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 NAEP reading assessment measures the reading and comprehension skills of students in grades 4, 8, and 12 by asking them to read selected grade-appropriate passages and answer questions based on what they have read. The 2009 NAEP Reading Framework is based on the following definition of reading. Reading is an active and complex process that involves: understanding written text, developing and interpreting meaning, using meaning as appropriate to type of text, purpose, and situation.