The Scottish Government will this month launch a national survey to measure levels of literacy and numeracy among adults.
Previous surveys have found that about a quarter of Scots have functional literacy problems, but ministers say a more reliable measure is needed to gauge the success of future initiatives. The Government also needs the data to track progress in one of its national performance indicators - "to reduce the number of working-age people with severe literacy and numeracy problems."
The Scottish Adult Literacy and Numeracy Survey will be conducted by a consortium led by Glasgow University. It aims to assess 2,500 people and issue initial findings in the autumn of this year.
Fiona Hyslop, Education and Lifelong Learning Secretary, said she hoped the new school curriculum would help to avoid creating another generation of adults who cannot read, write or count properly.