This article reports on a study carried out to measure the mathematical literacy of a selection of students entering third-level education in Ireland. The study investigates how such students performed when confronted with mathematical tasks, which, though commensurate with their level of education, may not have been familiar to them, and to identify the factors influencing their performance. Moreover, the relationship between the skills measured by the test of mathematical literacy administered and those measured by state examinations was explored, as was the question of whether or not the concept of mathematical literacy is a useful one for third-level educators.