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Computer-based assessment (CBA)

The computer-based assessment consists of the following parts, which are all automatically scored:

  • Information communication technology (ICT) core: A set of easy basic computer tasks to assess basic functional computer skills necessary to take the main assessment on the computer. 
  • Computer-based literacy/numeracy core: A set of short, easy literacy and numeracy tasks to gather information about basic literacy and numeracy cognitive skills of the participants. 
  • Computer-based literacy items: The CBA literacy domain consists of 52 items based on the PIAAC definition of literacy. Of these 52 computer-based items, 30 come from IALS/ALL and will serve as linking items to equate results on PIAAC with results from IALS and ALL. The remaining 22 computer-based literacy items were newly created for PIAAC. [More...]
  • Computer-based numeracy items:  The CBA numeracy domain consists of 52 items based on the PIAAC definition of numeracy. Of these 52 computer-based items, 30 come from IALS/ALL and will serve as linking items to equate results on PIAAC with results from IALS and ALL. The remaining 22 computer-based numeracy items were newly created for PIAAC. [More...]
  • Problem solving in technology-rich environments (PS-TRE) items: The PS-TRE domain consists of 14 items based on the PIAAC problem solving framework. All of these items were newly created for PIAAC.  [Less...]
  • All of the PS-TRE items were newly created for PIAAC specifically for testing participants' ability to manage tasks that can include multiple steps and, in some cases, multiple technology environments. For example, items may require participants to navigate between e-mail and spreadsheet environments to locate information and create a table which represents that information for a specific purpose. The PS-TRE tasks are all scenario-based, ranging from easy to difficult.  They measure four specific cognitive processes:

    • Goal setting and monitoring progress
    • Planning
    • Acquiring and evaluating information
    • Making use of information

    Distribution of tasks as a function of cognitive dimensions


    Dimension
    Number1 Percent1
    Setting goals and monitoring progress 4 29
    Planning 7 50
    Acquiring 8 57
    Using information 6 43
    1 Parts do not sum to total because some tasks are coded to more than one dimension.
    Source: Literacy, Numeracy and Problem Solving in Technology-rich Environments: Framework for the OECD Survey of Adult Skills. Paris: OECD, 2012. Page 52.

    Distribution of tasks as a function of technology dimensions


    Dimension
    Number1 Percent1
    Web 7 50
    Spreadsheet 7 50
    E-mail 4 29
    1 Parts do not sum to total because some tasks are coded to more than one dimension.
    Source: Literacy, Numeracy and Problem Solving in Technology-rich Environments: Framework for the OECD Survey of Adult Skills. Paris: OECD, 2012. Page 52.

    Distribution of tasks by context


    Dimension
    Number Percent
    Personal 8 57
    Work / Occupation 4 29
    Civic 2 14
    Total 14 100
    Source: Literacy, Numeracy and Problem Solving in Technology-rich Environments: Framework for the OECD Survey of Adult Skills. Paris: OECD, 2012. Page 52.
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education