MAP Testing

MAP® Testing
Information is based on the NWEA Parent Toolkit

MAP® stands for Measures of Academic Progress. It is an assessment created by NWEA—Northwest Evaluation Association—a global not-for-profit educational services organization based in Oregon, USA.
Students in grades 3 through 10 take the Reading, Language Usage, and Math assessments.
Brent tests students at the beginning of the school year in fall and at the end of the school year in spring.
The tests are not timed, but it usually takes students about one hour to complete each of the three MAP® tests.
No. MAP® assessments are designed to target a student’s academic performance in reading, language usage, and math. 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. The computer adjusts the difficulty of the questions so that each student takes a unique test based on their instructional level.
Questions are multiple choice, and completed on a computer. 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 an estimate of the student’s achievement level.
MAP® tests are important to teachers because they keep track of progress and growth in basic skills. The results 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.
MAP® assessments are used to measure your student’s progress or growth in school. You may have a growth chart in your home on which you mark your child’s height at certain times. It shows how much growth has happened from one year to the next. MAP® assessments do the same sort of thing, except they measure your child’s growth in reading, language usage, and math. The scale used to measure the progress is called the RIT scale (Rasch unIT). The RIT scale 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. Equal interval means that the difference between scores is the same regardless of whether a student is at the top, bottom, or middle of the RIT scale, and it has the same meaning regardless of grade level.
Yes, however RIT scores typically increase over time. Younger students typically show more growth in one year than older students. Students who test above grade level often show less growth.

Sometimes RIT scores decline. Like adults, students have good and bad days and their test results can vary. Students’ attitudes toward the test can also affect their score. A test score that is lower than expected is not cause for immediate concern. It is not unusual, for example, for a student’s RIT score to be lower in the Fall after the summer vacation than it was in the Spring at the end of the previous school year.

Gauging growth over an extended period of time is the best measure of student learning when it comes to MAP® testing.

Since every child is different, so is every MAP® test. As a result, a study guide or practice exam is not available. Listed below, however, are some suggestions to help strengthen your child’s reading, language usage, and math skills:

Ways to help your child with reading
■ Provide many opportunities for your child to read books or other materials. Children learn to read best when they have books and other reading materials at home and plenty of chances to read. Read aloud to your child. Research shows that this is the most important activity that parents can do to increase their child’s chance of reading success. Keep reading aloud even when your child can read independently.
■ Make time for the library and/or book store.
■ Play games like Scrabble, Spill and Spell, Scattergories, and Balderdash together.
■ Follow your child’s interest–find fiction and nonfiction books that tie into this interest.
■ Work crossword puzzles with your child.
■ Give a magazine subscription for a gift.

Ways to help your child with language usage
■ Talk to your child and encourage him or her to engage in conversation during family activities.
■ Give a journal or diary as a gift.
■ Help your child write a letter to a friend or family member. Offer assistance with correct grammar usage and content.
■ Have a “word of the week” that is defined every Monday. Encourage your child to use the new word throughout the week.
■ Plan a special snack or meal and have your child write the menu.
■ After finishing a chapter in a book or a magazine article, have your child explain his or her favorite event.

Ways to help your child with mathematics
■ Spend time with kids on simple board games, puzzles, and activities that encourage stronger mathematics skills. Even everyday activities such as playing with toys in a sandbox or in a tub at bath time can teach children mathematics concepts such as weight, density, and volume. Check your television listings for shows that can reinforce mathematics skills in a practical and fun way.
■ Encourage children to solve problems. Provide assistance, but let them figure it out themselves. Problem solving is a lifetime skill.
■ The kitchen is filled with tasty opportunities to teach fractional measurements, such as doubling and dividing cookie recipes.
■ Point out ways that people use mathematics every day to pay bills, balance their checkbooks, figure out their net earnings, make change, and how to tip at restaurants. Involve older children in projects that incorporate geometric and algebraic concepts such as planting a garden, building a bookshelf, or figuring how long it will take to drive to your family vacation destination.
■ Children should learn to read and interpret charts and graphs such as those found in daily newspapers. Collecting and analyzing data will help your child draw conclusions and become discriminating readers of numerical information.

Web Sites for Kids and Parents

■ Language Arts/Reading
■ Language Arts games, and more
■ Word Game of the Day
■ Vocabulary activities
■ Vocabulary builders


■ Math practice and activities
■ Interactive math games
■ Games for math, and more
■ Math
worksheets, flashcards, games
■ Ask Dr. Math
■ Math League help topics
■ Help for all subjects
District Average
The average RIT score for all students in the school district in the same grade who were tested at the same time as this student. Our District Average includes Brent Manila, Brent Baguio, and Brent Subic.

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. This includes all students, whether in public, private or international schools, who were tested at the same time.

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 or her grade. There is about a 68% 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.

The percentile rank is a normative statistic that indicates how well a student performed in comparison to the students in the norm group. A student’s percentile rank indicates that the student scored as well as, or better than, the percent of students in the norm group. In other words, a student with a percentile rank of 72 scored as well as, or better than, 72% of the students in the norm group.

Tests developed by NWEA use a scale called RIT to measure student achievement and growth. RIT stands for Rasch UnIT, which is a measurement scale developed to simplify the interpretation of test scores. The RIT score relates directly to the curriculum scale in each subject area. It is an equal-interval scale, like feet and inches, so scores can be added together to calculate accurate class or school averages. RIT scores range from about 100 to 280. Students typically start at the 180 to 200 level in the third grade and progress to the 220 to 260 level by high school. RIT scores make it possible to follow a student’s educational growth from year to year.