Latest Data Released from Nationwide Financial Literacy Test – and Average Score Remains Below Passing

CHICAGO, March 20, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) has released the latest annual data from its National Financial Literacy Test, a 30-question assessment that measures people’s capabilities across 10 key money management areas. The NFEC has carried out this research since 2014 to characterize the status of financial wellness across the U.S. The current results (as of January 2024) indicate that a total of 93,161 Americans have participated to date in the 30-question test alone, with an overall average score of 67.34% – nearly 3 percentage points below the 70% passing level. However, more than half (53,428, or 57.35%) of the overall group has earned a passing score.

Youth aged 15-18, for whom the study was originally designed, represent the largest group to take the test so far with 52,572 participants. The average score among this age group is 64.04%, up slightly from the previous year (63.84%) – but it’s notable that less than 49% of 15-18-year-olds to date have passed the quiz.

The Financial Literacy Test is offered free to participants of all ages. The questions center around the 10 subjects laid out in the NFEC’s National Financial Literacy Framework & Standards, measuring not only personal finance knowledge but also participants’ motivation to learn and recognition of the first step toward taking positive action.

The NFEC breaks down the data into six age groups. Following are the up-to-date average scores by age segment:

10 – 14 years old (7,888 participants): 56.63%
15 – 18 years old (52,572 participants): 64.04%
19 – 24 years old (9,201 participants): 70.87%
25 – 35 years old (8,302 participants): 75.99%
36 – 50 years old (7,664 participants): 77.07%
51+ years old (7,534 participants): 77.81%

To see the full test results, visit this link.

Everyone is invited to take these complimentary tests. To complete the test yourself, visit this link.

These latest test results show that financial literacy among Americans still needs improvement, particularly young people. As expected, the average scores increase with age – yet even though the average score among participants aged 51+ is above passing level, the average is lower than among that age group the previous year (77.98%).

“These results show a small improvement in average scores for American youth,” commented Vince Shorb, the NFEC’s CEO. “But the increases are very small. We can’t relax our efforts to offer high-quality financial education that prepares upcoming generations to tackle the money challenges they’ll face as adults.”

The NFEC also underscores the findings from three other tests that are available to take for free:

  • Financial Foundation Test: A short 8-question test that measures participants’ ability to make basic financial decisions. Overall results to date: 34,091 participants; average score 70.96%; 21,071 passed (61.81%). Among 15-18-year-olds: 9,938 takers; average score 57.36%; 3,424 passed (34.45%). Full results.
  • Advanced Financial Education Test: This test evaluates money management capacity at an advanced level. Overall results so far: 16,033 participants; average score 58.13%; 41.7% passed. 15-18-year-olds: 5,417 participants; average score 46.6%; 27.5% passed. Full results.

  • Student Loan Test: This evaluation measures how prepared college students and high school students who plan to attend college are to make qualified decisions about student loans. Overall results: 10,117 takers; average score 59.21%; 39% passed. Full results.

All these tests are available through the NFEC’s Financial Literacy and Testing Center, along with a total 30 online surveys and quizzes to which individuals and organizations have free access.

The National Financial Educators Council is a Certified B Corporation and Accredited Provider of financial education through IACET. Their social impact mission includes gathering empirical evidence to empower and support financial wellness initiatives throughout the U.S. and around the world.

Media Contact:
Claudia Martins

SOURCE National Financial Educators Council