Average Scores

Overall Score Results
Lower average geography score for eighth-graders compared to 2014

In 2018, the average geography score for eighth-grade students was 3 points lower compared to 2014, the previous assessment year; the 2018 average score was not statistically different in comparison to the first geography assessment in 1994. The NAEP geography scale at grade 8 ranges from 0 to 500 (although student performance typically ranges from 220 to 300, representing the 10th and 90th percentiles, respectively). In 1994, the mean of the geography scale was set at 250 and the standard deviation at 50.

The chart below shows the trend in average geography scores beginning in 1994 and the cut scores indicating the lower end of the score range for each NAEP achievement level: NAEP Basic, NAEP Proficient, and NAEP Advanced. Read a description of each achievement level by clicking the question mark icons. Read more about NAEP achievement levels and how they are set.

Scroll down to see results by percentile.

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Scores by Percentile
Decrease in overall scores for lower-performing eighth-grade students compared to 2014

NAEP reports scores at five selected percentiles to show the progress made by lower- (10th and 25th percentiles), middle- (50th percentile), and higher- (75th and 90th percentiles) performing students. In 2018, overall geography scores were lower at both the 10th and 25th percentiles compared to 2014.

In comparison to 1994, geography scores declined in 2018 for higher-performing students at the 75th and 90th percentiles.

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