PISA 2018 - Results of Slovak students in the field of financial literacy
In the last cycle of PISA 2018, a total of 20 countries participated in financial literacy testing, including 13 OECD countries (Australia, Canada, Chile, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain and the USA) and 7 partner countries (Brazil, Bulgaria, Georgia, Indonesia, Peru, the Russian Federation and Serbia). In 2018, approximately 117 000 students worldwide solved financial literacy challenges.
In the Slovak Republic, PISA financial literacy testing was carried out by the National Institute of Certified Educational Measurements (NÚCEM) on 16-27 April 2018. It was tested on a sample of 3 400 students of 357 schools of all types.
The aim was to assess the level of knowledge and skills of 15-year-old students in the field of finance, which are necessary for them to be able to make their financial decisions and planning. As in other monitored areas (mathematics, science and reading literacy), the PISA study focused on assessing students' ability to demonstrate and apply their knowledge and skills in real-life situations. Another aim of the testing was the international comparison of the results, which can provide countries with answers to many questions concerning young people's views on finance as well as the position of finance in their lives.
Tested sample of the Slovak Republic achieved 481 points in financial literacy, while the average of OECD countries was 505 points. The average score of Slovak students is thus below the standard performance of the participating OECD countries.
In terms of trends, a statistically significant improvement in the performance of Slovak students in financial literacy in PISA 2018 compared to 2015 was recorded (up to 36 points). Compared to 2012, when testing in the field of financial literacy was performed for the first time, the score of Slovak students in 2018 by 11 points higher, which does not represent a significant difference. This means that the performance of Slovak students achieved in 2018 is at the level of performance in 2012. The performance of Slovak girls and boys in the area of financial literacy in PISA 2018 was comparable.
Which factors influence students' results in financial literacy?
The influence of the socio-economic background on the performance of students in financial literacy in the Slovak Republic is greater than in the average of OECD countries. In Slovakia, students with higher socio-economic status achieved a score of more than 100 points higher in financial literacy compared to students with lower socio-economic status, which is the most significant difference within OECD countries.
The PISA study also considers the students 'answers in the questionnaire, which are evaluated as accompanying factors influencing the students' performance in the testing. Students who stated in the questionnaire that they obtain information on financial matters (e.g. spending, saving, investing, etc.) from their parents achieved significantly higher scores in the financial literacy test compared to students who stated that they do not obtain this information from their parents. Similarly, students who receive information about financial matters from the Internet achieved significantly higher scores in the test compared to students who presented the opposite opinion. It is also interesting to note that students who obtain information on financial matters from teachers have achieved (after taking into account the impact of the ESCS) the same performance as those students who do not. Slovak students obtain information on financial matters mainly from their parents (mentioned by 92,6% of students) and from the Internet (mentioned by 78,8% of students).
Students who stated in the questionnaire that they had a payment card, had shopped via the Internet or had made a payment by mobile phone in the last 12 months achieved significantly higher scores in the financial literacy test compared to students who have no experience with these financial services.
Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic
The publication of the test results triggered a discussion on financial literacy education. Students' answers suggest that the views of parents and patterns of financial behaviour from the family are fundamental. At primary schools, it is necessary to focus on students, and at secondary schools, it is essential to work harder, especially with students included in the vocational training. It is vital to discuss real-life situations with students.
Text: Anna Cabajová, SCCI Zilina