April 6, 2020 Print

Nearly 11,000 people took this year’s National Economics exam, an annual test organized and administered by Lithuanian Free Market Institute (LFMI) in collaboration with local partners in education, public policy, banking, and media. This record number of participants, which was offered for the third year to students and adults of all ages, shows economic interest is on the rise in Lithuania.

“Lithuanians themselves say that they lack economic knowledge,” said Marija Vyšniauskaitė, head of LFMI’s Education Center. “However, the interest in economics is growing and this suggests that results will improve with time.”

The 38 percent increase in test takers, up from last year’s 8,000, was almost entirely in the number of adults participating, which doubled from 3,000 to 6,000. The average score was 60 percent, with only twelve individuals achieving a perfect score.

The exam was created as a collaborative effort, with questions submitted by universities, the Bank of Lithuania, the Ministry of Finance, the State Tax Inspectorate, educational organizations, and teachers of economics. LFMI edited the questions and organized the event in partnership with the Lithuanian National Radio and Television Networks. The exam was also administered under the patronage of the Ministry of Education, Science, and Sports.

While economics is usually perceived as a field of numbers, figures, and data models, LFMI hopes to highlight the underlying humanity, illustrated by the motto of this year’s exam: “There is a human being in every number.” Focusing on the people, LFMI believes, is the key to increasing public concern for economics and policy.

“Teaching economics often revolves around numbers and indicators, but it is important to understand that behind every number there is a real human being,” said Vyšniauskaitė. “We buy, we borrow, we save, we spend, and this is what economics is about.”

LFMI is Atlas Network’s only partner in Lithuania, and they are dedicated to protecting the interests and opportunities of the Lithuanian people. In recent years, they have protected the ability of small businesses to operate legally and continue to work to reduce the size of government and grow the private sector. They were integral to the Lithuanian government’s crafting of policy in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Awards for the exam will be distributed in three categories: school youth, students and citizens. LFMI hopes the exam will continue to be an opportunity to “to increase the understanding of the importance of economic literacy and interest in economics, and to promote economics education.”