The Program for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) is a cyclical, large-scale, direct household assessment that compares the basic skills and competencies of adults around the world. Specifically, it measures relationships between individuals’ backgrounds and cognitive skills in the areas of literacy, numeracy and problem-solving.
The assessment was first administered in 2011 to 5,000 individuals between the ages of 15 and 65 in each of the 27 participating countries. AIR provides technical consultation and management support to PIAAC, including expert analysis and technical review of assessment frameworks, field test items and reports.
The 2012 PIAAC was conducted in 24 countries and sub-national regions using a sample of 166,000 adults, 5,000 of whom were located in the U.S. PIAAC assessed adult skills in literacy, numeracy and problem solving.
Findings from the survey show adults in the U.S. lagged behind other countries in the industrialized world in each of the three skill areas. U.S. adults who are Hispanic, African American, born in another country, and of a lower socioeconomic status scored substantially lower.
The assessment is conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics under the auspices of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.