The National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) recently asked nearly 7,000 teens and young adults (aged 15-18) across all 50 U.S. states to respond to a test measuring their current personal finance knowledge. This 30-question quiz – the National Financial Literacy Test – was conducted in December 2019 and assessed respondents’ capability to earn, save, and grow wealth. According to the results, the average level of money management knowledge among the sample was 64.9%.
This score indicates a slight drop in young people’s average knowledge about financial topics from the previous year. Results of the 2018 test (5,647 participants) showed an average score of 66.3%, and thus the 2019 average represents a 1.4% lower average knowledge level. Notably, among the 6,921 respondents, a proportion of 53.9% “failed” the quiz by earning a score of 70% or lower, indicating significant room for improvement in youth and young adult financial literacy.
Test questions were designed to measure knowledge around the 10 topic areas covered in the NFEC’s Financial Literacy Framework & Standards, the first national standards guiding money management education and educator training. The test evaluated three essential areas defining an individual’s financial wellness: learning motivation, subject understanding, and identification of the first steps toward securing one’s financial future.
To read the full results, visit this link: https://www.financialeducatorscouncil.org/national-financial-literacy-test/
To take the test, visit: https://www.financialeducatorscouncil.org/financial-education-testing-center/
“This nationwide test demonstrates that average young Americans lack the basic financial knowledge they need to make informed financial decisions. While testing represents an indicator of content knowledge, unlike other subjects typically taught in school, financial literacy requires more than just understanding content. Learners must be able to modify their daily financial behaviors and gain enough knowledge to make financial decisions confidently.”– Vince Shorb, CEO, National Financial Educators Council
In addition, the NFEC posted results from three other tests in advance of Financial Literacy Month:
Financial Foundation Test: This short, 8-question quiz determines participants’ capability to make entry-level financial decisions. A total 24,923 people responded, with an average score of 74.6%; and 31.2% failed to score 70% or higher. See the full results at: https://www.financialeducatorscouncil.org/financial-foundation-test-results/
Advanced Financial Education Test: This money management test asked higher-level questions about financial literacy. Among 9,871 participants, the average score was just 57.7%, and 56.4% scored lower than 70%. See the full results at: https://www.financialeducatorscouncil.org/advanced-financial-education-test-results/
Student Loan Test: This quiz was designed for college-bound youth and current college students, assessing their ability to make responsible student loan decisions. Among 7,670 respondents, the average score was 59.1% and 65.5% earned failing scores (below 70%). See the complete results at: https://www.financialeducatorscouncil.org/student-loans-financial-education-test-results/
All these tests were spearheaded by the NFEC’s Financial Literacy Testing & Survey Center, which offers more than 30 tests and surveys at no cost. Organizations and individuals and may obtain these tools online, and the measures are automatically graded for self-assessment and to help achieve goals for financial education programming. Visit the Financial Literacy Test & Survey Center assessment page for more information.
A social enterprise organization, the National Financial Educators Council has a demonstrated commitment to improve financial capabilities worldwide. The NFEC provides tools, resources, and training to help individuals and organizations alike to spread financial literacy messaging at the community level. The NFEC’s Financial Literacy Test & Survey Center represents one available tool for gathering baseline measures of money management knowledge and leveraging them to gauge program effectiveness.