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Financial Literacy Tests 2018-07-10T17:34:22+00:00

Case Studies: Financial Literacy Tests & Surveys

The NFEC’s commitment to financial literacy research helps the industry obtain empirical data and helps promote the overall financial literacy movement. Using results from financial literacy tests, demand- and supply-side surveys and, the NFEC gathers data to share with others in the financial literacy industry and with media outlets.

Visit the Financial Literacy Test Center for all results and additional testing resources.

Financial Literacy in School Survey
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“What high school course would benefit you the most in the real world?” Click here to learn how many of the 2,400+ respondents voted for personal finance.

Women & Money

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Women between the ages of 18 to 64* across 5 different age segments shared their feelings toward retirement. Click for results.

How Much Financial
Illiteracy Costs – Survey

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Survey of over 3,000 people across the US (99% confidence / 4% margin of error) shared their estimates on how much a lack of financial knowledge cost them.

Hiring, Promotion – Personal Finance Survey
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Over 4% of respondents were turned down for a job or promotion due to their financial background in NFEC an survey of 2,403 people across US.

The NFEC relies upon the generosity of our Patrons to fund data gathering and report results. In exchange, your organization is included in all promotions.

Surveys and test questions can be customized to your needs. The surveys produce statistically significant data with a minimum 95% confidence interval. Our surveys reach validated, representative respondents that yield results designed for media headlines and trade journal pick-up.

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*The NFEC uses inferred demographic and location information to employ stratified sampling methods for survey distribution. Age, gender, and parental status of anonymous respondents are used to match them to existing government statistical census data for the specific region. Survey results are weighted by inferred gender, age, and geography to make the sample as representative as possible of the internet population.

National Media Coverage of NFEC Testing & Surveys

Financial literacy gaps could be costing you more than you think. Asked to put a dollar figure on how much money they have lost in their lifetime due to personal finance missteps, nearly 25 percent of consumers estimated the cost at $30,000 or more, according to a new survey from the National Financial Educators Council. (The group polled 3,006 adults in mid-March.) More than a third put their losses at $999 or less.


Respondents Losing $30,000 or more; Sample Size


Over the course of a little over three years, the National Financial Educator’s Council administered a national financial literacy test to 4,916 youth between the ages of 15 and 18, from more than 40 states in the United States. The average score was 60.08 percent. In any standard “classroom” 60.08 percent would be a failing grade.


Participants from 40 States & Sample Size


A financial literacy test given by the National Financial Educator’s Council found that test-takers from 15-18 years old scored an average of only 59.6%. No matter what they’re learning in school, most young Americans are lost when it comes to managing their money.


National Financial Literacy Test Average Score & Sample Size


Despite their efficacy, a small portion of employers have been using pre-employment screenings. Only a quarter of job applicants said an employer checked their financial background and 5% were rejected from a job due to their financial profile, according to a survey of 1,165 U.S. workers by the National Financial Educators Council, a financial education company. [Employee Financial Wellness]


Survey Response & Sample Size


According to the results of a 2014 National Financial Educator’s Council’s survey, only 58 percent of America’s high school students passed a basic financial literacy test. The same study found that 96 percent of respondents would have made different decisions pertaining to their higher education if they were more aware of the repayment process.


Survey Accompanying the National Financial Literacy Test Score

29 Money Lessons Every High School Graduate Should Know. A financial literacy test given by the National Financial Educator’s Council found that test-takers from 15-18 years old scored an average of only 59.6%.


National Financial Literacy Test Average Score & Sample Size


You know your teens can be illogical, unreasonable, and occasionally malodorous, but isn’t it at least reasonable to assume they know the basics about money? Apparently not. Surveys [National Financial Educators Council] show that teens are failing at financial literacy. And while financial institutions like PricewaterhouseCoopers are investing significant resources in changing that, the problem is persisting.

The National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) released their report from the National Financial Literacy Test and the results were depressing. The NFEC surveyed 11,000 people from all 50 states and the average score from 15- to 18-year-olds was 60.35%.


National Financial Literacy Test Average Score & Sample Size


Trade Industry Coverage of NFEC Testing & Surveys

More than 51 percent of young adults across the United States say that a high school money management class would have benefitted their lives, according to a study from the National Financial Educators Council.

