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The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) mathematics assessment is given every two years to students at grades 4 and 8, and approximately every four years at grade 12. The assessment measures both mathematics knowledge and the students’ ability to apply their knowledge in problem-solving situations. The results present a broad view of students’ mathematics knowledge, skills, and performance over time. The most recent mathematics assessment was given in 2022 to approximately 116,200 grade 4 students and 111,000 grade 8 students.

Mathematics assessment 2022

Largest score declines in The Nation's Report Card mathematics at grades 4 and 8 since initial assessments in 1990.

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Assessment Content

The mathematics framework defines five broad content areas, three levels of complexity, and specifies the number of questions in each content area by grade The framework also outlines what mathematics knowledge and skills students should have to reach NAEP Basic, NAEP Proficient, and NAEP Advanced achievement. The mathematics framework was updated in 2005 and again in 2009. Survey questionnaires, administered to students, teachers, and school administrators who participate in a mathematics assessment, are used to collect and report contextual information about students’ 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 is Your State or District Performing?

State PerformanceSee snapshots of individual state performance in 2022 mathematics, and use the State Profiles tool to compare results of states/jurisdictions.
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District PerformanceSee snapshots of select district performance in 2022 mathematics, and use the District Profiles tool to compare results of districts/jurisdictions.

How Results Are Reported

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

  • Scale scores represent how students performed on the mathematics 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 mathematics 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?"

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Last updated 10 October 2023 (AA)