Nation's Report Card Home

Sample Questions

What vocabulary questions are used in the NAEP reading assessments?

Explore sample vocabulary questions from the 2009 and 2011 reading assessments, and see how they relate to student performance.


*To find sample vocabulary questions in the NAEP Questions Tool, begin by selecting the subject, Reading. Then refine your search by selecting “Multiple-choice” and “Integrate/Interpret.” The vocabulary questions are easy to identify by their descriptors, all of which begin with “Interpret word as used….” For example, “Interpret word as used in story” or “Interpret word as used in passage.”


Test Yourself in Vocabulary

Select one of the grade tabs below to try out vocabulary questions from the 2009 and 2011 NAEP reading assessments. After answering all the questions, select "submit" and compare your answers to those of students who took the assessment. Click on the annotated passage to gain insight into the reading passage and the questions associated with it.

Grade 4
Grade 8
Grade 12


 Grade 8 Sample Questions

Click to see the reading passage.

Question 1


On page 1, the author says that the Mint Snowball was her great-grandfather’s specialty. This means that the Mint Snowball was

A. a dessert her great-grandfather made only in the winter
B. the dessert her great-grandfather was known for
C. a dessert made of unusual ingredients
D. the dessert that was most expensive


Question 2


On page 1, the author says that her great-grandfather concocted something on the stove. This means that he

 A. mixed things together in a new way
 B. cooked ingredients at a high heat
 C. kept his cooking methods secret
D. preferred to work in the kitchen


Question 3


On page 2, the author says that when she thinks about the modern world, she feels wistful. This means the author

A. is sad because she wants things she cannot have
B. has become wiser now about knowing her limits
C. looks forward to exploring new environments
D. is uncertain about what the future holds


Question 4


On page 2, the author asks whether she can "find any lasting solace in the color green.”  This means that the author

 A. enjoys thinking about things that are green
B. thinks green will always be her favorite color
 C. wishes she lived in a place where green trees grew
 D. wonders if the color green will always comfort her


 Click here to submit your responses.