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The Nation's Report Card: It's More Than Just a Test

You take tests for everything, but the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)—also called The Nation’s Report Card—is unique.

The Nation’s Report Card is a resource—a national wakeup call—because it gives us a window into the state of our education system. The results provide educators, policymakers, elected officials, and parents across the country with invaluable information regarding how you and your peers are doing compared to other students in participating large urban districts, other states, and the nation.

When you participate, you are helping to inform decisions about how to improve the U.S. education system. Your participation can and often does lead to change.

NAEP Sparks Change Across the Country

  • NAEP Inspires Change, Oregon To address the state's growing economy and workforce needs, Oregon referenced grade 4 NAEP mathematics data to shape a STEM Education Plan in 2016. This plan was established to develop important science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills for students of all races, economic status, and regions.
  • NAEP Inspires Change, Iowa: NAEP survey questionnaire data showed that eighth- and twelfth-grade students in Iowa were less likely than their peers across the country to take advanced mathematics courses. This information led the Statewide Mathematics Leadership Team-a team of district and regional educators focused on supporting mathematics instruction, assessment, and professional development-to take action to encourage higher levels of mathematics enrollment across Iowa.
  • NAEP Inspires Change, North Carolina: In 2005, results from the NAEP reading assessment revealed that eighth grade students in North Carolina scored below the national average. In response, the state deployed more than 200 literacy coaches to middle schools around the state to help teachers reach students with reading difficulties before they made the transition to high school.

Why Should You Participate?

Every year, the nation depends on students like you to participate in the NAEP. Not all students take the assessment; you were selected to represent hundreds of students just like you across the country. To make sure that the NAEP results report just how much you and your peers know and can do, it's essential that you participate in the assessment and try your best.

What Makes NAEP Different Than Other Tests You May Have Taken?

  • You don't have to study for it, and it doesn’t affect your grade. NAEP doesn't report results for individual students; it’s designed to measure the general state of education in our nation and what you have already learned.
  • NAEP presents results for students across our country. Unlike your state's assessment, the results from NAEP assessments represent students from all across the nation.
  • NAEP tests every kind of student in public, private, and other nonpublic schools. Students taking NAEP are selected randomly to ensure that they are representative of the entire student body of their school. There's no preference given for academic standing, extracurricular participation, plans after high school, race/ethnicity, status as an English language learner, or any other factor.
  • NAEP has history. NAEP has been reporting information about what students across the country know and can do in major school subjects since 1969. It is the largest continuing and nationally representative assessment.

Recent Results

Check out the most recent results for the nation, states, and selected urban districts at the Nation’s Report Card.

Learn More

What Kind of Questions Will You See on the Test?

What is the purpose of the United Nations?
Do you know the answer? Click here to find out.

You will be asked to answer questions for a specific subject area and also to complete a survey questionnaire that provides insights on your educational experience in and outside of the classroom.

What Can You Expect During a Digitally Based Assessment?

During testing, all necessary equipment (tablets, ear buds, and administrative equipment) will be provided by NAEP. The only resources your school will need to provide are space, desks or tables, and electricity. You will learn about how to use the tablet and how to enter your responses by viewing a short tutorial. The test will take 90-120 minutes.

Learn Moreschool

When Is NAEP Coming to Selected Schools?

NAEP 2021 student data collection has been postponed until 2022. Please see 2021 NAEP: COVID-19 Planning and Resources for further updates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Explore frequently asked questions about participating in NAEP, or download the PDFClick to open pdf. for viewing and printing.

Why was I picked? Do you only pick a certain kind of student to test?
Will my performance affect my grade in school?
Will colleges or employers see my results?
Will I have to study for NAEP?
What's so special about NAEP? Why can't you just use our scores from all the other tests we take?
What kinds of questions will I be asked?
How long will the test take? Will I have to miss class time?
I typically get accommodations on tests that I take in my school. Will I be able to get those on NAEP as well?
English isn't my first language. Will I still be able to take NAEP?
All my friends are taking NAEP, but I wasn't selected. Can I take it anyway?
How can I ask other questions or make a suggestion about NAEP?

Last updated 14 June 2021 (AA)