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This guide was created as a resource to help you and your family better understand MAP and your child’s results.
1. What is MAP? MAP® is a computer adaptive test created by NWEA™ that kids take two to three times per school year. The results provide teachers with information to help them deliver appropriate content for each student and determine each student’s academic growth over time.
2. What does it mean to be computer adaptive? Computer adaptive tests adjust to each student’s learning level, providing a unique set of test questions based on their responses to previous questions. As the student responds to questions, the test responds to the student, adjusting up or down in difficulty.
3. What does MAP measure? MAP is used to measure a student’s performance level at different times of the school year and compute their academic growth.
4. What is a RIT score? After each MAP test, results are delivered in the form of a RIT score that reflects the student’s academic knowledge, skills, and abilities. Think of this score like marking height on a growth chart. You can tell how tall your child is at various points in time and how much they have grown between one stage and another. The RIT (Rasch Unit) scale is a stable, equal-interval scale. Equal-interval means that a change of 10 RIT points indicates the same thing regardless of whether a student is at the top, bottom, or middle of the scale, and a RIT score has the same meaning regardless of grade level or age of the student. You can compare scores over time to tell how much growth a student has made. You can find out more about the RIT scale here.
5. How do schools and teachers use MAP scores? MAP helps schools and teachers know what your child is ready to learn at any point in time. Teachers can see the progress of individual students and of their class as a whole. Principals and administrators can see the progress of a grade level, school, or the entire district. Since students with similar MAP scores are generally ready for instruction in similar skills and topics, it makes it easier for teachers to plan instruction. MAP also provides typical growth data for students who are in the same grade, subject, and have the same starting performance level. This data is often used to help students set goals and understand what they need to learn to achieve their goals.
6. Can MAP tell me if my child is working at grade level? Yes. Just as a doctor has a chart showing the most common heights of people at certain ages, NWEA researchers have examined the scores of millions of students and put together charts showing the median RIT scores for students at various grade levels. You can see a chart of these scores in the Comparative Data to Inform Instructional Decisions PDF.
Please note that MAP scores are just one data point that teachers use to determine how a student is performing. Please discuss any questions that you have about your child’s performance with your child’s teacher.