The Three Data-Collection Waves


Wave 1: Socioeconomic Background Survey

Wave I is being rolled out between March and June 2014. The survey aims to carry out a precise assessment of the target persons’ sociodemographics and living conditions. For this purpose, SOEP has developed a detailed biographical questionnaire. In addition to this, all household members over the age of 18 (adult children, partners, etc.) are questioned about significant content-related matters such as educational attainment, income, further and adult education, as well as cultural interests.

Wave 2: Competence Assessment

Wave II (2015) focuses on competence assessment. The competence tests developed by NEPS and PIAAC for the domains German and mathematics are presented as part of this survey. Besides collecting data from the target persons themselves, Wave 2 aims to assess their partners’ competencies as well (if applicable). This enables us to answer exciting sociological questions—for example, how competencies are distributed within relationships.

Wave 3: Background Survey & Cognitive Functioning

One of the emphases in Wave 3 (2016) is placed on the assessment of the target persons’ cognitive functioning. Short scales on cognitive functioning implemented by SOEP are administered here. Also, career-related changes and developments concerning vocational and further education are recorded by a background questionnaire.