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Eighth Grade Science Performance (Score out of 300)

State Indicator S-7

This indicator represents the average score in science of each state’s eighth grade public school students on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The NAEP science assessment is a congressionally authorized measure of student performance that is conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics. The assessment measures students' knowledge and skills in science and their ability to apply that knowledge in the content areas of physical, life, and earth and space sciences. The NAEP assessment in science was updated in 2009 to keep pace with key developments in science. Because they are based on a new framework, results from assessments beginning in 2009 cannot be compared with those from previous science assessments. Student performance is presented in terms of average scores on a scale from 0 to 300.

Not all students participate in NAEP assessments; a sample of schools and students is selected to represent each participating state. Hundreds of thousands of students from several thousand schools across the nation typically participate in the NAEP science assessment. The results from the assessed students are combined to provide accurate estimates of the overall performance of students in the nation and in individual states and other jurisdictions. NAEP allows students with disabilities or limited English language proficiency to use certain accommodations (e.g., extra testing time or individual rather than group administration). All data presented here represent scores from tests taken with accommodations offered.

Data source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress.

  • 1st Quartile

  • 2nd Quartile

  • 3rd Quartile

  • 4th Quartile

  • No data


NA = not available.

NOTES: The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores are for public schools only. The national value for the United States is the reported value in the NAEP reports and does not include territories.

SOURCE: National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (various years), data as of January 2017.

Recommended Citation: National Science Board. “Eighth Grade Science Performance.” Science and Engineering Indicators: State Indicators. Alexandria, VA: National Science Foundation. Accessed on [date of user access].

Last updated: January 18, 2018