Explore Results for the 2022 NAEP U.S. History Assessment

In 2022, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) U.S. history assessment was administered to a nationally representative sample of eighth-grade students. The assessment was delivered on tablets. It assessed students’ knowledge of U.S. history and historical thinking skills across four major themes: Change and Continuity in American Democracy (Democracy); The Gathering and Interactions of Peoples, Cultures, and Ideas (Culture); Economic and Technological Changes and Their Relationship to Society, Ideas, and the Environment (Technology); and The Changing Role of America in the World (World Role). Students also answered survey questions about their opportunities to learn and their engagement with U.S. history inside and outside of school.

How Did Students Perform in U.S. History?

In 2022, the average U.S. history score for eighth-grade students in the nation was 5 points lower compared to 2018. The 2022 average score was not significantly different compared to the first U.S. history assessment in 1994. Download a summary of the 2022 U.S. history results.

Read the Highlights

Figure Trend in eighth-grade U.S. history average scores

Display As
Scalescore0220230240250260270280500Assessment Year19942001200620102014201820220
NOTE: The NAEP U.S. history assessments at grade 8 were administered in 1994, 2001, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, and 2022.

Detailed U.S. History Assessment Results

More detailed U.S. history assessment results are available throughout this Report Card.

Assessment Results:

Average Scores

Student Group Scores and Score Gaps

Theme Scores

NAEP Achievement-Level Results

Sample Questions

Survey Questionnaires

About the U.S. history assessment

The NAEP U.S. history assessment measures students’ knowledge and understanding of U.S. history in all its complexity—its major themes, periods, events, people, ideas, turning points, movements, and historical sources. The assessment examines students’ understanding of chronology, differing perspectives across time, and their grasp of historical facts and contexts. The purpose of the assessment is to probe students’ knowledge of history as well as their ability to analyze how the past influences the present, to evaluate historical evidence, and to make sound generalizations and conclusions. Learn more about the NAEP U.S. history framework.

Assessment Design and Administration:

  • The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) administered the U.S. history assessment between January and March of 2022.
  • A nationally representative sample of approximately 8,000 eighth-graders from about 410 schools across the nation participated in 2022.
  • Students answered questions related to U.S. history for approximately 60 minutes.
  • The assessment included selected-response and constructed-response questions based on the U.S. history themes. Many questions in the assessment are based on visual or textual stimuli.
  • 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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