60.35% Average Score
of 15 to 18 year olds.
January 1st 2012 to
December 31st 2015
National Financial Literacy Test
Over 11,000 people from all 50 states have completed the National Financial Literacy Test – a 30 question test designed to measures participants’ ability to earn, save and grow their money. The test questions cover the ten subjects covered in the Financial Literacy Framework & Standards and were written to measure 3 key areas: motivation to learn, subject knowledge and recognition of the first step.
The NFEC’s National Financial Literacy Test results have been featured in Yahoo Finance, The Hill, Business Insider, CNBC and more. The test provides measurement tools for financial educators, self-testing for those interested in their personal finance capabilities and giving the media up-to-date information about the financial literacy rates of people across the country.
View the results below and visit the Financial Literacy Testing & Survey Center to access 4 complimentary measurement tools, surveys, tests and to view results from past participants. NFEC clients can access the full Testing & Survey Center which includes over 50 online measurement tools.
Average Score of 15 to 18 Year Olds by Year
2015 – 61.24%
2263 test takers in 2015. Percentage Average: 61
2014 – 60.21%
2149 test takers in 2014. Percentage Average: 60
2013 – 60.56%
1236 test takers in 2013. Percentage Average: 61
2012 – 58.17%
896 test takers in 2012. Percentage Average: 58
Most Missed Question Among 15 – 18 Year Olds:
“If I invest $100 per month starting at age 21, and that money earns a 7% return, how much will I have after 70 years?”
Multiple choice answers:
B. Between $150,000 and $225,000,
C. More than 1.5 million dollars,
D. None of the above.
Only 27.9% (2,346 out of 8,411) answered this question correct – C. More than 1.5 million dollars. Participants also spent the longest time on this question – 66 seconds on average compared to the 25.66 second average of all test questions.
Average Score of 15 to 18 Year Old Participants by State
Question from Test
QuestionWhich of the following financial products can help you lower your personal risk?
71.05% answered this correctly: “Insurance.”
Average Score Segmented by Ages
Although the national financial literacy test was specifically designed for 15 to 18 year olds, people of all ages have taken part in this assessment. See how they did below:
10 to 14 Year Olds
Average Score of 53.56%
15 to 18 Year Olds
Average Score of 60.35%
19 to 24 Year Olds
Average Score of 67.80%
25 to 35 Year Olds
Average Score of 71.99%
36 to 50 Year Olds
Average Score of 72.87%
50+ Year Olds
Average Score of 76.81%
Segmented by Questions 15 to 18 Year Olds
The test questions cover the ten subjects covered in the Financial Literacy Framework & Standards and were written to learn more about three core areas:
- Motivation to Learn. Do the participants understand how the subject of financial literacy impacts their daily life? Do they relate the handling of their personal finances to their dreams? This is important for financial educators using the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change in their classes as it directly impacts how instruction is delivered.
- Subject Knowledge. Most financial education tests simply measure subject knowledge – example: What is APR? While this is important, it is only one area that impacts ones financial capability. The NFEC uses this measurement in combination with the other two mentioned to achieve a more complete evaluation of one’s financial capability.
- Recognition of the First Step. The NFEC recognizes this as a critical component on moving participants to take positive action – do they understand the first step that leads them toward a better financial position? Knowing this can help them create positive momentum toward a sound financial future.
The NFEC recognizes the importance of measuring all these elements that go into developing a successful financial literacy campaign. With these three areas of measurement, a comprehensive financial education initiative can be designed which will maximize the results of the participants.
View the results of 15 to 18 year olds on these 3 core areas:
Motivation to Learn Results
Sample Question & Results:
How can understanding risk management topics help me in everyday life?
Percentage Answered Correctly: 59
Subject Knowledge Results
Sample Question & Results:
From the following list, choose the two best suggestions for building and maintaining a good credit rating.
Percentage Answered Correctly: 71
Recognition of First Step Results
Sample Question & Results:
How do I begin the process of creating a long-term financial plan?
Percentage Answered Correctly: 64
Industry Experts Guide Development of National Financial Literacy Test
The National Financial Educators Council has become widely recognized over the past ten years as a leader in the financial literacy education space. They have a full range of curriculum, resources, services, and products aimed at improving the lives of a global audience by giving people crucial money management skills. One such resource is the NFEC’s national financial literacy test—a measure that helps assure that participants achieve lifelong benefits from learning about money.
All the NFEC resources and materials are guided by its Curriculum Advisory Board. This board is comprised of top-notch expert members such as financial advisors, bank auditors, award-winning educators, realtors and mortgage professionals, university professors, attorneys, and debt experts. Several Advisory Board members have published books in the field of personal finance education. The financial literacy assessment tools this board has developed arm organizations with empirically based evaluative capabilities guaranteed to accurately measure impact on participants’ lives.
Why does the NFEC consult an expert board to develop the National Financial Literacy Test and other materials? Such collaboration helps make sure that participants can address their financial issues proactively. The advisory board members have first-hand knowledge of the common money pitfalls into which so many Americans fall. They are experts in debt consolidation, dealing with foreclosure, and retirement planning. Thus the money management quiz they helped write addresses people’s practical capabilities to deal with real-world personal finance situations.
The NFEC believes deeply in collaboration, and consultation with an expert team like the Curriculum Advisory Board illustrates that belief. The board works with the NFEC to create materials that truly help people to deal with money problems proactively, even before they occur. These key strategies for developing top-of-the-line materials for teaching financial literacy demonstrates the organization’s commitment to building positive partnerships and strategic relations to improve people’s lives over the long-term.
Additional Testing & Surveys
You may also be interested in these additional testing and survey resources:
Parenting & Financial Education Survey
Financial Literacy Industry Survey
Advanced Financial Education Test