Each NAEP student assessment booklet or digital test form includes contextual items, also known as the student questionnaire. The questionnaires appear in separately timed blocks of items in the assessment booklets and test forms. The items collect information on students’ demographic characteristics, classroom experiences, and educational support. Students' responses provide data that give context to NAEP results and allow researchers to examine factors associated with academic achievement. The data are also the basis for NAEP’s major reporting groups in conjunction with school records.
Students complete the questionnaires voluntarily, and their responses are kept confidential. Student names are never reported with their responses or with the other information collected by NAEP. To ensure a fully representative sample of students across the nation, NAEP makes testing accommodations available to students with disabilities (SD) and English learners (EL). One such accommodation available to EL students is a bilingual version of the questionnaire for the NAEP mathematics and science assessments. For more information on the accommodations NAEP provides, see SD/EL Questionnaire.
Each student questionnaire includes three types of contextual items:
General student reporting categories: Student responses to contextual items are used to collect information about factors such as race or ethnicity, gender, and parents’ education level. Answers on the questionnaires also provide information about factors associated with academic performance, including homework habits, the language spoken in the home, and the quantity of reading materials in the home.
Other contextual information: These contextual items focus on students’ educational settings and experiences, and collect information about students’ attendance (days absent), family discourse (talking about school at home), reading load (pages read per day), and exposure to English in the home. There are also items that ask about students’ effort on the assessment, and the perceived difficulty and importance of the assessment. Answers on the questionnaires provide information on how aspects of education and educational resources are distributed among different groups. Policy-related questions are reserved for the teacher and school questionnaires.
Subject-specific information: In most NAEP administrations, these items cover three categories of information: time spent studying the subject; instructional experiences in the subject; and motivation and perceptions about the subject and the assessment.
The content and format of student questionnaires differ slightly from year to year and depend on what grade level and subject area are being assessed. The table below includes links to student questionnaires administered between 2000 and 2017. For more information on how items are developed for the student questionnaire and how the resulting data are used and analyzed, see NAEP Questionnaires for Students, Teachers, and School Administrators.
|Subject area||Grade 4||Grade 8||Grade 12|
|Arts - Visual arts (2008)||†||X||†|
|Arts - Music (2008)||†||X||†|
|Mathematics in Puerto Rico (2017)||X||X||†|
|Mathematics in Puerto Rico (2015)||—||—||†|
|Mathematics in Puerto Rico (2013)||—||—||†|
|Mathematics in Puerto Rico (2011)||—||—||†|
|Technology and engineering literacy (2014)||†||X||†|
|U.S. history (2014)||†||X||†|
|U.S. history (2010)||X||X||X|
|U.S. history (2006)||X||X||X|
|U.S. history (2001)||X||X||X|
| — Not available in electronic format.|
† Not applicable. Assessment not given at all grades.
NOTE: Only questionnaires for operational assessments are included in this table.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), various years, 2000–2017 Assessments.