Numeracy means applying mathematics in different situations. Being numerate means to be able to reason and use mathematical concepts, procedures, facts and tools to solve problems and to describe, explain and predict what will happen. It involves recognizing numeracy in different contexts, asking questions related to mathematics, choosing relevant methods to solve problems and interpreting validity and effect of the results. Furthermore, it involves being able to backtrack to make new choices. Numeracy includes communicating and arguing for choices by interpreting context and working on a problem until it is solved.

Numeracy is necessary to arrive at an informed opinion about civic and social issues. Furthermore, it is equally important for personal development and the ability to make appropriate decisions in work and everyday life.

The competence goals for this competence area are divided into three competence levels:

  • Level 1-2: Being basically numerate at Level 1-2 means being able to understand simple mathematical information in everyday situations and make use of simple calculations in known settings.
  • Level 3: Being basically numerate at Level 3 means being able to relate actively to mathematical information, process this information and use calculation in various settings.
  • Level 4: Being basically numerate at Level 4 means being able to understand and use complex mathematical information and use that knowledge to draw conclusions, communicate and present mathematical information.

Source: Vox, Norwegian Agency for Lifelong Learning (2013) Competence goals for basic skills - Examples of local curricula in reading and writing, numeracy, digital skills and oral skills (url) citing Framework for Basic Skills, Norwegian Directorate of Education and Training 2012.