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NAEP Technical DocumentationPrinting of Student Booklets and Questionnaires


Printed Materials for
Each 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 staff.  

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

  • item development, responsible for the development of both the items and the instruments (student booklets and questionnaires);
  • materials distribution staff, responsible for coordinating the receipt of content from item development staff, review 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
  • data collection 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 the design 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 materials distribution 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, happens upon receipt. 

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

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

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

Last updated 04 November 2022 (SK)