive practices. One of the many benefits of this includes improved academic outcomes. We’re happy to see that students in Dubai have crossed the international average of 500 points in both maths and science at grades four and eight. Our journey is a continuous one, and we’ll keep working together with schools, teachers, parents and students, as well as our local and international partners, in support of the UAE National Agenda and a happier Dubai.”

Students attending UK curriculum schools achieved the highest scores in grades four and eight maths, and grade eight science. Students attending Indian curriculum schools achieved the highest score in grade four science, at 58 points above the international average.

Worldwide, Singapore leads in all categories. Data from the 2015 TIMSS cycle showed that students who attended early years education scored an average of 10 points higher in maths grade four than students who started school aged five or later.

More than 600,000 students around the world participated in TIMSS 2015 and TIMSS Advanced 2015, an analysis of secondary school students in STEM programmes. TIMSS has been administered every four years since 1995, and is sponsored by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) in Amsterdam.

TIMSS enables 60 participating countries to make evidence-based decisions for improving educational policy.

Dubai Schools’ TIMSS Results 2015

All Dubai Schools Mathematics Grade 4 Science Grade 4 Mathematics Grade 8 Science Grade 8

2007 444 460 461 489

2011 468 461 478 485

2015 511 518 512 525

Source: KHDA