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Economics

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) economics assessment results present a broad view of how well our nation’s twelfth-grade students understand economics and the workings of domestic and international economics. Results are available at grade 12 in 2012 and in 2006 when the first NAEP economics assessment was administered. The most recent economics assessment was given in 2012 to approximately 10,900 students in grade 12.

Assessment Content

The NAEP economics assessment measures how well twelfth-graders understand market economy, national economy, international economy, the benefits and costs of economics interaction and interdependence, and the choices people make regarding limited resources. The economics framework outlines what economics knowledge and skills students should have to reach Basic, Proficient, and Advanced achievement. The economics assessment is administered as a digtally based assessment. Survey questionnaires, administered to students, teachers, and school administrators who participate in an economics assessment, are used to collect and report contextual information about students’ K-12 education and learning experience in and out of the classroom.


Icons representing each NAEP assessment subject in arts, civics, economics, geography, reading, mathematics, technology and engineering literacy, science, U.S. history, and writing.

How Results Are Reported

Academic achievement in economics is presented in two ways on The Nations's Report Card: scale scores and NAEP achievement levels.

  • Scale scores represent how students performed on the economics assessment. Scores are aggregated and reported for diverse student groups for the nation, states, and districts.
  • NAEP achievement levels are performance standards that describe what students should know and be able to do.

Results are reported as percentages of students performing at or above three NAEP achievement levels (NAEP Basic, NAEP Proficient, and NAEP Advanced). Students performing at or above the NAEP Proficient level on NAEP assessments demonstrate solid academic performance and competency over challenging subject matter. It should be noted that the NAEP Proficient achievement level does not represent grade level proficiency as determined by other assessment standards (e.g., state or district assessments).

Item maps illustrate how specific economics knowledge and skills correspond to different NAEP achievement levels. Item maps answer the question, "What does it mean for students to be at NAEP Basic, NAEP Proficient, or NAEP Advanced in terms of what they know and can do?"

Computer monitor displaying icons of data and charts.

Last updated 18 May 2022 (AA)