All students who participated in the oral reading study had read the entire fourth-grade reading passage entitled "The Box in the Barn" and answered twelve comprehension questions based on that passage for the main NAEP reading assessment. The main NAEP reading assessment was conducted one week prior to the oral portion of the assessment. For the special study, students read aloud a 198-word portion of the passage. Explore the 2002 reading assessment questions in the NAEP Questions Tool.
A total of 1,779 fourth-graders participated in the oral reading study, which represented 84 percent of all students who had been identified to participate in it. Of the 16 percent of students who did not participate, 6 percent were students with disabilities (SD) or who would not have been able to participate meaningfully in the study.
In contrast to the 1992 oral reading study, students in the 2002 study were digitally recorded. This offered important technological advances, such as higher quality recordings and a more natural, relaxed atmosphere with fewer distractions for students from the administrator taking notes on their performance during the assessment.
Each individual session consisted of an introduction by the administrator and a fluency and comprehension demonstration by the student. Once the session was finished, trained scorers evaluated the student's performance.