Explore Results for the 2022 NAEP Reading Assessment

In 2022, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading 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 26 participating large urban districts The reading assessment at grade 12 was last administered nationally in 2019. The 2022 reading assessment included literary and informational texts to assess students' reading comprehension skills. Students also answered survey questions about their opportunities to learn and their engagement with reading in and outside of school.

How Did Students Perform in Reading?

In 2022, average reading scores were lower for both fourth- and eighth-grade students compared to 2019: scores were lower by 3 point at both grades. Average scores at both grades were not significantly different in comparison to the first reading assessment in 1992.

Read the 2022 Highlights for Grades 4 and 8

Figure Trend in fourth-grade reading average scores
Display As
Scalescore0220240260280500Assessment Year1992199419982000200220032005200720092011201320152017201920220
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Detailed reading assessment results

About the reading assessment

The NAEP reading assessment framework defines reading as a dynamic cognitive process that involves understanding written text, developing and interpreting meaning, and using meaning appropriately for text type and purpose.

  • The NAEP reading framework specifies the use of literary and informational texts to measure students' comprehension skills. The proportion of literary and informational texts varies by grade, with a greater proportion of literary texts at grade 4 and a greater proportion of informational texts at grade 12.
  • Students read grade-appropriate texts reflecting many content areas and respond to both selected-response and constructed-response questions about the texts they read. By design, the texts used in the assessment require interpretive and critical skills. The reading skills assessed are those that students use in all subject areas in school as well as in their out-of-school reading. Learn more about the NAEP reading framework.
Figure Assessment design and administration information in the NAEP reading assessment: 2019 and 2022
Grade 4Grade 8Grade 12
Assessment periodJanuary to March 2022January to March 2022January to March 2019
Student participation108,200111,30026,700
School participation5,7805,1901,780
Cognitive testing time60 minutes60 minutes60 minutes
Reported resultsBased on student performance on digitally based assessmentBased on student performance on digitally based assessmentBased on combined student performance on paper-based assessment and digitally based assessment
Survey questionnairesAdministered to students, teachers, and school administratorsAdministered to students, teachers, and school administratorsAdministered to students and school administrators

NAEP as an indicator of academic preparedness

Grade 12 is a critical transition point for most American students. Since NAEP is the only source of nationally representative results of twelfth-grade student achievement, the National Assessment Governing Board (the Governing Board) has been conducting research on the potential of NAEP at grade 12 to serve as an indicator of academic preparedness for college. The research results to date support inferences about NAEP performance and academic preparedness for college at the national level. Read more about the Governing Board's preparedness research.

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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