Growth Testing


What is MAP?

You may be familiar with paper and pencil tests where all students are asked the same questions and spend a fixed amount of time taking the test. Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), created by Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), is different.  MAP is a computer adaptive test, which means every student gets a unique set of test questions based on responses to previous questions. As the student answers correctly, questions get harder. If the student answers incorrectly, the questions get easier. By the end of the test, most students will answer about half the questions correctly.


What does MAP measure?

MAP results are provided as a numerical RIT score. This score is used to measure a student’s achievement level at different times of the school year and compute growth. Think of this like marketing height on a growth chart. You can tell how tall your child is at various points in time and how much they have grown between one time and another.


What is a RIT score?

After each MAP test, students receive a RIT score. Think of the score as a student’s height. The score reflects the student’s academic knowledge, skills, and abilities like inches reflect height.


The RIT (Rasch Unit) scale is a stable, equal-interval scale, like feet and inches. Equal-interval means that a change of 10 RIT points indicates the same thing regardless of whether a student is at the top, bottom, or middle of the scale, and a RIT score has the same meaning regardless of grade level or age of the student. Scores over time can be compared to tell how much growth a student has made, similar to measuring height with a ruler.


How do schools and teachers use MAP scores?

NWEA provides many different reports to help schools and teachers use MAP information.  Schools, grade levels, and classes can be monitored to see how students are growing.


Our teachers can see the progress of individual students and of their class as a whole. Students with similar MAP scores are generally ready for instruction in similar skills and topics.  MAP also provides data around the typical growth for students who are in the same grade, subject, and have the same starting achievement level.  This data is often used to help students set goals and understand what they need to learn to achieve their goals.


Can MAP tell me if my child is working at grade level?

Just as a doctor has a chart showing the most common heights of people at certain ages, NWEA has put together charts showing the median RIT scores for students at various grade levels.  NWEA researchers examined the scores of millions of students to find the average scores for students in various grades.  Please note that MAP scores are just one data point that teachers use to determine how a student is performing.  Please discuss any questions that you have about your child’s performance with your child’s teacher.


What subjects are available with MAP?

We use MAP tests for grades 2 – 8 in reading, language usage, and mathematics. A science test is also available, but we do not use it. There are also Primary Grades tests for grades K – 2 in reading and mathematics.  


How long is a MAP test?

Tests are not timed, and students may take as much time as they need to complete them.  Most students take less than an hour to complete a MAP test.  MPG tests typically last a shorter time.


How often will my child take MPA tests?

Christ’s Greenfield gives MAP tests to students at the beginning, middle, and end of the school year.


Is MAP a standardized test?  How is it different from “high-stakes” or state tests?

Most state or high-stakes tests are called summative tests.  They measure what students already know, based on what is expected at their grade level, and are typically given at the end of the school year as a way to measure grade-level proficiency.


MAP tests are interim tests.  This means they may be given periodically during the year.  MAP is based on the same standards as the summative tests so they measure similar content.  Teachers receive immediate results with MAP that show what students know and what they are ready to learn.  The results can be used to help personalize lessons at the appropriate level for the students.


What type of questions are on MAP tests? Are there sample tests?

The MAP tests include multiple choice, drag and drop, and other types of questions.


Are MAP tests accessible?

Yes, NWEA is committed to making our tests accessible for all students.


What information will I receive from my child’s school?

Please contact your child’s school or teacher directly.