NAEP Achievement Levels
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NAEP Achievement Levels

Rich and Rigorous Standards

It is only by holding our nation’s students to high academic standards that we can expect them to develop the knowledge and skills they need to compete in today’s global economy. In the national conversation about education standards, NAEP has been a model for what high standards look like.


NAEP's Proficient achievement level denotes competency over challenging subject matter.

NAEP’s three achievement levels, Basic, Proficient, and Advanced, are measures of what students should know and be able to do. The Proficient achievement level is a benchmark for solid academic performance: Students reaching this level have demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter.

Learn more about how the Governing Board sets achievement levels for each subject and grade assessed on NAEP, and read the policy guiding this process.