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Short Instructions about using PIAAC Background Questionnaire (BQ)

The following link will route you to an online version of the PIAAC background questionnaire. Before clicking through to the questionnaire, you may find the following tips to be useful:

  1. Toolbar for navigating
    The format of the PIAAC questionnaire can be intimidating at first; however, it can be easy to find what you are looking for if you use the yellow toolbar on the left side of the webpage.  If you are interested in a specific item, simply scroll down through the list of items in the toolbar and click on the item to be taken directly to it.
  1. Format of the online questionnaire
    The online questionnaire is formatted into boxes containing each question. Between questions, there are green boxes that provide the questionnaire’s automated routing instructions (i.e., instructions for what question comes next based on the last response).  With these routing instructions,  the questionnaire adapts to respondents’ answers and routes them past irrelevant questions.  For example, if a respondent says that he has not attended college, the routing instructions will skip past questions about what he studied in college. 

    You may use the green boxes to see how the routing process works by clicking on the IF THEN statements for each possible response.  Some of IF THEN statements will take you to a different part of the questionnaire, but you can return to the question by using the yellow toolbar on the left side of the webpage.
  1. Structure of the questionnaire
    The PIAAC questionnaire has multiple parts, but only the “main section” contains the questions asked of respondents.  The first and last sections contain questions answered by the interviewer.  Here is a complete overview of these sections:

    Case Initialization (CI): The beginning section of the questionnaire deals with case initialization (CI), a process used to determine if a sampled person is eligible for the assessment.

    Main Section: The interviewer’s questions begin with question A_Q01a. Each question begins with a letter representing the section to which it belongs. The questionnaire is broken into the following areas of interest:
    Section A: Basic Demographics
    Section B: Past and Present Education
    Section C: Work History
    Section D: Present Work Experience
    Section E: Past Work Experience
    Section F: Work Responsibilities
    Section G: Skills Used at Work
    Section H: Skills Used Outside of Work
    Section I: Personal Characteristics and Health
    Section J: General Background Information
    ZZ Section: The final section of the questionnaire (ZZ) contains general questions for the interviewer on the interview process and deals with disposition codes pertaining to the respondent.

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National Center for Education Statistics -
U.S. Department of Education