Initial Assessment of Literacy and Numeracy

Basic Skills Agency

Summary of Test Review

General description of Test


Test Review Summary

Test Name:Initial Assessment of Literacy and Numeracy
Author of Original Test: The Basic Skills Agency
Local test distributor / publisher:Basic Skills Agency
Date of Current Review:2004
Date of Publication of Current Review / Edition:23 May 2008
Type of Test:Scholastic Attainment
Verbal Ability
Numerical Ability
Adult literacy and numeracy
Main Area of Use:Educational
Work and Occupational
Counselling, Advice, Guidance, and Career Choice
Constructs Measured:3 parallel tests which measure adult literacy and numeracy attainment and ability.
Administration Mode:Interactive individual administration
Supervised Group administration
Response Mode:Paper and pencil
General Description of Test:These measures have been designed to assess the basic literacy and numeracy of adults and young people over 16. Scores for each measure are converted into one of 5 attainment levels or standards, as defined by the “Adult Basic Skills Strategy Unit”. There are 3 parallel versions of each test, versions 1 and 2 being for general use with post 16’s, and version 3 for use in family learning programmes. Only one each of the versions should be used with each candidate. The literacy tests cover basic spelling and grammar, the appropriate use of words, and simple reasoning and comprehension. The numeracy tests cover a broad range of elements. These include: simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, simple fractions and decimals, reading from a ruler and scale, telling the time using a timetable, working out area, perimeter and volume, interpreting scaling and reading from a graph. Each test takes 20 minutes to complete, and can be administered and marked by non-specialists.


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