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Top Stories in NAEP Writing 2011

  • First NAEP computer-based assessment in writing
  • About 27 percent of students perform at or above the Proficient level at both grades
  • About 80 percent of students perform at or above the Basic level at both grades

  • Female students score higher than male students at both grades

See more about this innovative assessment

Explore the tools students used for this assessment

Dig Deeper into the Writing Results

Results from the new writing assessment provided information on eighth- and twelfth-graders’ ability to write on the computer for specific purposes and audiences, and on the extent to which they engaged in certain word processing actions when composing their writing.

The most common action a writer engages in is key presses. On the NAEP assessment, the number of key presses is the average number of key strokes that students made while completing their responses to the two writing prompts (including backspace and delete). It is not the number of words students wrote or the length of their responses. It is reasonable, however, to assume some relationship between the number of key presses and the length of the response. Number of key presses and length of response were not criteria used in evaluating students’ responses.

Female students outscored their male counterparts in writing across a variety of factors: explore the gender gap in the slides that follow.


SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2011 Writing Assessment.

Explore the 2011 Writing Report Card

  • 2011 Writing Report CardBrowse the report online and link to the full data for each figure.
  • Download a copy of the report to print or share.
  • Join the live webinar of the 2011 Writing Assessment results.
  • Read the statement from Jack Buckley, Commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics.
  • Read the National Assessment Governing Board's news release.
  • See the writing infographic.

Learn more about the writing results in this short video

writing video image of a girl and a computer

View the Writing Framework

The Writing Framework serves as the blueprint for the assessment, describing the specific Writing skills that should be assessed.

For more information, download the Writing Framework for the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress.