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NAEP Technical DOCUMENTATIONPrinting of Student Booklets and Questionnaires


Printed Materials for
Each Assessment

2019 Assessment

2018 Assessment

2017 Assessment

2016 Assessment

2015 Assessment

2014 Assessment

2013 Assessment

2012 Assessment

2011 Assessment

2010 Assessment

2009 Assessment

2008 Assessment

2007 Assessment

2006 Assessment

2005 Assessment

2004 Assessment

2003 Assessment

2002 Assessment

2001 Assessment

2000 Assessment

The first step in processing NAEP paper-based assessment materials is the printing of student booklets and questionnaires. Printing preparations begin with the design of the booklets, typically in the summer preceding the assessment. The design and development of digitally based student booklets and questionnaires is completed separately by the item development (ID) staff. 

Development of paper-based assessment booklets is a collaborative effort involving:

  • ID - responsible for developing both the items and the instruments (student booklets and questionnaires);
  • materials, distribution, processing, and scoring (MDPS) staff - responsible for coordinating the receipt of content from item development staff, reviewing and editing, combining approved blocks into booklets according to the book maps, preparing the student booklets and questionnaires for shipping, scanning the collected student booklets and questionnaires, and preparing the item responses that must be scored by professional scorers rather than by machine; and
  • sampling and data collection (SDC) staff - responsible for administering the test and collecting the data.

A primary goal early in planning is to design one format to use with all of the documents. This planning, including such details as designing of the paper booklet covers, is typically finalized several months before the assessment.

For student booklets with new items, the item development staff create camera-ready blocks of items electronically. These blocks are uploaded to NAEP's secure File Transfer Protocol (FTP) site. The MDPS staff download these files. A paper version of each block showing the page layout of text and artwork as it should appear in the printed student booklets is provided to the materials distribution staff. An internal review of each block, checking for layout of text and artwork, occurs upon receipt. 

Any errors, questions, and suggestions are sent to the ID staff for resolution. If minor, the changes are made by MDPS. If extensive changes are required, revisions are made by ID and the revised version of the entire block is sent to MDPS. After each block has passed quality control checking, the camera-ready block is sent to the MDPS printing facility.

Testing instruments that are intended to measure trends across assessment years are reprints of previously created testing instruments. The MDPS printing facility rescans a camera-ready copy from the prior assessment, updates the block name, and places the older cognitive materials in the current year's block template.

The actual "building" of student booklets and questionnaires begins after all blocks have been received, reviewed, and approved for a particular booklet, and the government's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has provided its approval to print. The ID staff supply booklet maps, which specify the order of blocks in each booklet. Using these booklet maps and actual printed booklets as guides, the MDPS printing facility assembles electronic components into complete booklets. Hard copy proofs are sent to the ID team and NCES for review and approval to print. After approval is received, the MDPS printing facility print the student booklets and questionnaries. Generally, five weeks elapse between the review of the booklet proofs, approval of the proofs, and the delivery of the printed booklets.  As booklets and forms are printed, the documents are sent to the MDPS secure warehouse where they will be bar coded and bundled for distribution to the SDC field staff.

Last updated 18 May 2023 (SK)