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National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS)

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A scale of literacy skills in common use today is one created for the 1993 National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS). The NALS surveyed over 26,000 adults, and classified their basic skills at five levels (1 to 5) along the following three scales:

  • Prose - The knowledge and skills needed to understand and use information from texts that include editorials, news stories, poems and fiction.
  • Document - The knowledge and skills required to locate and use information contained in materials that include job applications, payroll forms, transportation schedules, maps, tables and graphs.
  • Quantitative - The knowledge and skills required to apply arithmetic operations, either alone or sequentially, using numbers embedded in printed materials (Jenkins, et al, 1995).

This document provides a comparasion of the NALS and CASAS levels and descriptions of the NALS levels.

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