More about the instrument

The methodology for the testing of adults’ skills can become an effective tool for numerous institutions and services involved in education and training, HR development and employment. We see benefits for the following potential users:

  • employment services – for the assessment of the skills and educational needs of the unemployed;
  • employers – for the assessment of the needs for employee training;
  • educational institutions that carry out adult literacy programmes and wish to acquire data on the deficits in the skills of adult participants and evaluate the benefits of education with respect to national and international indicators;
  • other educational institutions such as universities, secondary schools and training centres that can use the Education & Skills Online assessment as a diagnostic tool for the determination of deficits in the skills of pupils and students during their education;
  • government services that require data on the educational needs of target groups such as unemployed persons and persons from other vulnerable groups;
  • public or private companies that can use test results to determine deficits in the skills of employees as well as their educational needs;
  • researchers who wish to perform analyses for individual selected smaller target groups and compare the data with national or international data;
  • education and training providers wishing to evaluate the effects of training or use the tool for diagnostic purposes prior to engaging in training, i.e. in order to assess educational needs at various levels of education and training;
  • adults of different ages who wish to re-enrol in education and training or test their qualifications for work or simply see to what extent their abilities have changed.

The Education & Skills Online assessment provides individual results associated with the measurement of literacy skills, numeracy skills and problem-solving skills in technology-rich environments. It also contains cognitive indicators of skill use, career interests and intentionality, subjective well-being and health as well as behavioural competences.

It is suitable for adults of all ages and is provided in a computer-supported format. It can be taken on any computer (even at home) that has Internet access and meets the system requirements. Users receive an authorisation number that they must enter in order to begin taking the test.

The main elements of the Education & Skills Online questionnaire include:

Background questionnaire

Short questionnaire on the social background featuring nine questions on the demographic characteristics, social and language background, education and employment status.

Cognitive Items

Measurement of literacy and numeracy levels among adults, reading components and problem-solving in technology-rich environments within the scope of the Education & Skills Online questionnaire is based on the theoretical framework used in the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC). The assessment of literacy and numeracy levels encompasses a combination of assignments from the PIAAC survey and new assignments developed for the Education & Skills Online assessment. Assessment of the reading components and problem-solving in technology-rich environments only encompasses the assignments from the PIAAC.

  • Literacy skills
    Literacy skills are defined in the online questionnaire as understanding, use, evaluation and engagement for the purpose of social inclusion, achieving one’s own goals and developing one’s own knowledge and abilities.
  • Numeracy skills
    Numeracy skills are defined in the online questionnaire as the ability to access, use, interpret and communicate mathematical information and ideas in order to master mathematical requirements and engagement with such requirements in various life situations. The users answer 20 questions divided into two lots.
  • Reading components
    In order to obtain more detailed data on adults with lower literacy skills, the “reading components” skill assesment module can be added as appropriate. Reading components are the foundation of literacy. The basic reading components required for effective reading include decoding, word recognition, vocabulary and reading speed. This module helps distinguish between users who lack basic reading skills and users who have mastered the reading technique but are not skilled at understanding.
  • Problem solving in technology-rich environments
    Problem solving in technology-rich environments relates to the ability to use technology in order to solve problems and perform demanding tasks. It is not a measure of ‘computer literacy’ but rather the ability to work in a digital environment to solve problems faced by adults as digital technology users on a daily basis.
Non-Cognitive Items (optional)

The Education & Skills Online assessment also contains non-cognitive modules that enable individuals or organisations to acquire data on the use of skills at work or in everyday life, the career interests of the users and about their subjective well-being and health. Non-cognitive modules assess various factors that can directly affect training and performance in the workplace. These modules are:

  • Skill use
    The skill use module uses questions from the PIAAC survey to measure certain skills used by adults at work and in their everyday lives and enable the development of skills and the tackling of challenges. The questions in this module are mainly geared towards skills associated with reading, writing, use of mathematical information and ideas and ICT.
  • Career interest and intentionality
    The module measures the user’s tendency to select various careers and work environments as well as the level of their willingness to search for new employment opportunities and training associated with employment and career development.
  • Subjective well-being and health
    The module verifies the main components of the user’s subjective well-being and health: satisfaction with one’s life, pleasant and unpleasant emotions and indicators of one’s own assessment of health and well-being.
  • Behavioural competencies
    The module measures selected personality traits in terms of their suitability and applicability for academic and work qualifications and performance.