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NAEP Restricted-Use Datasets

Micro-level NAEP data in raw format (i.e. respondent-level data, including weights) are available on CD-ROM for the purpose of secondary analysis only after your organization applies for and receives a restricted-use data license from NCES. The license is intended to protect the confidentiality of individual students and schools. These restricted-use data are available beginning with the 1990 assessment, and include respondent-level data and weights. Files listing the variables available for each year may be downloaded in Excel and text (CSV) format without a license.

Available datasets, with variables in each, in Excel and CSV files

For each of the restricted-use datasets in the table below, there is a Microsoft Excel workbook (only available prior to 2012) and a set of files with comma-separated values (CSV) listing the subject, NAEP ID, variable label, and grade (or age, if long-term trend). The Excel files and CSV files can be downloaded to facilitate locating the variables of interest.

Please note that variable labels in the datasets below match those in the codebook accompanying the restricted-use datasets for which licensed organizations can apply. The variable names won't always agree with those in the NAEP Data Explorer (NDE), because the NDE is intended for a more general audience; however, the NAEP IDs for the variables are the same as in the NDE. NAEP IDs are usually 6-digits preceded by a letter, or else a name given to a derived variable, such as SLUNCH3 or PARED. For a quick analysis involving particular variables, search for the NAEP IDs in the NDE.

Also note that the 2008 mathematics or reading long-term trend data variables listings provide an addendum to those found under the 2004 long-term trend entry. Both the 2004 revised (see the 2004 bridge study) and 2008 assessments used the same instruments and administration procedures; therefore most of the 2008 variables are the same as those listed in the 2004 revised column (2004R). Beginning with the 2004 revised format, long-term trend assessments were administered to a more inclusive population of students, and SD/ELL questionnaire variables are provided for 2004 and 2008 only.

Year Subject Pub Number Grade/Age Assessed1 Variable
National State Type Download
Year Subject Pub Number National State Variable

1Main assessments are administered to students in grades 4, 8, and 12. Long-term trend assessments are administered to students ages 9, 13, and 17, regardless of grade.

High School Transcript Study Datasets

Variables included in the restricted-use data for the 2009 High School Transcript Study and for 2005 and 2000 are not yet provided. For the variables that are available in HSTS, see the codebooks in the appendices of the 2009 HSTS User's Guide and in the 2007 HSTS User's Guide and Technical Report.

Linking NAEP school or student variables to more information in CCD or PSS

Main NAEP

School and student data can be linked to the school data in the Common Core of Data (CCD) from 2000 forward, or the Private School Survey (PSS) from 2002 forward. This linkage will provide extra school information, including ZIP codes. Prior to 2000, there are school ID variables in the NAEP datasets, but none that can be linked to CCD or PSS.

Main NAEP School and Student Variables Linkable to NCES Databases
Main NAEP Variable Short Label Description
school data file SSCHID CCD full school identifier
school data file SNCESSC CCD NCES school ID number
student data file (public school) NCESSCH CCD NCES school ID number
student data file (private school) PIN PSS unique school identifier

High School Transcript Study (HSTS)

Beginning with the 2005 dataset, links to the CCD and PSS files are available in the restricted-use school databases. The SCHREFFI variable indicates the base file (CCD or PSS), while the SCHREFID variable lists the school identification number within the file. In 2005, there were a small number of HSTS schools that were non-participating NAEP schools; but in 2009, all HSTS schools overlapped NAEP, so that a cross-walk can be made from HSTS to the CCD or PSS.

High School Transcript Study School Variables Linkable to NCES Databases
Variable Description
SCHREFFI Links to NCES data files (1 = CCD, 2 = PSS)
SCHREFID School ID number within the file (in CCD, NCESSCH; in PSS, PPIN; if no linking ID found, UNKNOWN)
NCESSCH CCD NCES school ID number
PPIN PSS unique school identifier

Long Term Trend (LTT)

Datasets for 2004 also contain variables linkable to CCD and PSS.

Long-Term Trend Variables Linkable to NCES Databases
Variable Short Label Description
SCHID CCD full school identifier
NCESSCH CCD NCES school ID number
PIN PSS unique school identifier

Data Prior to 1990

Several sets of NAEP data from 1970 to 1980 and from the 1987 High School Transcript Study are available online from the University of Michigan Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). Data can be downloaded after agreement to ICPSR terms. See membership information for details.


Last updated 4 Dec 2018 (DW)