Japanese students scored relatively high on global achievement tests in mathematics and science, the results of a 2007 survey showed, prompting the education ministry to proclaim an end to the recent slide in scholastic abilities.

Eighth-graders ranked third in science among the 48 countries and regions, up from sixth in the previous 2003 survey, according to data from the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement.

Just as on the last test in 2003, they ranked fifth in math on the fourth Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, or TIMSS. The test is conducted every four years on fourth- and eighth-graders, the Amsterdam-based organization said.