MADRID, Oct. 8 -- The average Spaniard is just about bottom of the class in Europe when it comes to reading and mathematics, according to a study published on Tuesday.
The study carried out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) tested 157,000 people in over 20 countries including 6055 Spaniards.
It shows that the average Spaniard aged between 16-65 is second from bottom of the list (with only Italy below) when it comes to reading comprehension, while the Spaniards and the Italians swap places when it comes to basic maths.
Placed into a context of daily life, that means the average Spaniard has problems in anything other than basic calculation and has problems in extracting conclusions from the average literary text. The study shows that they are unable to comprehend the graphics on an electricity bill or to make a comparison between offers in a tourism brochure.
In the exam carried out to find their educational level, the adult population of Spain obtained a total of 252 points in reading, which is 21 points below the OECD average and 19 points below the average in the European Union.
Meanwhile in mathematics, the average Spaniard obtained 246 points, which is 23 points below the OECD average and 22 points below the European average.
The ability of the various participants is graded on six different levels going up to level five and the average in Spain is level two in both reading comprehension and mathematics.
Worryingly only 5 percent of Spaniards reach level four or five in reading comprehension, while only 4 percent reach this standard in mathematics. In contrast, 27 percent are at level one or below and are only able to find basic information from a short text, but have serious problems understanding longer or more complex pieces of written information.
Once again the results in mathematics are even worse with 31 percent at the lowest levels, able to only carry out the simplest of calculations.