The 2011 NAEP writing assessment is the first large-scale national assessment to measure students' writing using commonly available word-processing tools. National samples of 24,100 eighth-graders and 28,100 twelfth-graders responded to writing prompts designed to measure their ability to write for specified purposes (to persuade, to explain, or to convey experience) and audiences. A proficiency scale ranging from 0-300 with a mean of 150 was developed to report results for the new assessment.
Females outperform males at both grades
- At both grades 8 and 12, female students outperformed male students on the 2011 writing assessment.
- Female students scored 19 points higher on average than male students in 2011 at grade 8 and 14 points higher on average than male students at grade 12.
About one-quarter of students perform at or above the Proficient level in writing in 2011.
- Eighty percent of eighth-graders and 79 percent of twelfth-graders performed at or above the Basic level in writing in 2011.
- Twenty-seven percent of students at both grades 8 and 12 performed at or above the Proficient level in writing.
- Three percent of eighth- and twelfth-graders in 2011 performed at the Advanced level.
Performance varies by race/ethnicity
- At grade 8, average writing scores were higher for Asian students than for other racial/ethnic groups.
- At grade 12, average writing scores were not significantly different for White students, Asian students, and students of two or more races.
- At grade 12, scores were higher for White students, Asian students, and students of two or more races than for Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native students.
See all the average scores for students at grade 8 and grade 12.
See all the achievement-level results for students at grade 8 and grade 12.
Find out how to interpret NAEP writing results.
For more information, browse the report online or download a copy of the report.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2011 Writing Assessment.