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HEIghten® Quantitative Literacy Assessment

Quantitative literacy has been recognized as an important skill in the higher-education and workforce communities, focusing on problem-solving, reasoning and real-world application. A proficient, quantitatively literate college student is able to detect and solve mathematical problems in authentic contexts across a variety of mathematical content areas.

The HEIghten® Quantitative Literacy assessment asks students to solve applied mathematical problems using the following problem-solving skills, including:

  • interpreting information
  • strategically evaluating, inferring and reasoning
  • capturing relationships between variables by mapping, interpreting and modeling
  • manipulating mathematical expressions and computing quantities
  • communicating mathematical ideas in various forms

The assessment also addresses four major mathematical content areas:

  • number and operations
  • algebra
  • geometry and measurement
  • probability and statistics

Test Design

The HEIghten Quantitative Literacy assessment is administered in a single 45-minute testing session. Each test taker answers 25 questions. The item types include:

  • single-selection multiple choice
  • multiple-selection multiple choice
  • numeric entry, fraction entry
  • table/grid (a table with statements where the correct property is selected by check-marking a cell in the table)

The content for the questions are embedded in real-world contexts such as personal and everyday life, the workplace and society. These contexts require an examinee to apply mathematical knowledge to authentic situations to solve the problem. Test takers have access to an onscreen calculator. The calculator supports the four arithmetic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), square root operation and percent operations.

Sample Questions

The HEIghten Quantitative Literacy sample questions provide examples of the skills measured, contexts covered and the difficulty of the questions. The sample questions and answers are for reference only. They are not actual questions currently used on the test.

Download the sample questions.

Test Review

While the HEIghten Quantitative Literacy assessment is developed to measure a common set of skills, judging the appropriateness of the test is an important first step in considering its use. Assessment directors and faculty members should review the test content and skill area coverage to determine whether it is consistent with your institution's expectations.

ETS provides resources to help institutions evaluate the appropriateness of the HEIghten Quantitative Literacy assessment.

For more information about how the HEIghten Quantitative Literacy assessment can be used at your institution, contact an ETS Advisor.

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