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What is MAP testing?

(taken from the NWEA website's Parent Toolkit document)

MAP was introduced to students in grades 3-5 during the 2005-2006 school year.  2nd grade students now also participate.  MAP, or the Measure of Academic Progress, is a computerized adaptive test which helps teachers, parents, and administrators improve learning for all students and make informed decisions to promote a child's academic growth.

When will my student be tested and how often?

During the first weeks of school, students will participate in several MAP testing sessions to assess Reading, Mathematics, and Science.  When taking the 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.  Although the tests are not timed, it usually takes students about one hour to complete each test.  Students will repeat the tests two more times during the year to continually assess student progress and adapt learning as needed.

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

No.  This assessment is designed to target a student's academic performance in mathematics, reading, and science.  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.  Because the computer adjusts the difficulty of the questions as the test progresses, each student takes a unique test. 

What are the MAP test results used for?

MAP is used to measure a student's progress or growth in school.  They are important to teachers because they let teachers know where a student's strengths are and if help is needed in any specific areas.  Teachers use this information to help them guide instruction in the classroom.

If you have ever used a growth chart in your home to show how much your child has grown from one year to the next, this will help you understand the scale MAP uses to measure your child's academic progress.  Called the RIT scale (Rasch unIT), it is an equal-interval scale much like feet and inches on a yardstick.  It is used to chart your child's academic growth from year to year.  RIT scores typically start at the 140 to 190 level in 3rd grade and progress to the 240 to 300 level by high school.

How can I help my child prepare for MAP testing?

  • Meet with your child's teacher as often as needed to discuss his or her progress.  Parents and teachers working together benefits your child.

  • Provide a comfortable, quiet place for studying at home.

  • Make sure that your child is well-rested on school days, especially the day of the test.  Children who are tired are less able to pay attention in class or to handle the demands of a test.

  •  Give your child a well-rounded diet.  A healthy body leads to a healthy, active mind.

  • Provide books and magazines for your child to read at home.  By reading new material, a child learns a new words that might appear on a test.  Ask your child's teacher or media specialist for a suggested outside reading list.

Where can I go for more information about MAP testing?

You can talk with your child's teacher, go directly to the NWEA website at http://www.nwea.org, or read the whole Parent's Toolkit document at Parent%20Toolkit1.pdf.


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