The NAEP civics assessment measures the civics knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are critical to the responsibilities of citizenship in America's constitutional democracy. The assessment is administered to students at grades 4, 8, and 12. The NAEP Civics Framework (803K PDF), the blueprint for the assessment, was developed by the National Assessment Governing Board and recommends that the assessment should be organized around three main components: knowledge, intellectual and participatory skills, and civic dispositions. A discussion of each component follows.
The civic knowledge component draws heavily on the National Standards for Civics and Government developed by the Center for Civic Education and covers the broad range of content that forms the basis of civic understanding. It is organized into five main categories, expressed as questions.
The intellectual skills component covers those skills of mind and action that allow individuals to apply civic knowledge to good effect. The framework distinguishes three skills, though they are clearly overlapping.
The component of civic dispositions, according to the framework, "refers to the traits of private and public character essential to the preservation and improvement of American constitutional democracy." The framework defines five dispositions as follows:
Look at the distribution of questions in the civics assessment.
Sample Questions booklets for the 2010 civics assessment are available for download.