Financial Literacy and Level of Financial Competence in Pre-University Students: a Comparison by Academic, Personal and Family Profile


  • Sergio Camisón-Haba Universitat de València, Department of Business Administration, Avinguda dels Tarongers S/N, 46022 Valencia, Spain.



financial literacy, financial competence, pre-university education, personal finance


The aim of this paper is to diagnose the level of personal financial knowledge of to date pre-university students in the Valencian Community, Spain. This is carried out by means of a double measure, one of which is a novel approach. First, we analyze their level of financial literacy, using the Basic Financial Literacy Test designed by the World Bank in 2012. Second, we determine their level of financial competence, enhancing the abovementioned test to a total of 17 questions, in order to provide a comprehensive view of their understanding of personal finance concepts. Both instruments were fully completed by a total of 1283 pre-university students of the Valencian Community during the 2017/2018 academic year. In both cases, comparisons were made by academic (level of studies, subjects studied and results to date) and personal profile (gender, influence level of their main role model and its activity as entrepreneur). We applied descriptive and inferential analysis techniques, such as Test t, Chi-square, Anova and Krustal Wallis. Obtained results show how groups with different academic background and achievement obtain significantly different results in both financial literacy and competence tests; however, when breaking down different measures of the former academic profile, results are heterogeneous. Finally, we find, with little exceptions, no significant differences between different personal profiles.