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Information About the 2005 Science Assessment

The NAEP science assessment presents a broad view of how well America's students understand and can use scientific knowledge and skills. The assessment was developed and reviewed by a committee of science and measurement experts to capture the goals of the 2005 science framework. The National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), through a comprehensive national process involving science teachers, researchers, measurement experts, policymakers, and members of the general public, created the framework, which describes the goals of the assessment and the kinds of exercises it ought to feature. The Science Development Committee was instrumental in the development of the assessment.

Students in more than 15,800 schools participated in the 2005 science assessment. Nationally representative samples of more than 147,000 fourth-grade, 143,000 eighth-grade, and 13,000 twelfth-grade students participated in the assessment from January to early April 2005. Results for students in grades 4, 8, and 12 at the national level and in grades 4 and 8 at the state level are reported on this site.  As state participation in the NAEP science assessment is voluntary, assessment results are available for 44 states and the Department of Defense schools. Results for the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) in science at grades 4 and 8 will be available later this year. Ten urban school districts participated in the TUDA in science. Read more about who took the science assessment.

The science assessment consisted of both multiple-choice and constructed-response questions. Students answered questions classified in three major fields of science: Earth science, life science, and physical science. In addition, the NAEP science assessment included hands-on tasks. These performance tasks required students to conduct experiments using materials provided to them. Read more about the importance of performance tasks in the science framework. To understand what these experiments are like, see examples that were released from the 1996 science assessment:

Find out more about what the science assessment measures, and read the descriptions of each of the three major fields of science and three characteristic elements of knowing and doing science. Read more about how the assessment was developed, including information about the process used to score constructed-response questions. NAEP science scores are reported on a separate 0–300 scale for each of the three grades assessed. Beginning in 1996 at the national level, and in 2000 at the state level, administration procedures were introduced that allowed the use of accommodations for students who needed them. In addition to allowing for accommodations, the 1996 and 2000 national results at grades 4 and 8 may differ slightly from those previously reported due to changes in the sample weighting procedures. Read more about the NAEP science assessment and the science scale

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