How Did Students Perform in Mathematics?
In 2019, average mathematics scores for the nation were higher by 1 point at fourth-grade and lower by 1 point at eighth-grade compared to scores in 2017. Average scores were higher at both grades compared to the first assessment in 1990.
A summary of the results from the 2019 mathematics assessment can be found in the Report Card Highlights.
More detailed mathematics assessment results are available throughout this Report Card.
How NAEP Assesses Mathematics
The NAEP mathematics assessment measures students' knowledge and skills in mathematics and students' ability to apply their knowledge in problem-solving situations.
- The NAEP mathematics assessment framework specifies the five broad areas of mathematics that describe the full spectrum of mathematical content assessed by NAEP: number properties and operations; measurement; geometry; data analysis, statistics, and probability; and algebra.
- The assessment was administered as a digitally based assessment on tablets with attached keyboards. Some questions included digital tools, such as an onscreen calculator or a virtual scratchpad.
- The assessment included multiple-choice and constructed-response questions. Short constructed-response questions required students to provide answers to computation problems or to describe solutions in one or two sentences. Extended constructed-response questions required students to give longer responses.
- The mathematics assessment was administered between January and March of 2019.
- Approximately 149,500 fourth-graders from 8,280 schools and 147,400 eighth-graders from 6,960 schools across the nation participated in 2019.
- Total cognitive testing time per student was 60 minutes.
- Survey questionnaires were administered to students, teachers, and school administrators.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is a continuing and nationally representative measure of trends in academic achievement of U.S. elementary and secondary students in various subjects. It is the largest continuing and nationally representative assessment of what our nation's students know and can do in select subjects. It was first administered in 1969 to measure student achievement nationally. Teachers, principals, parents, policymakers, and researchers all use NAEP results to assess progress and develop ways to improve education in the United States.