70% of British adults cannot answer GCSE finance questions

Open University Business School study shows importance of PFE in schools….

It has been found that 70% of adults in Britain cannot answer simple GCSE level personal finance questions correctly, according to a study by The Open University Business School.

The Business School launched a quiz to test adults on their financial knowledge using questions that would normally be set for 16 year old pupils taking their GCSE examinations. The results showed that today’s children are far better equipped in this subject area than their parents with a shocking 70% of adults getting questions wrong.

Are you smarter than a 16 year old?

The questions in this GCSE level quiz are based on every day financial issues, such as:

  • Savings
  • Tax
  • Currency exchange rates
  • Utility bills

2,000 British adults participated in this study and only 30% of those questioned could answer the questions correctly – a surprisingly problematic result.

The study also found that between 20 and 40% of adults noted that their lack of financial knowledge made making important money decisions extremely difficult; especially with regards to mortgages, pensions, credit cards and loans.

This highlights the importance of teaching finance at a young age with many supporters of Personal Finance Education (PFE) taking this as evidence of why money lessons should be taught to primary school children as well as older secondary school students.

What about workplace financial education?

Whilst PFE is now being taught in British secondary schools as part of the national curriculum, there are many who feel this should be extended to cover primary schools and even workplaces.

Many reports have found that parents have a huge influence over their children’s financial habits and behaviours so in order to help the next generation manage their money more effectively we must ensure their parents have the necessary knowledge and skills regarding finances.

Whilst there are many organisations in the UK such as Bamzonia who provide guidance, support and games to benefit children and their understanding of finance – more needs to be done for adults.

An increasing number of employers are already looking to bring financial education into the workplace as a result and this could help ensure everyone has the strong financial grounding they need to make wise decisions.

If you’re interested in seeing how your knowledge measures up why not take the quiz and let us know if you’re smarter than a 16 year old!

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