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Comparison of student performance on music multiple-choice questions administered in 1997 and 2008

Although the assessment questions administered in 2008 were selected from those used in the 1997 assessment, due to changes in scoring procedures and materials, the 2008 score results in music and visual arts could not be directly compared to the results in 1997.

In the 2008 arts assessment, the scoring guides for constructed-response questions, the sample questions and student responses used to train scorers, and the standardized training procedures were updated to reflect changes in training and scoring procedures that have been adapted for use across all NAEP assessments since 1997. In addition, because the student artwork used as training samples for visual arts in 1997 had degraded over time and because of differences in the availability of certain types of art supplies and tools between 1997 and 2008, new samples were developed for scoring students' responses to the creating questions in 2008.

However, since the scoring method for multiple-choice questions was the same in 1997 and 2008, direct comparisons could be made between the two years on results for these questions in music and visual arts. Because multiple-choice questions were only a portion of the assessment and only assessed certain types of topics in the responding process of music and visual arts, the changes in students' performance between 1997 and 2008 on these questions do not represent the performance changes for the constructed-response questions or the entire assessment.

For more information about how students performed, explore the music item map.

Percentage correct for multiple-choice questions in NAEP music at grade 8: 1997 and 2008
  Percent correct
Question description 1997  2008
     Overall 53 * 51
Identify directional contour of part of melodic phrase 79   77
Identify form of vocal music in a recording (musical excerpt 1) 78   76
Identify the type of instrumental ensemble performing an excerpt 75   71
Identify form of musical examples as theme and variations 64   64
Identify a bass clef symbol 63   62
Identify pitch contour of melody in a recording 63 * 56
Identify saxophone as instrument playing melody 66 * 56
Identify a half note in printed music 52   56
Identify a correct time signature for a piece of printed music 55   52
Select a line drawing reflective of the texture of an example of music 52   52
Identify the solo instrument beginning "Rhapsody in Blue" 52   50
Identify form of vocal music in a recording (musical excerpt 2) 60 * 49
Identify an appropriate texture drawing for a homophonic excerpt 51   48
Identify term best describing the texture 47   47
Identify an appropriate description of the texture of a recorded excerpt 50 * 44
Identify correct time signature for recorded excerpt 42   43
Identify the name of a pitch shown in the treble clef 42   41
Identify an octave interval in a printed score 37   38
Identify the term for fermata symbol 38 * 33
Identify which voices enter first in a choral excerpt 32   28
Identify the quality of a triad in a printed score 15 * 21
* Significantly different (p < .05) from 2008.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 1997 and 2008 Arts Assessments.

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