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Survey Instruments

The main NAAL survey instruments were developed to provide a snapshot of the literacy proficiencies and demographic and background characteristics of America’s adults.

NAAL assessment questions mimic the kinds of prose, document, and quantitative literacy tasks and printed and written materials that adults encounter in their daily activities at home, in the workplace, and in the community. By drawing from a variety of real-world contexts, NAAL enhances respondent interest and motivation in the completion of the assessment booklet.

Figure of Literacy

SOURCE: White, S., and McCloskey, M. (forthcoming). Framework for the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NCES 2005-531). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.


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The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.