The proficient achievement level is one of three NAEP achievement levels: basic, proficient, and advanced. Minimum cut-off scores are established for each achievement level by a standard setting process. The proficient achievement level represents solid academic performance for the grade level assessed.
The mathematics assessment was designed to measure students' knowledge of mathematics and their ability to apply that knowledge in problem-solving situations. The mathematics framework classifies assessment questions in two dimensions, content area and mathematical complexity, that are used to guide the assessment. Each question is designed to measure one of the five mathematics content areas: number properties and operations, measurement, geometry, data analysis, statistics, probability, and algebra. At grade 12, the measurement and geometry content areas are combined into one for reporting purposes to reflect the fact that the majority of measurement topics suitable for grade 12 students are geometric in nature. Items are also classified by mathematical complexity: low, moderate and high complexity.