Not So “Standardized’ Testing
Over the next two weeks, if your student is in grades 3-8, they will spend a few hours taking the NWEA MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) test. The MAP test is a “standardized” test in Language Arts and Math (and soon Science) like the ERB – but it is nothing like the ERB.
The first difference is how students take it. Instead of the test being a pencil and bubble form test that has students answer the same questions no matter what 4th grade class they are in the world, the MAP test is computerized and adaptive. As students take the tests, the program feeds them either more challenging or easier questions, depending on their performance on previous questions. The algorithm searches to find a student’s strengths and weaknesses in a subject area. All students are fed the same number of questions, but it is safe to say that out of the thousands of questions in the data bank, no student takes the same test.
The second major difference is that while the test will benchmark students to other students across the country, that is not the emphasis. The test provides data for teachers, parents, and students alike that will help leverage strengths and fill in gaps. Each teacher receives a report on their class as well as individual students to assess their competency in a subject area. Parents receive a report on their child that offers suggestions for improvement as well as links to resources that will spur academic growth.
Lastly, the test can be used at different times of the year to assess growth and pinpoint areas of need. Compared to the ERB, which would take three or four mornings of instructional time to complete, the MAP takes approximately 45 minutes per subject area to complete – making it not only more useful but less intrusive to our teaching day.
We look forward to sharing the information gathered from the MAP test as we move forward into next year.
For more information on the MAP test, please click here.