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University of Gothenburg

First International Mathematics Study 1964

The First International Mathematics Study (FIMS) was administered with the aim to compare the effects of differences among the participating school systems in outcomes of achievement, interests, and attitudes in a field of schooling that was, at the time, undergoing various reforms in many countries.


The choice of the subject matter was driven by recognizing the effort for improvement of scientific and technical education in many countries, at the basis of which lies learning mathematics. The so-called “New Mathematics”, as an indication of an international agreement on what essential new material should be included in the curriculum, had been introduced in some of the participating education systems.

The FIMS research questions were related to the organization, selection, and differentiation of educational systems; the curriculum and methods of instruction; and the sociological, technological, and economic characteristics of families, schools, and societies. The instruments included a student test, a student opinion booklet, and background questionnaires for students, teachers, school principals, and experts on education in the participating countries.  The data were collected in 1964.

Target Populations

The target populations were 13-year-old students, 13-year-old grade-level students, and pre-university students.

Participating Educational Systems

Australia, Belgium, England, Finland, France, Germany (FRG), Israel, Japan, Netherlands, Scotland, Sweden, United States.
Link to the IEA website of early studies

Data and population



United Kingdom (England)



Federal Republic Germany






United States of America


Technical Report

Wolf, Richard. M. (1967). Data Bank Manual. Phase I: International Study of Achievement in Mathematics: A Comparison of Twelve Countries (pdf)


The IEA First International Mathematics Study (FIMS1964) Codebook (pdf)

Sampling Design

Summary of The Sampling Design of FIMS (pdf)


Population 1a - 1b

FIMS Student Background Questionnaire for population 1 (pdf)


Population 2 - Optional

FIMS Student Background Questionnaire for population 2 and 3 (pdf)


Population 3a - 3b

FIMS Student Background Questionnaire population 2 and 3 (pdf)

Population 3a

Population 3b

School and Teacher

School Questionnaire

Teacher Questionnaire (not available)



Husén, T. (Ed.). (1967). A Comparison of Twelve Countries: International Study of Achievement in Mathematics (Vols. 1–2).

Postlethwaite, T.N. (Ed.). (1967). School Organization and Student Achievement: A Study Based on Achievement in Mathematics in Twelve Countries.

Noonan, R. D. (1976). School resources, social class, and student achievement : a comparative study of school resource allocation and the social distribution of mathematics achievement in ten countries.