Student Achievement Study, 1970-1974 (ICPSR 7370)

Published: Feb 16, 1992

Principal Investigator(s):
International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement

Version V1

This study includes data collected between 1970-1974 by 21 national centers of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), from a total of approximately 250,000 students, 50,000 teachers, and 10,000 schools in 19 different countries. Students were tested on their achievement in six subject areas: science, reading comprehension, literature, civic education, and French and English as foreign languages. Between eight and 19 countries participated in each survey by testing students at one or more of the following levels: 10-year-olds (Population I), 14-year-olds (Population II), and students in the last year of pre-university schooling or programs of equivalent length (Population IV). The countries included were Australia, Belgium, Chile, Finland, France, West Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, Sweden, Thailand, and the United States. In addition to student achievement data, each survey solicited information on the students' home and socioeconomic backgrounds, interests, and attitudes. Information was also gathered on characteristics of the teachers and participating schools. In terms of timing, the survey was broken down in the following stages: (1) Stage 1 (1966-1970), construction and pretesting of instruments. (2) Stage 2 (1970-1973), fieldwork and analysis for science, reading comprehension, and literature. (3) Stage 3 (1971-1974), fieldwork and analysis for civic education, English as a foreign language, and French as a foreign language. (4) Data bank (1973-1975), rebuilding of files and preparation of documentation for archiving and distribution.

International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement. Student Achievement Study, 1970-1974. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1992-02-16.

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Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation

Ford Foundation

United States Department of Education

Volkswagen Stiftung (Germany)

Leverhulme Trust (United Kingdom)

University Chancellor of Sweden

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

1970 -- 1974

1970 -- 1974

Due to the magnitude of the study, interested users should request the introductory report that describes all files and read the corresponding codebook prior to submitting an order.

The IEA-recommended sample design was a two-stage stratified probability sample, with schools as the primary sampling unit and students as the secondary. In the first stage, schools were to be selected from a frame identified by nationally relevant factors, such as size, type of school, and region, with the aim to obtain 100 or more schools per national population so that between-school analyses could be carried out. In the second stage, a sample of students was drawn from each selected school. National centers negotiated with the IEA international sampling referee a mutually acceptable plan for sampling individual populations, taking into account constraints imposed by local circumstances and limited resources. As there is no complete and accurate account of sampling deviations, data users should examine the data for signs of bias. Demographic characteristics such as sex, father's occupation, and parents' education levels can be used as marker variables in comparisons with statistics drawn from other sources.

Targeted student populations: (1) All students aged 10 to 10 and 11 months at the time of testing, in participating countries (Population I). (2) All students aged 14 to 14 and 11 months at the time of testing, in participating countries (Population II). (3) All students who were in the terminal year of university preparatory programs or in secondary programs of the same length, regardless of age (Population IV). For testing English and French as foreign languages, these populations were further limited to those studying the tested language. In addition, students in Population IV were included in foreign language testing only if they had studied the respective language for at least two years before the year of testing. (4) A special subpopulation designated to include those students in Population IV who, in terms of policies set by their own system, could be regarded as specializing in science (Population V). Teacher populations were determined as follows: (1) For Population I, all teachers who were teaching students aged 10-11 or younger in any school drawn for the Population I student sample. (2) For Population II, all teachers in any school drawn for the Population II student sample who were teaching one or more of the subjects to be surveyed in that school. (3) For Population IV, all teachers in any school drawn for the Population IV student sample who were teaching one or more of the subjects to be surveyed in that school.

cognitive tests and self-enumerated questionnaires

survey data



1984-05-03 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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