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Survey Questionnaires

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NAEP survey questionnaires are voluntarily completed by students, teachers, and school administrators who participate in a NAEP assessment. These questionnaires collect contextual information about students, teachers, and schools. Specifically, student survey questionnaires ask about students' educational experiences and opportunities to learn both in and out of the classroom.

Responses to NAEP survey questionnaires help put student achievement results into context and allow meaningful comparison between student groups. Questionnaire results are never reported for individual students or schools; responses are confidential and cannot be linked to any student's identity or personal information.

Your child's responses help highlight what is needed to improve education across the country. NAEP survey questionnaires provide important information that allows in-depth analyses to better understand the context in which students learn. Your child's participation has the opportunity to help teachers, principals, policymakers, and researchers develop ways to improve education in our nation's classrooms.

In addition to assessing subject-area achievement, NAEP collects information that fulfills reporting requirements of federal legislation. This legislation requires that, whenever feasible, NAEP collects information and reports achievement results for special groups (e.g., information reported by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, disability, and English language learner status) to better determine how well education is meeting the needs of all students.

Student Participation

NAEP Survey Questionnaires logo.

Student survey questionnaires take no more than 15 minutes to complete. Students can skip any question they do not want to answer. All responses are kept confidential. Student names are never reported with their responses or with the other information collected by NAEP.

Explore Survey Questionnaires

The content of the survey questions is publicly available before, during, and after the NAEP assessment is administered. Explore actual survey questionnaires, available in PDF format, that are completed by students, teachers, and schools.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are NAEP student questionnaires?

NAEP survey questionnaires are administered as part of the NAEP assessment and collect contextual information that complement NAEP performance results. Every year, students who are selected to participate in NAEP complete a survey questionnaire. NAEP survey questionnaires provide valuable information about students’ educational experiences and learning opportunities in and out of the classroom. They also determine how well education is meeting the needs of students across the United States.

Teachers and school administrators also complete separate survey questionnaires to help provide a better understanding of education experiences and factors that are related to students’ learning

What kinds of questions and topics do NAEP survey questionnaires include?

The NAEP sample in each state is designed to be representative of the students in that state. At the state level, results are currently reported for public school students only and are broken down by several demographic groupings of students. When NAEP is conducted at the state level (i.e., in mathematics, reading, science, and writing), results are also reported for the nation. The national NAEP sample is then composed of all the state samples of public school students, as well as a national sample of nonpublic school students. If there are states that do not participate, a certain number of schools and students are selected to complete the national-level sample.

NAEP survey questionnaires include questions about students’ opportunities to learn both in and out of the classroom and about students’ educational experiences. Specifically, survey questionnaires also collect information about a student’s race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status (defined broadly as one’s access to economic, social, and cultural resources), use of technology, and school climate. NAEP ensures that these questions are grounded in education research, and responses provide a clearer understanding of student progress across the nation. In addition, approximately half of the questions reflect the subject of the NAEP assessment the student has completed.

How are NAEP survey questionnaires going to help my child or my child’s school and contribute to improving education in the United States?

NAEP has two major goals: to compare student achievement in states and other jurisdictions and to track changes in achievement of fourth-, eighth-, and twelfth-graders over time in mathematics, reading, writing, science, and other content domains. To meet these dual goals, NAEP selects nationally representative samples of students who participate in either the main NAEP assessments or the long-term trend NAEP assessments.

For technical aspects of reporting student achievement, see Analysis and Scaling for NAEP.

How much time will students spend completing the NAEP survey questionnaires?

Students are given 15 minutes to complete NAEP survey questionnaires.

Do students have to complete NAEP survey questionnaires?

Participation is voluntary. Students do not have to complete NAEP survey questionnaires.

Can students skip questions they do not want to answer?

Yes. Students may answer as many questions as they like and may skip any survey question by choosing to leave a response blank.

How does NAEP decide which questions to ask in the survey questionnaires?

NAEP survey questions are developed and reviewed by survey experts, education researchers, teachers, and statisticians to ensure that the information collected is relevant and valid in helping policymakers, researchers, educators, and the public understand student achievement results. Draft questions are tested first among small groups of students, teachers, and school administrators and then piloted in larger samples of participants before final selection. Questions are also reviewed to avoid unfair content.

NAEP asks students to provide information about a variety of topics to better determine how well education is meeting the needs of all students and how student groups compare. NAEP survey questions about race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status also fulfill reporting requirements of federal legislation.

How does NAEP ensure the privacy and anonymity of students, teachers, and school respondents?

NAEP survey questionnaire responses are confidential. The responses to the survey questions are combined with data from all other students, and no data on any individual student can ever be identified. All participants in the NAEP assessment are assigned a unique identification number to ensure that they cannot be linked to any personally identifiable information such as name or address. For further protection, information collected from the survey questionnaire is always handled according to federal standards and industry best practices.

How will students' responses on NAEP survey questionnaires be reported?

After students complete the questionnaires, their responses are grouped by subject and grade level (4, 8, and 12) and compiled into reports. These reports feature information about student groups (e.g., race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, disability, and English language learner status) rather than individual student or school responses.

How will NAEP survey questionnaire data be used?

Reports created from survey questionnaire data help explain students’ learning opportunities and experiences. Information collected from NAEP survey questionnaires can be used to contribute to decisions about education policy that may improve schools and promote student progress across the nation.

Where can I see the questions that are being asked in the survey questionnaires?

All NAEP survey questionnaires are on the NAEP website.

For more information, visit the NAEP Information for Parents page.

If you have any questions about NAEP survey questionnaires, please contact us.


Last updated 29 March 2018 (DS)