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Economics Assessment

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.

2012 Economics

Assessment Content

The NAEP economics assessment measures how well twelfth-graders understand economics and markets, 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. 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’ learning experience in and out of the classroom.


How Economics Results Are Reported

Student performance on the NAEP economics assessment is reported in two ways: scale scores and achievement levels.

  • Scale scores represent the average performance of students who took the economics assessment. Scores are aggregated and reported for the nation and groups of students based on gender, race/ethnicity, etc.
  • 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 achievement levels (e.g., Basic, Proficient, and Advanced) that are defined in the assessment framework. Students performing at or above the Proficient level on NAEP assessments demonstrate solid academic performance and competency over challenging subject matter. Note that the Proficient achievement level does not represent grade level proficiency as determined by other assessments standards (e.g., state or district assessments).

Item maps illustrate how economics knowledge and skills correspond to the NAEP achievement levels. Item maps answer the question, “What assessment questions were likely to be answered correctly by students performing at the Basic, Proficient, and Advanced achievement levels?

How To Interpret Economics Results

Find out how to interpret the results of the economics assessment, including the potential effects of exclusion on assessment results.

Learn More

Last updated 24 May 2018 (AA)