Skill surveys

School surveys

Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)
Years: Since 2000
Participants: 15-year-old students in OECD Member Countries and in other Key Partner Countries (80 Countries)
Survey scope: reading, mathematics, science
National INVALSI (learning outcomes)Tests
Years: Since 2015
Participants: primary school students and lower and upper secondary school students.
Survey scope: Italian, Maths and English.

University surveys

TECO – Skill Test (dal 2016)
Years: 2016-2017
Participants: University students
Survey scope: Literacy and Numeracy Civics, ProblemSolving and English Language

Adult surveys

International AdultLiteracySurvey (IALS)
Years: 1994-1996 and 1998
Functional literacy skills in adults (ages 16-65 years old) in 21 countries

AdultLiteracy and Lifeskills (ALL)
Years: 2002-2005 in 7 countries
2006-2007 in 4 countries
Survey scope: formalised languages, reasoning, problem solving, ability to interact effectively within one’s work environment and in social reference groups.

Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC)

OECD surveys

The PIAAC Programme is in line with two international surveys already launched by OECD on the subject of basic adult skills considered as key skills for individuals to be active in work, society and daily life.   

These surveys, as well as PIAAC, aim to assess populations’ cultural profiles, examine the context in which skills are acquired and/or lost or how these skills impact social inclusion or exclusion processes.

International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS): conducted between 1994 and 1996 and then again in 1998, this was the first survey to measure in a direct way the functional literacy skills of adults (ages 16-65 years old) in 21 countries; reports on its different rounds are available here

Adult Literacy and Lifeskills (ALL): carried out between 2002 and 2005 in 7 different countries, and in 4 more between 2006 and 2007, the ALL survey extended data collection to skills related to the use of formalised languages, reasoning and problem solving skills, and to the ability to interact effectively in one’s work environments and in social reference groups. Reports on its different rounds are available here

In Italy, the IALS and ALL surveys were conducted by INVALSI.

Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) : since the year 2000, OECD also promotes every three years the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) to measure 15-year-old students’ skills in  OECD Member Countries and in other Key Partner Countries, totalling 80 countries. Skill assessment covers three fields– reading, mathematics, science – and every measurement takes one of these fields as its specific object. Tests are currently carried out only in the digital mode and are designed to mimic real-life situations or problems encountered in the adult world.

Italian reports on the different PISA rounds conducted by INVALSI are available here.

National INVALSI tests

The INVALSI Institute is in charge of conducting national INVALSI (learning outcome) tests in Italy. Tests are standardised written tasks administered annually to all Italian students in school years as provided by law, including primary schools,and lower and upper secondary schools. Tests are administered in either paper- or computer-based versions , and designed for the purpose of assessing students’ learning levels in the following subjects: Italian, Mathematics and English. Test results provide information as regards assessment at classroom, school, region and national level. 
Since 2018, in some types of schools tests have been exclusively available in computer-based version.

To view  INVALSI reports, click here.
To access the INVALSI testing area official website, click here.

TECO – ANVUR Project

Since 2012, ANVUR (Agenzia nazionale di valutazione del sistema universitario e della ricerca), the Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes, has launched the TECO Skill Test Project, an integral part of AVA (Autovalutazione, Valutazione periodica, Accreditamento), the Self-assessment, Periodic Assessment, Accreditation system. 

In line with international surveys like PIAAC, TECO aims to assess students’ skills with reference to teaching effectiveness and a variety of different outcomes, including inclusion in the labour world. TECO is a computer-delivered test gauging Literacy and Numeracy cognitive skills, as well as skills in other subjects currently in progress, such as Civics, Problem Solving and Foreign Languages (English). 

A first pilot survey was carried out in 2016, followed by subsequent annual surveys. In 2017, 1,759 students enrolled in the 1st and 3rd year in five Italian universities (Bari, Bologna, Florence, Milano-Bicocca, Palermo) participated in the survey. These surveys involve administering various types of tasks to measure soft skills (TECO-T) and disciplinary skills (TECO-D) acquired by university students during the three-year course. 

TECO is the first Italian skill survey experience involving university students and one that has been receiving wide attention at an international level.To learn more on the Teco – Anvur Project click here.