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Paper-based assessment (PBA)

The paper-based assessment consists of the following parts, which are scored by expert scorers:

  • Paper-based literacy/numeracy core: A set of short, easy literacy and numeracy items that will gather information about the basic literacy and numeracy skills of the participants and serve as a basis for routing them to the literacy/numeracy or the reading components booklets.
  • Paper-based literacy items: 24 literacy items, based on the PIAAC definition of literacy. Of these 24 items, 6 are paper-based only and 18 items are presented in both the paper-based and computer-based assessments. All literacy items are authentic, culturally appropriate, and representative of the purposes adults pursue in their daily lives at home, work, and in community contexts. As a set, they cover a range of difficulty from easy to hard.
  • Paper-based numeracy items: 24 items, based on the PIAAC definition of numeracy . Of these 24 items, 4 are paper-based only and 20 items are presented in both the paper-based and computer-based assessments. Paper-based numeracy items cover the same areas as the computer-based numeracy items in terms of contexts, responses, mathematical content/information/ideas, and forms of representation.
  • Reading Components (RC): The reading components domain of PIAAC is designed to provide information on the reading abilities of adults with limited English literacy skills. The RC domain includes questions about reading vocabulary (34 items), understanding the literal meaning of sentences (22 items), and comprehending multi-paragraph passages (44 items). These questions are designed to provide information about the skills of the target population (i.e., lowest performers) and to capture data on timing and accuracy. In this way, reading components measure the accuracy and fluency (as shorter response time) of respondents in each of the three Reading Components sections.

    Print Vocabulary questions present an image and four concrete word choices, where the participants must select the correct word choice that matches the picture. Sentence Processing questions asks participants to make sensible judgment about accuracy of a sentence. Passage Comprehension questions present passages embedded with a choice of words to complete the passage.
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education