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What is NWEA MAP?

Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping all children learn. NWEA provides assessments called Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) to improve teaching and learning.


FAMILY TOOLKIT - Please use this link for videos and helpful information about the MAP Assessment.

STUDENT RESOURCES - Please use this link for student resources to help them get acclimated with the testing format and expectations.


What does a MAP assessment look like?

MAP assessments are computerized adaptive tests that measure your child’s instructional level in math, reading and language usage. When taking a MAP test, the difficulty of each question is based on how well a student answers all the previous questions. As the student answers correctly, questions become more difficult. If the student answers incorrectly, the questions become easier. In an optimal test, a student answers approximately half the items correctly and half incorrectly. The final score is a reliable estimate of the student’s achievement level. Although MAP is not timed, it usually takes students about 45-60 minutes to complete each assessment.


Who takes the MAP test?

Students in grades K - 8 will take the MAP Assessment. MAP may also be used at other grade levels as an initial screener for High Ability Learner (HAL) identification and intervention monitoring.


When will students be assessed?

Students will take the assessment in the fall (September/October) and winter (January/February) and Spring (April/May).


Do all students in the same grade take the exact same test?

No. MAP assessments are designed to target a student’s academic performance in mathematics, reading, and language usage. These tests are tailored to an individual’s current achievement level. This gives each student a fair opportunity to show what he or she knows and can do.


What are the benefits of the MAP assessment?

MAP assessments support College and Career Readiness standards and also provide projections for other assessments such as the ACT. The results from MAP provide teachers with accurate and timely information to assist in their classroom instruction. Teachers may use the students instructional level information from a MAP assessment to monitor student learning and pinpoint areas for more specific and intense instruction as well as celebrate areas where significant growth has occurred.


What is a RIT score?

Once students have completed the MAP, they will receive their RIT score. Similar to measuring height on a yard-stick, the RIT scale is used to measure how “tall” a student is on the curriculum scale and scores can be compared to tell how much growth a student has made. The RIT score is one of the most important pieces of information on a student’s report. This score is independent of the age or grade of the student, and reflects the instructional level at which the student is currently performing.


When will I see how my child performed on the MAP?

Parents and students will receive a student performance report following each administration of the test.


Growth Over Time

We expect RIT scores to increase over time. Typically, younger students show more growth in one year than older students. Students who test above grade level often show less growth. Sometimes RIT scores may decline from one test to the next. One low test score is not cause for immediate concern. Like adults, students have good and bad days and their test results do not always indicate what they know and can do. Students' attitudes toward the test can also affect their score. Therefore, growth over time is a better measure of student learning. Our goal is to use the data to differentiate instruction, monitor student progress, and identify those students that could benefit from additional support and intervention so that all students in CLS can master rigorous academic expectations.


The Lexile Framework for Reading

After completing the MAP, students will also learn their Lexile range. A Lexile range is a score that helps identify reading material that is at an appropriate difficulty level for an individual student. Reading materials are written at a set Lexile level. Knowing your child’s Lexile range will help you identify materials that match his or her reading level. Keep in mind that Lexile does not evaluate genre, theme, content, or interest. Even though a student might be able to read books at a certain Lexile, the content or theme of the text may not be appropriate for that particular student because of his or her age or developmental level. Also, a student may be able to read more difficult content if it is an area of interest for that child since he or she may already be familiar with some of the vocabulary necessary to comprehend the text.


Examples of Sample Books

Green Eggs and Ham, Lexile = 30

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Lexile = 940

Pride and Prejudice, Lexile = 1100

Charlotte’s Web, Lexile = 680


Commonly Used Terms

Here are some other terms you will hear and use as you are talking with teachers and your children about MAP.


District Average

The average RIT score for all students in CLS in the same grade who were tested at the same time as your child.


Norm Group Average

The average score of students who were in the same grade and tested in the same term as observed in the latest NWEA norming study.


Percentile Range

Percentiles are used to compare one student’s performance to that of the norm group. Percentile means the student scored as well as, or better than, that percent of students taking the test in his/her grade. There is about a 68 percent chance that a student’s percentile ranking would fall within this range if the student tested again relatively soon.


Percentile Rank

This number indicates the percentage of students in the NWEA norm group for this grade that this student’s score equaled or exceeded.