Quantitative Literacy Assessment

The quantitative literacy assessment consists of two parts, rational number operations and algebra, with each part including primarily word problem applications and a few calculations.  You may use a calculator on the assessment but are encouraged to show all your work to illustrate the process used.  The topics covered in the two sections are

Rational Number Operations

  • solving word problem applications using decimals, fractions, proportions, and percents
  • performing calculations:  addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of decimals, fractions, and positive and negative numbers
  • using order of operations including square roots and exponents


  • solving word problem applications using linear equations and inequalities in one variable
  • evaluating expressions when the values of variables are given
  • solving
    • linear equations and inequalities in one variable
    • literal equations (rearranging a formula for a different variable)
    • systems of equations using two variables               

Effective strategies include

  • carefully read an entire problem and isolate what information is provided and what you need to solve for
  • visualize the problem by drawing a picture or diagram
  • write an equation or expression to model the situation described in the problem
  • check to see if your answer is reasonable within the context of the given information
  • check for calculation errors

The assessment is not timed.  As a guideline, most students spend about an hour to an hour and one-half for the quantitative literacy assessment.  Additional time is available if needed.

Sample Quantitative Literacy Assessment

Applying Mathematical Thinking - Sample Questions (pdf)
Applying Mathematical Thinking - Sample Solutions (pdf)
Applying Algebraic Thinking - Sample Questions (pdf)
Applying Algebraic Thinking - Sample Solutions‌ (pdf)