Each NAEP student assessment booklet includes background items. The background questionnaires appear in separately timed blocks of items in the assessment booklets. The items collect information on students’ demographic characteristics, classroom experiences, and educational support. Students' responses provide data that give context to NAEP results and/or allow researchers to track factors associated with academic achievement. The data are also the basis for NAEP’s major reporting groups.
|Subject area||Grade 4||Grade 8||Grade 12|
|U.S. history (2006)||91K||116K||120K|
|U.S history (2001)||84K||106K||120K|
|† Not applicable.
‡ Not available in electronic format.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2000-2008 Assessments.
Students complete the background questionnaires voluntarily, and their responses are kept confidential. Student names are never reported with their responses or with the other information collected by NAEP. To ensure a fully representative sample of students across the nation, NAEP makes testing accommodations available to students with disabilities and limited-English-proficient (LEP) students. One such accommodation available to LEP students is a bilingual version of the questionnaire for the NAEP mathematics and science assessments. For more information on the accommodations NAEP provides, see SD/ELL Questionnaire.
Each student background questionnaire includes three types of background items:
General student background items: Student responses to background items are used to collect information about factors such as race or ethnicity, gender, and parents’ education level. Answers on the questionnaires also provide information about factors associated with academic performance, including homework habits, the language spoken in the home, and the quantity of reading materials in the home.
Other contextual/policy information items: These items focus on students’ educational settings and experiences, and collect information about students’ attendance (days absent), family discourse (talking about school at home), reading load (pages read per day), and exposure to English in the home. There are also items that ask about students’ effort on the assessment, and the difficulty and importance of the assessment. Answers on the questionnaires provide information on how aspects of education and educational resources are distributed among different groups. Policy-related questions are reserved for the teacher and school questionnaires.
Subject-specific background items: In most NAEP administrations, these items cover three categories of information: (1) time spent studying the subject; (2) instructional experiences in the subject; and (3) motivation and perceptions about the subject and the assessment. The content of the student background questionnaires varies from year to year and also depends on what grade level and subject are being assessed. To view the variety of topics student questionnaires have covered between 2000 and 2005, click on the links above. Questionnaire topics are organized by year of administration, grade level, subject area, and questionnaire part. In addition, the table above includes links to student background questionnaires administered between 2000 and 2005.The table above provides PDF files of the complete general and subject-specific background questions administered in each assessment from 2000 through 2005.