Sample Questions

Civics Sample Questions

The civics assessment measures students' civics knowledge and skills that are critical to the responsibilities of citizenship in America. As specified in the NAEP civics framework, assessment questions address three interrelated components: (1) knowledge about government and civil society; (2) intellectual and participatory skills essential for informed, effective, and responsible citizenship; and (3) civic dispositions that contribute to the political efficacy of the individual, the healthy functioning of the political system, a sense of dignity and worth, and the common good. Learn more about the NAEP civics assessment.

Grade 8 Sample Questions

Questions from the 2018 NAEP civics assessment were not released to the public. However, samples of released civics questions from previous assessments, including how students performed on them, are presented below as examples of the types of questions given to students in the 2018 assessment. Each example contains a brief description of the question, the format type (selected response or constructed response), and the civic knowledge area (politics and government; American political system; roles of government; world affairs; roles of citizens). The percentage of students who answered a selected-response question correctly or who received full credit for their answer to a constructed-response question is also displayed.

Understands Congressional Veto Power
Multiple choice
American political system
50% Correct
Can Explain Citizen Involvement
Short constructed response
American political system
26% Complete
Knows Purpose of U.N.
Multiple choice
World affairs
69% Correct
Knows Difference Volunteers Make
Extended constructed response
Roles of citizens
13% Complete

A complete list of questions released from previous civics assessments is available in the NAEP Questions Tool.

Item Maps

One way to understand the NAEP civics scale is by seeing the types of questions that students performing at different points on the scale can likely answer correctly. See an item map with examples of questions that reflect the skills and knowledge demonstrated by students performing at different points on the civics scale within the score range for each NAEP achievement level.