The Netherlands and Sweden walked off with the equivalent of golden microscopes and calculators in international literacy test results in science and mathematics released on February 24.

Students in those two countries scored first and second among 21 nations participating in the most recent phase of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), billed as the largest and most ambitious study of comparative educational achievement ever undertaken. TIMSS tested science and math literacy of students in their final year of secondary school; Asian countries opted not to participate in this third and final phase of testing.