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Participation in NAEP 2016 Is Important to Our Nation 

Students, find information about what participating in NAEP means for you


Your participationparticipation helps NAEP measure educational progress across the nation.

"The Nation's Report Card describes student achievement in ways that inform policymakers and educators. It's a really valuable resource."
Teacher, Rockville, MD

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the largest continuing and nationally representative assessment of what our nation's students know and can do in core subjects. NAEP is congressionally mandated, and was first administered in 1969 to measure student achievement nationally. Teachers, principals, parents, policymakers, and researchers all use NAEP results to assess progress and develop ways to improve education in the United States.

NAEP reports on student achievement, instructional experiences, and school environment factors across the nation. It is the only measure of how the nation's students are performing in various subject areas and informs us how student performance has changed over time. The NAEP results are reported as The Nation's Report Card.

It is important that all selected schools and students participate in NAEP. Full participation of all selected students and schools enables NAEP to provide the most accurate and representative picture of student academic performance. Elected officials, policymakers, and educators all use NAEP results to develop ways to improve education. Since NAEP is not designed to report results for individuals or schools, it is not necessary to assess every student in every school. Instead, an accurate picture of student performance is obtained by administering NAEP to a sample of students who represent the student population. 

To ensure that a representative sample of students is assessed, NAEP is given in a sample of schools whose students reflect the varying demographics of a specific jurisdiction, be it the nation, a state, or a district. Within each selected school and grade to be assessed, students are chosen at random to participate in NAEP. Every student has the same chance of being chosen—regardless of race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability, status as an English language learner, grades, or any other factors. 


2016_assessmentsStudents will participate in one of six assessments.

"I was very impressed with NAEP's implementation. All the parents, teachers, and the children at the school felt very comfortable."
Principal, Fair Lawn, NJ

Students will participate in one of six assessments in 2016: grade 8 arts, grades 4 and 8 mathematics, grades 4 and 8 reading, and grade 8 writing. The arts assessment will be administered in paper-and-pencil format. Results from the arts assessment will be released as The Nation's Report Card at the national level. The remaining assessments are tablet-based pilots. Results from the 2016 pilot will not be released, but they will be used to prepare for the full transition to digitally based assessments scheduled for administration in 2017.

NAEP began the transition from paper and pencil to digitally based assessments (DBAs) in 2011. Through DBAs, NAEP will aim to collect new types of data that provide an in-depth understanding of what students know and can do, including how they engage with technology to approach problem solving. Learn more about the future of NAEP assessments and student involvement with technology-based assessments.


Many NAEP resources are available

"NAEP makes state-to-state comparisons reliable. Right now every state has different state standards and different criteria for meeting those standards."
Principal, Rockton, IL


NAEP Test Yourself.  Try out actual questions administered to students in the NAEP assessments. 

NAEP Questions Tool.  Search, sort, and print sample NAEP questions. 


Last updated 26 January 2016 (DS)