Data through February 2014 from the National Financial Educators Council’s (NFEC) National Financial Literacy Test, which tests youth between 15 and 18 on the areas covered within national financial literacy standards, reveals that: 115 (4.7%) participants achieved a score at or above 90%. 271 (11%) achieved a score at or above 80%. 539 (21.9%) achieved a score at or above 70%. 1,534 (62.4%) participants scored at or under 69.9%.

96% of adults agree that kids under 21 years old should be required to take a personal finance course. The National Financial Educators Council’s Financial Literacy Test – the average score was 60%.(/p>

While you may think this is an unlikely scenario, a recent survey by the National Financial Educators Council shows this is sadly a trend. It found that more than five percent of job hunters have been turned down from a position because of their financial situation.

The National Financial Educators Council found 19-24 year olds have low financial literacy. Fifty-one percent believe a personal finance class in high school would have helped them prepare for life. Whether there is a formal class or not, parents can help children understand that bills, budgets and payments recur every month—and the money has to come from somewhere.

“…the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) have used surveys to collect information related to the level of understanding on financial topics. Surveys provide for anonymity as well as consistency as each respondent receives the same questions. Surveys allow for the acquisition of specific measurable data and comparison of that data across target populations. The results of a well-designed survey clearly answer a specific question. Surveys that answer the same question over a period of time also create opportunity to measure effectiveness of education.

Local News Coverage of NFEC Financial Literacy Tests & Surveys


A recent survey asked 1,100 young men and women ages 18 to 24 what high school courses would have benefited their lives most. Just over half – 51.4 percent – answered they think learning more about how to manage money would be more valuable to them than any of the other choices. The survey was co-sponsored by the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC), DreamCatcher Wealth Management, and The Minerva Foundation.

Fox 13

Surveys conducted by the National Financial Educators Council fond teaching money management in school has a big impact on students’ attitudes towards money and their budgeting behaviors later in life. And a new Bank of America USA Today survey shows just 30-percent of respondents thought their high school education did a good job teaching good financial habits.

Washington’s Top News

The National Financial Educators Council recently surveyed adults 35 to 54 years old about their experience in the hiring process. Among the 1,200 people who responded to the nationwide poll, 5.2 percent said they had been turned down for a job because of their financial profile. When asked if their employer ever conducted a credit of financial background check as a condition of being hired or getting a promotion, 26.3 percent said yes.

Financial Literacy Tests

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Another interesting finding was that, among people residing in urban areas, those who earned between $50,000 and $74,000 per year were more likely to choose “money management” as the most beneficial course than did those earning $25-49,000 annually. This research was sponsored by the collaborative efforts of the NFEC, DreamCatcher Wealth Management, and The Minerva Foundation for Financial Literacy.

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Financial Literacy Tests administered at school

When planning a personal finance educational event, it’s crucial to ensure that the event meets the unique needs of its target audience. Perhaps the single best way to do that is to go straight to the horse’s mouth. In other words, involve the participants in the planning process. The National Financial Educators Council has financial literacy tests that can help during the early stages of planning, as well as after the event when you seek to measure program impact.

You probably are starting with a good idea about who you want to reach and what type of event you’d like to present. But before you even begin planning, conduct good research to test your program concept. Such research might involve a financial literacy assessment among potential attendees at the event, to point out areas where they most desire education and characterize their learning capabilities.

First, talk with your network of friends, colleagues, and community members who work with your target audience. Gather ideas about the needs of the participants and the best ways to reach them. Then reach out to the participants themselves. The NFEC can provide a sample financial literacy test that examines participant knowledge. Also conduct outreach via surveys and informal face-to-face interviews. Collecting information about what people are most motivated to learn and teaching methods they prefer will help you design a program that meets, or even exceeds, participant expectations.

Another important piece of planning is preparing a personal finance quiz that measures what participants know about money management both before and after they attend the event. If you can demonstrate that people learn key money skills, you’ll be better able to build support for future initiatives. Make sure the quiz measures the same skills you’re presenting in the educational materials—that is, “teach to the test.”

The NFEC financial literacy tests and approach to teaching financial literacy is holistic, meaning they have fully imagined the process from start to finish. They place heavy emphasis on measurement because that’s how programs meet participant expectations and promote long-term behavior change.

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