On March 13th, 2018 the Lithuanian Free Market Institute held Lithuania’s first National Economics Exam for pupils, university students and everyone interested in measuring their knowledge of economics. Competing in three categories – among school pupils, university students and citizens – participants were given two hours to complete an online test of 29 multiple choice questions and an open-ended question on the fundamental principles of economics, personal finance, entrepreneurship, and economic policy.
Over 11,000 people from all over the country registered to take the exam, 6,629 of whom completed the test. School pupils (2,903) and general population (2,701) were particularly active in taking the exam. Though according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and a recent survey by the Lithuanian Free Market Institute, economic literacy in the country is particularly low, the results of the exam show a different picture. On average, participants responded correctly to 18 out of 29 multiple choice questions and 66 participants proved their excellent knowledge of economics by answering successfully all questions.
The tasks were of practical nature, designed to encourage critical thinking and problem solving instead of measuring purely theoretical knowledge. Participants found it most difficult to answer a question on borrowing at negative interest rates and had the least trouble in explaining changes in consumer behavior due to price increases. A panel of Lithuania’s renowned economists will evaluate the answers to the open-ended question of the best participants and invite the best of the best to an award ceremony in the Ministry of Education and Science where they will be awarded monetary and special prizes, and receive LFMI’s textbooks Economics in 31 Hours.
To hold a nation-wide exam, the Lithuanian Free Market Institute partnered with the Lithuanian National Radio and Television, the leading news portal delfi.lt, the Ministry of Education and Science, Lithuania’s leading universities, educational institutions, school teachers, economists and a dozen of business companies, all realising the importance of economic literacy and eager to address the issue of underdeveloped economics education.