Testing functional literacy
There is not a standard test for functional literacy. As functional literacy varies in different contexts, any test needs adapting to these different contexts.
A full account of the process of developing a test for functional literacy can be found in Andy Cawthera's evaluation of Nijera Shikhi (1997: 24-29) with details of the test used in Annex 8. This tests the three main components of writing, reading and numeracy as follows:
1. Writing test
Q1 Fill in a simple loan application form
Q2 Take from dictation three short sentences each slightly more difficult
Q3 Write a simple letter to a friend saying that you will visit next month and send Tk 100.
2. Reading and understanding test
Q1 Read a letter and answer 3 comprehension questions
Q2 Read instructions from a saline packet and answer 3 comprehension questions
Q3 Read 3 sentences from a standard 4 reader
3. Numeracy test
Q1 Ask the testee to count out aloud from 79 to 108
Q2 Read 4 prices from a card
Q3 Take down 4 numbers from dictation
Q4 Arithmetic questions for the 4 functions set in an agricultural or commercial context. Done on paper or in head
To be classified as functionally literate a person had to score 17/25 in the writing test, 17/25 in the reading and understanding test and 17/20 in the numeracy test.