The studies conducted at the Department of Education, University of Szeged, lead by József Nagy have shown, that (1) the development of basic skills determine the success of school learning in the long term, and that (2) there are major differences in the level of intellectual and social development of students at the same age.

The assessment of the participating students was started with the subtests of the widely used DIFER (Hungarian acronym of Diagnostic System of Assessing Development), constructed by József Nagy and his colleagues. The first data collection takes place individually, at the end of the first school year.

The Hungarian Educational Longitudinal Program covers five of the seven fields of prerequisite knowledge of readiness for school:
1. writing-movement coordination
2. relational vocabulary
3. basic calculations
4. experimental deduction
5. basic social skills.

The data-collection is done by class teachers and external experts.

Major publications:
Nagy, J., Fazekasné, F. M., Józsa, K., & Vidákovich, T. (2004): DIFER Program package – A differentiated system of assessing student development (2nd edition). Mozaik Kiadó, Szeged. (in Hungarian)

Nagy, J., Józsa, K., Vidákovich, T., & Fazekasné, F. M. (2004b): Development of basic skills between the ages of 4 and 8. Mozaik Kiadó, Szeged, Hungary. (in Hungarian)

Józsa, K. (2004): The development of grade 1 students' basic skills – The first measurement point of a longitudinal study. Iskolakultúra, 11. 3-16. (in Hungarian)

Measurement points:

Autumn, 2003: Sample 3, 5286 grade 1 students
Autumn, 2007: Sample 4, 9254 grade 1 students
Autumn, 2011: Sample 5, 6666 grade 1 students