US students lag behind Asian peers in 2 popular subjects

Eighth-grade students in the U.S. showed improvement in math over the past four years, but scores for science fell flat.

In fourth grade, scores for both subjects went unchanged, according to new test results.

An international exam shows U.S. students trail many peers in Asia. It's called the "Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study," or simply, "TIMSS."

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Top 12 economics and business schools in the world
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Top 12 economics and business schools in the world

#12: Northwestern University
Evanston, Illinois
Subject score: 73.4

Photo credit: Shutterstock

#11: Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut 
Subject score: 76.8

Photo credit: Shutterstock

#10: University of Michigan -- Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor, Michigan 
Subject score: 77.7

Photo credit: Getty

#9: London School of Economics and Political Science
London, United Kingdom 
Subject score: 78.8

Photo credit: Getty

#8: New York University 
New York, New York
Subject score: 81.3

Photo credit: Getty

#7: Columbia University     
New York, New York
Subject score: 81.5

Photo credit: Getty

#6: University of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
Subject score: 84

Photo credit: Reuters

#5: University of California -- Berkeley 
Berkeley, California 
Subject score: 85.3

Photo credit: Getty

#4: Stanford University     
Stanford, California 
Subject score: 86.3

Photo credit: Getty

#3: University of Pennsylvania 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 
Subject score: 86.6

Photo credit: Getty

#2: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, Massachusetts 
Subject score: 90.3

Photo credit: Shutterstock

#1: Harvard University
Cambridge, Massachusetts 
Subject score: 100

Photo credit: Shutterstock 


The TIMSS exams are given every four years worldwide. In 2015, nearly 600,000 students took the exam.

Singapore performed best, taking first place for grades in math and science among fourth and eighth-graders.

The U.S. was 10th place in fourth-grade science and in eighth-grade math. Fourth-grade math scores landed the U.S. in 14th place.

Despite the ranking, the exam results were positive.

Scores in both subjects and in both grade levels have risen since TIMSS was first given in 1995.

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