Mathematics: Higher- and Lower-Performing Students
Overall Percentile Scores
Higher scores at all selected percentiles compared to 1978; lower scores compared to 2012 for lower-performing students
NAEP scores are reported 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 comparison to 1978, the 2020 mathematics scores were higher for 9-year-old students at all selected percentiles. Compared to 2012, however, mathematics scores were lower for lower-performing students (i.e., those at the 10th and 25th percentiles).
Percentile Scores by Student Groups
Higher scores across all selected percentiles for racial/ethnic and gender groups compared to 1978
At all selected percentile levels, the 2020 scores for White, Black, and Hispanic 9-year-old students were higher compared to 1978. This was also true for both male and female 9-year-olds and for 9-year-old students in a grade below fourth grade and in grade 4 (the grade typical for their age).
In comparison to 2012, nine-year-old female students scored lower at all of the selected percentiles except for the 90th percentile. In addition, 9-year-olds at the grade typical for their age (fourth grade) performing at the 10th percentile scored lower in 2020.