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How Fifth Graders Are Assessed Through Central Exams in Turkey: A Comparison with TIMSS 2019 Assessment Framework

In this study, Turkish fifth-grade bursary examination mathematics items, all of which are of multiple choice, from years 1999 to 2018 are analyzed based on the cognitive and content domains of TIMSS 2019 assessment framework. According to document analysis of the data collected through official website of Ministry of National Education, the distribution of the cognitive demands of all items indicates that there is an emphasis on applying or reasoning domain with about 74%. This result leads to the conclusion that Turkish fifth-grade mathematics items require upper cognitive demands comparing with TIMSS target percentages. Also, it is observed that there are dramatic changes in cognitive demands of the items from year to year which may mean that there is no framework followed for the bursary examinations. Examining the content domains of the bursary examination, findings reveal that the majority of the items are in numbers (60%), and it is followed by measurement and geometry (34%), and data (6%), which are similar with the target percentages of TIMSS 2019 that are 50, 35, and 15 respectively. Finally, suggestions are given in the light of findings and educational reforms in Turkey.

TIMSS, cognitive domains, content domains, fifth grade mathematics, central examinations.


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