National Average Scores

Overall Score Results
Average reading score of fourth-grade students in 2017 not significantly different compared to 2015

The average reading score for fourth-grade students in 2017 was not significantly different compared to 2015, the previous assessment year; however, the 2017 average score was higher in comparison to the first reading assessment in 1992. Average scores are reported on the NAEP reading scale that ranges from 0─500.

The chart below shows the trend in average reading scores beginning in 1992 and the cut scores indicating the lower end of the score range for each NAEP achievement level: Basic, Proficient, and Advanced. Read a description of each achievement level by clicking the question mark icons. Read more about how NAEP achievement levels are set. Please note, achievement levels are to be used on a trial basis and should be interpreted and used with caution.

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Scores by Percentile
Lower-performing fourth-grade students scored lower in reading in 2017 compared to 2015

NAEP scores are reported at five selected percentiles to show the progress made by lower- (10th and 25th percentiles), middle- (50th percentile), and higher- (75th and 90th percentiles) performing students. In comparison to 2015, the 2017 reading scores were significantly lower for fourth-grade students at the 10th and 25th percentiles. In comparison to 1992, however, reading scores were higher in 2017 for students at all the selected percentiles with one exception: the score for lower-performing students at the 10th percentile was not significantly different from 1992.

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