The NAEP mathematics assessment measures students' knowledge and skills in five broad content areas of mathematics (Number properties and operations; Measurement; Geometry; Data analysis, statistics, and probability; and Algebra) and their ability to apply their content area knowledge to problem-solving situations. The NAEP mathematics framework guides the content and development of the mathematics assessment at grades 4, 8, and 12. The assessments at grades 4 and 8 measure all five content areas. The grade 12 assessment measures four content areas; because most measurement topics suitable for twelfth-grade students are geometric in nature, geometry and measurement are combined into one content area.
As specified in the framework, questions are classified by mathematical subtopic which is used to determine the key concept or skill that should be measured within each content area. Questions are also classified by mathematical complexity which deals with what students are asked to do in a question. Each of the three levels of complexity―low, moderate, and high―describes the demands a question might make on a student's thinking. Read more about the NAEP mathematics assessment.
Student Performance on Mathematics Assessment Questions
To better understand students’ mathematics knowledge and skills across the content areas, student performance on samples of publicly released questions from the 2022 mathematics assessments at grades 4 and 8 are presented below. Each example contains a brief description of the item, the mathematics content area, and mathematics subtopic.
Student performance results are expressed as the average percent correct for each question in 2022 compared to performance on the same set of questions that were administered as part of the 2019 assessments. The declines in average overall mathematics scores at grades 4 and 8 in 2022 are reflected in average percent correct performance on the released sample assessment questions.
Additional NAEP Sample Question Resources
See the NAEP Questions Tool to learn more about the full set of released mathematics questions from the 2022 assessment (grades 4 and 8) and previous assessment years (grades 4, 8, and 12). The tool presents examples of students’ answers to constructed-response questions along with scorer comments; the percentage of students who answered each question correctly, and how students’ performance on a given question corresponds to their overall scores on the mathematics assessment.
Experience the mathematics digitally based assessment as students did
Try grade 4 mathematics questionsQuestions with an onscreen calculator availableQuestions with an onscreen calculator not available
Some sections of the mathematics assessment provided students with access to a calculator and some did not. The use of an onscreen calculator was available to students on approximately 30 percent of the test questions. To view these questions, you will need to use Chrome (48 or higher). The questions are best viewed at a zoom of 67 percent.
Review NAEP item maps
One way to understand the NAEP mathematics scale is by seeing the types of questions that students performing at different points on the scale are likely to answer correctly. See the 2022 item map with a range of comprehension skills demonstrated on the mathematics scale and within the score range for each NAEP achievement level.