Mathematics learning and achievement is one area of research that has gained momentum in recent years because of its importance as a subject in the school curriculum and its usefulness as a prerequisite for developing the quantitative and analytical skills. However, studies on factors affecting mathematics achievement in Malaysia are limited both in terms of the number as well as the scope. It is the aim of this study to take a closer look at the relationship between student and background factors and mathematics achievement among secondary school students in Malaysia using the most recent Trend in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2007 data. The results suggested that female, educational resources, students’ attitude, homework and school environment have significant positive effect on mathematics performance. The two factors having opposite effects are age of the students and language spoken at home. Mathematics performance is found to decrease with increasing age and students who did not speak the language of the test at home have significantly higher scores than those who did. These results have important implications especially for educators and policy makers as well.
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