Hungarian Educational Longitudinal Program

The first Hungarian longitudinal research program on national representative sample was launched in Szeged, in 2003, tracking students' development throughout the years of public education.

Among others the Hungarian Educational Longitudinal Program aims at constructing the scientific foundations, infrastructure and organizational framework of follow-up studies. In addition, the program intends to examine the starting phase of primary education, to explore the reasons of falling behind, to analyze and model paths of students' individual development, to describe the stability of student development, to construct diagnostic assessment instruments creating the possibility of early diagnosis, and to discover when and how school might intervene effectively in the process of development and what preventive actions it might take in order to evade learning difficulties.

The program was launched in the 2003/2004 academic year in grades 1, 5, and 9. In 2007 the three longitudinal segments formed a continuous line of data, which made the global description and analysis of the 12 years of public education (4 years of lower primary, 4 years of upper primary and 4 years of secondary education) possible with the combination of longitudinal and cross-sectional data, collected in three cohorts, in this first period of the project. A further cohorts entered the program in 2007 and 2011 when they entered primary school in September. For further information click on Assessment sample.

The research group has joined an ongoing basic research in the field of technology-based assessment conducted by the Center for Research on Learning and Instruction, University of Szeged ( The adaptation of the findings has already started. The Research Group gradually shifts from paper-based testing to online (computer-based) assessment.

Major publications:
Csapó, B. (2007): Longitudinal assessments in school context – theoretical and methodological frames of the first large-scale school-related longitudinal program in Hungary. Magyar Pedagógia, 107. 4. 321-355. (in Hungarian)
Csapó, B. (2010): Research on development in educational contexts: The Hungarian Educational Longitudinal Program. Keynote Address. Children and Youth in Changing Societies. 3rd International Conference. Thessaloniki, Greece, December 2-4, 2010. 170.

Assessment sample Program topics DIFER Reading skills Mathematics knowledge Science knowledge Additional domains Influencing factors