Skip navigation

The Nation's Report Card

U.S. HISTORY Overall Results Results by Demographic Groups Sample Questions U.S. History Sample Questions Test Yourself Technical Notes Information for... Media Parents Educators Policymakers Researchers Resources About the Nation's Report Card Data Tools FAQ Contacts

Sample Questions in U.S. history


Test Yourself...then see how the students responded to the same questions on NAEP. The constructed-response question on this page measured analysis and interpretation skills for the theme of Culture. Students had to combine a close study of the picture with knowledge of the factors that motivated people to settle on the frontier in the 19th century. 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, 24 percent of fourth-graders were scored as having a "Complete" response. When only the students at the Proficient level are considered, 50 percent scored "Complete."

Grade 4 short constructed-response question. National percentage "complete" in 2006. 24% of all student responses were rated "complete." By achievement level, 5% of students Below Basic were scored as "complete." 25% of students at Basic were scored as "complete." 50% of students at Proficient were scored as "complete." Reporting standards at Advanced were not met. Sample size was insufficient to permit a reliable estimate. The sample constructed-response question is as follows: A black and white picture depicts a frontier with expansive land, mountain ranges, rivers and bodies of water, frontier people, log houses, a locomotive riding diagonally through the center of the frontier. Question text: Look carefully at the painting of a western town shown above. Describe three specific things you see in the painting that could have made people want to become settlers in the West. The following is an example of a "complete" response. The student responded to 1: There were trains so they could go places   The student responded to 2: There was lots of land for the kids to play in. The student responded to 3: There was long streams to get water from.

See more about this question in the NAEP Questions Tool.

View this question, at score 325, 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.

Download U.S. History Report Card Download U.S. History Report Card