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The Nation's Report Card

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Sample Questions in U.S. history


Test Yourself...then see how students responded to the same questions on NAEP. The constructed-response question on this page measured analysis and interpretation skills for the historical theme of Technology. Students could use the map provided to help them discuss the impact that the transcontinental railroad system had on the development of the western United States. Student responses were scored according to a 3-point scale as "Complete," "Partial," or "Inappropriate." The sample response below is an example of a "Complete" response.

Overall, 39 percent of eighth-graders' responses were rated "Complete." When only the students at the Proficient level are considered, 73 percent of responses were scored as "Complete."

Grade 8 short constructed-response. National percentage "complete" in 2006. 39% of all student responses were rated "complete." By achievement level, 13% of students Below Basic were scored as "complete." 46% of students at Basic were scored as "complete." 73% of students at Proficient were scored "complete." Reporting standards at Advanced were not met. Sample size was insufficient to permit a reliable estimate. The following question refers to a picture of a map with railroad tracks delineated across the map. The question: Describe two ways that the western United States changed after the transcontinental (or crosscounty) railroads were built. You can use the map to help you answer the question. The following is an example of a "complete" response. The student responded to 1: The western states became more populated. The student responded to 2: The western states had more trade. 

See more about this question in the NAEP Questions Tool.

View this question, at score 286, on a map of NAEP U.S. history items.

Find out what the U.S. history assessment measures.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2006 U.S. History Assessment.

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