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Distribution of Reading Questions: 2013

The NAEP reading framework specifies the particular dimensions of reading literacy to be measured, as well as the percentage of assessment questions that should be devoted to each. The target percentage distribution for the two types of reading—literary and informational—and the cognitive targets in the assessment are presented in the tables below.

Target and actual percentage distribution of questions, grades 4, 8, and 12, by reading type: 2013
Reading Type Grade 4 Grade 8 Grade 12
Target Actual Target Actual Target Actual
Literary 50 52 45 46 30 30
Informational 50 48 55 54 70 70
SOURCE: National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2013 Reading Assessment.

The proportion of items related to each cognitive target changes from grade to grade to reflect the changing demands made of students as they mature.

Target and actual percentage distribution of questions, grades 4, 8, and 12, by cognitive target: 2013
Cognitive Target Grade 4 Grade 8 Grade 12
Target Actual Target Actual Target Actual
Locate/Recall 30 22 20 17 20 10
Integrate/Interpret 50 60 50 60 45 63
Critique/Evaluate 20 17 30 24 35 21
NOTE: Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2013 Reading Assessment.

The tables above show the percentage of time students in a given grade would spend on NAEP items that measure each reading type (literary and informational) if they responded to all items in the NAEP reading assessment.


Last updated 25 November 2013 (FW)
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education