Explore Results for the 2019 NAEP Mathematics Assessment

In 2019, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) mathematics assessment was administered to representative samples of fourth- and eighth-grade students in the nation, states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools, and 27 participating large urban districts. The assessment was delivered on digital devices and assessed students’ knowledge and skills in mathematics and their ability to solve problems in mathematical and real-world contexts. Students also answered survey questions asking about their opportunities to learn about and engage in mathematics inside and outside of school.

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.

The average score of 241 in 2019 at grade 4 was 1 point higher than the average score of 240 in 2017.
  The 2017 score is significantly different from the score in 2019. The average score of 241 in 2019
  at grade 4 was 27 points higher than the average score of 213 in 1990, the first year of the
  mathematics assessment. The 1990 score is significantly different from the score in 2019.

  The average score 282 in 2019 at grade 8 was 1 point lower than the score of 283 in 2017. The 2017
  score is significantly different from the score in 2019. The average score of 282 in 2019 at grade 8
  was 19 points higher than the average score of 263 in 1990, the first year of the mathematics
  assessment. The 1990 score is significantly different from the score in 2019.
* Significantly different (p < .05) from 2019.
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A summary of the results from the 2019 mathematics assessment can be found in the Report Card Highlights.

Detailed Mathematics Assessment Results
About the Mathematics Assessment

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 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.
Assessment Design and Administration:
  • 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 Story of NAEP

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.

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