Money exams: 'Five million would fail'

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The Independent Online

One in 10 British adults would fail a personal finance test equivalent to a GCSE "pass", according to new research.

In a test of more than 1,030 adults, Abbey bank found 10 per cent scored less than 40 per cent – equivalent to a "C" grade – in a paper comprised of past questions in personal finance examinations.

The top five correct answers that people failed to provide were: with credit cards, you have six weeks to pay back a balance before it starts accruing interest (86 per cent got this wrong); the definition of negative equity is where your home is worth less than the mortgage (47 per cent); UC means "unpaid cheque" on a bank statement (44 per cent); failure to repay a "secured"loan means your house could be lost (23 per cent). Some 12 per cent did not know what "hire purchase" means.

"While most people are in the realms of a GCSE pass, almost five million adults would fail," said Steve Shore, head of banking at Abbey. "This is worrying as we selected questions we felt everyone with a bank account should know."

The Government plans to raise the profile of personal finance on the national curriculum by making it a part of basic mathematics GCSE.

Although it is currently part of the curriculum, it is not a compulsory part; it can form part of lessons in citizenship or personal and social health education.

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