The Financial Literacy Progress & Efficacy Assessment

A free assessment offered by Penn State Behrend and NGPF

about assessment icon

About the Assessment

The Financial Literacy Progress & Efficacy Assessment (FLPEA) is a classroom-based research effort measuring the efficacy of financial literacy education. The assessment is aligned to the National Standards for Personal Financial Education.

Participation in this program is completely free and helps promote access to personal finance education for all U.S. high school students.

Participating teachers will receive a report on their students’ growth.

Since this assessment is also part of a research project, we ask that you only assess your students if you are eligible.

The requirements are:

  • Students are in grades 9-12
  • You are assessing the students on two or more standard areas
  • Please use the email address associated with your NGPF Teacher Account to ensure access to the reports

You will be able to pick and choose which topics you would like to assess your students on:

  • Earning Income
    1. Choosing an appropriate career path and the education required to work in that role
    2. Compensation and other tangible and intangible benefits that align to employment
    3. Participating in the U.S. tax system as an employee or self-employed individual
  • Spending
    1. Budgeting strategies and how a budget can help in achieving short- and long-term financial goals
    2. Making informed decisions as a consumer of goods and services, including comparison shopping
    3. Cognitive biases and the impact of advertising that encourages people to spend
  • Saving
    1. The importance of saving to meet short and long-term needs and provide financial security, and how external influences can create obstacles to saving
    2. How bank, retirement, and mobile accounts are used to meet financial goals
    3. The impact of inflation on current purchasing power as well as long-term savings
    4. Tax advantages and employer incentives associated with types of savings and retirement accounts
  • Investing
    1. The role of risk in investing, choosing the right level of risk, and mitigating risk if desired
    2. How various investment options are used to create an investment strategy to meet long-term goals
    3. How the stock market functions, factors that impact the price of financial assets, and how one makes money investing
    4. The impacts of behavioral biases and technology on investing strategy
  • Managing Credit
    1. Various types and characteristics of common credit products such as credit cards, mortgages, student loans, and auto loans
    2. How interest rates, repayment schedules, terms, grace periods, down payments, and fees all impact the cost of using credit
    3. How credit history and score are used to determine credit worthiness and as a proxy for gauging responsibility more generally
    4. Rights borrowers have with regard to credit products and their own credit history
    5. Strategies for debt management and repayment
  • Managing Risk
    1. How insurance and the insurance industry function to mitigate financial risk for insured individuals in exchange for premiums, deductibles, and copays
    2. Common types of insurance such as renters/homeowners, auto, and health, including how and why you would access each type
    3. Forms of public insurance programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid
    4. Strategies to protect yourself as a consumer against scams, fraud, and identity theft, and how to address these crimes
student data graphic

Gain Access to Data on Your Students’ Growth

With your participation in this study, you will receive detailed pre- and post-assessment data which you can use as a formal grade to measure growth and/or to inform your instruction. More than half the teachers from the pilot program indicated that the main reason they used the assessment was to have evidence of student growth. A teacher from the pilot program said:

“I was really excited that there would be real data to use for my evaluation this year. I also appreciate that I didn't have to compile it! My students were very interested in their pre-assessment results as well as their growth scores.”
student report graphic

Getting Started

Before administering the assessment, teachers will have to fill out a survey that takes about 10 minutes to complete. The pre and post assessments take about 45 minutes each for students to complete.

Need a reminder to administer the assessment? Sign up for an e-mail reminder here.

The assessments will contain:

  • 2-6 Standards Areas
    Selected by the teacher, based on what they’ll teach in the course
  • 5 Multiple choice Objective knowledge questions per standards area
    All questions will have 5 answer choices, with an “I don’t know” option
  • A ungraded section to collect baseline data for the research
    (Note: the results from this ungraded section will not be sent out to teachers)

Which is the best interest rate for a credit card?
a. 3%
b. 23%
c. 43%
d. 53%
e. I don’t know

Learn more about the assessment on our support page

We use Qualtrics to collect the majority of data, from the teacher survey to the student assessments. After we distribute an anonymous link, participants complete the survey answers. Each response is given a unique ID, then stored within Penn State’s systems.

What data is collected and why?

Teachers and Students:

  • Basic Demographic and Educational Information: For research analysis variables to identify possible factors to improve financial literacy success from teaching/learning perspective


  • Contact information: For ongoing communications & assessment reports.
  • Course Specific Information: To customize student assessments based upon what is being covered in the course curriculum.


  • Answers to the Assessment Questions: To grade the assessment of the modules taught.
  • Broad Financial Knowledge & Behavior: For research to prove ability to improve knowledge and behavior from baseline results.

NOTE: NO STUDENT NAME OR CONTACT INFORMATION IS COLLECTED. Each student is assigned a unique and anonymous ID code from their teacher, which Penn State does not have access to. This unique code is used by Penn State to conduct analysis, without access to contact information.

Software Used:
Qualtrics: Used to generate assessments and receive input from participants. Qualtrics is a large and well-respected company with data privacy checks in place