MAP Testing – Measures of Academic Progress
Over the next two weeks, if your student is in grades 2*- 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, Reading, and Math, but is different from most other standardized tests.
The MAP test is computerized and adaptive; as students take the tests, the program feeds them either more challenging or more accessible questions, depending on their performance on earlier questions. In addition, the algorithm is designed to find a student’s strengths and challenges in the subject area.
When we administered the test last spring, I recall 8th graders lamenting that it was the most challenging test they had ever taken, and they thought they must have failed. But, it turns out, those same students scored above the 90th percentile. The test was hard because it worked to stretch them, feeding them questions meant for 10th and 11th grade students.
While the MAP test will benchmark students to other students across the country, that is not the emphasis. Instead, the test provides data for teachers, parents, and students alike that will help leverage strengths and fill gaps. Each teacher receives a report on their class and individual students to assess their competency in a subject area. In addition, parents receive a report on their child that offers suggestions for improvement and links to resources that will spur academic growth.
Compared to other standardized tests which would take a week or more of instructional time to complete, the MAP test is not timed and takes approximately 50-70 minutes (some students are done in 45 minutes, others take 80) per subject area to complete. Therefore it is less intrusive to our instructional day.
We look forward to sharing the information gathered from the MAP test as we move into the year and share your child’s results during conferences.
For more information on the MAP test, please click here.
*This is the first year we are testing 2nd graders. They will only be taking the reading portion of the test – it will last between 45 and 75 minutes.