NOTE: In 2018, the digitally based NAEP geography assessment was administered for the first time. The 2018 geography report includes results from students who took the digitally based assessment (DBA) and students who took the paper-based assessment (PBA). For more information, see the About page
. The NAEP geography scale ranges from 0 to 500. Accommodations were not permitted in the NAEP geography assessment prior to 2001 at grade 8. Results are not shown for data points where the sample sizes are insufficient to permit a reliable estimate or where data are not available. Black includes African American, and Hispanic includes Latino. Race categories exclude Hispanic origin. In compliance with new standards from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget for collecting and reporting data on race/ethnicity, additional information was collected beginning in 2011 so that results could be reported separately for Asian students and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students. Students who identified with two or more of the racial/ethnic groups (e.g., White and Black) would have been classified as "other" and reported as part of the "unclassified" category prior to 2011, and classified as "Two or More Races" in 2011 and later assessment years. Results for these students are presented under the "Two or More Races" category in the graphics and tables in the report. Trend results for "White," "Black," "Hispanic," "Asian/Pacific Islander," and "Two or More Races" presented in this report are based on the 6-category race/ethnicity variable with data available starting in 1990s. For the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) eligibility category, results have been reported since 2010 when the quality of the data on students' eligibility for the program improved. Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, states could additionally categorize students as eligible for NSLP by including them in their Community Eligibility Provision; therefore, the percentage of students categorized as eligible may have increased in comparison to 2010 due in part to this provision. Readers should interpret NSLP trend results with caution. The information about â€œEligibility for NSLPâ€ variable is based on available school records. If school records were not available, the student was classified as "Information not available." If the school did not participate in the program, all students in that school were classified as â€œInformation not available.â€ The category â€œstudents with disabilitiesâ€ includes students identified as having either an Individualized Education Program or protection under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The results for students with disabilities and English language learners are based on students who were assessed and cannot be generalized to the total population of such students. See more information about student group variables
. Although the estimates (e.g., average scores or percentages) are shown as rounded numbers in the charts, the positions of the data points in the graphics are based on the unrounded numbers. Unrounded numbers were used for calculating the differences between the estimates and for the statistical comparison test when the estimates were compared to each other. Not all apparent differences between estimates are statistically significant.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), various years, 1994â€“2018 Geography Assessments.
In 2018, the average geography scores for eighth-grade students were 3 points lower in the Space and Place content area and 4 points lower in the Environment and Society content area compared to 2014.
In comparison to 1994, the average geography score for eighth-grade students was 5 points lower in Environment and Society in 2018, while the average scores for the other two content areas did not change significantly.
In addition to the overall composite average score, NAEP geography results are also reported for the subscale average scores by three content areas: Space and Place, Environment and Society, and Spatial Dynamics and Connections. The NAEP geography framework provides the basis for constructing subscales in geography. The subscales are combined into a composite scale used to describe the overall attainment of students in geography. Because subscales were developed separately for each content area, comparisons cannot be made from one subscale to another. Learn more about what the geography content areas measured.