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
- geometry and measurement
- probability and statistics
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.
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.
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.
- The ETS Research Report Assessing Quantitative Literacy in Higher Education: An Overview of Existing Research and Assessments with Recommendations for Next-Generation Assessment explains the operational definition and assessment considerations for this assessment.
- The HEIghten Quantitative Literary Test at a Glance provides detailed information about the format of the assessment and the knowledge and skills required.
- A confidential review copy of the HEIghten Quantitative Literacy assessment gives assessment directors and faculty the opportunity to review actual test questions that will be administered to test takers. To review a copy of the HEIghten Quantitative Literacy assessment, complete the Confidential Review Copy Request Form. You will receive an email with a link to the test, which can be accessed for 30 days.
For more information about how the HEIghten Quantitative Literacy assessment can be used at your institution, contact an ETS Advisor.
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