NWEA/MAP testing FAQ’s

Updated Spring, 2016

1. What is NWEA/MAP testing?

Beginning in 2015-16 school year, Saint Peter School is using the MAP (or Measures of Academic Progress) test. These tests are created by the Northwestern Education Association, or NWEA. Collectively the tests are referred to as the NWEA MAP tests.MAP tests are individualized measures of performance in reading, math and science. Tests are taken on the computer and the results help teachers, parents, and administrators improve learning for all students. Results help us make informed decisions that promote academic growth.

2. When are the tests given?

MAP  tests are given three times a year (fall, winter, and spring). In the 2015-16 school year we administering the tests in just the fall and spring.

3. How much time does the testing take?

Students in grades K2, 1, and 2 will take two tests, the MPG (Map Primary Grades) test.  Students usually complete each test in about 20-25 minutes.   Students in grades 3-8 will take three tests in the fall: MAP Literacy, MAP Reading, and MAP Math. Each of these tests takes 50 minutes.  In the spring a fourth test, Science, is being added.
K1 students are not participating in any testing.

4.How many questions are on the tests?

The test length varies by grade level, from 32 to 52 questions.

5. How are the tests given?

MAP tests are administered using Chromebooks. Grades K2 – 5 will take the tests on the Chromebooks in the Technology Center. Grades 6-8 will take the tests on their Chromebooks in their classrooms.  For each test there will be two teachers in the room. During the testing week, Chromebooks are set up with a special application which prevents students from exiting the testing environment.

6. What is an adaptive test?

MAP tests are adaptive, which means that the test is designed to target each student’s academic performance. The tests are tailored to each student’s current achievement level. Because the computer adjusts the difficulty level of the questions as the test progresses, each student takes a unique test.

7. Does every student take the same test?

No. MAP assessments are designed to measure individual student’s academic performance. Each test is unique, and the questions are based on the student responses and current achievement level. The computer adjusts the difficulty level of the questions as the test progresses. Because each test is unique, the results allow teachers to better assess student progress over the course of the year and determine where students may need additional instruction.

8. How do we use the results?

Teachers use the tests to measure student progress and growth. We can identify strengths and weaknesses to determine whether help is needed with a specific skill. The information helps teachers guide instruction in the classroom.

9. How are scores reported?

Since the primary purpose of the MAP testing is to provide a customizing learning approach for each student, scores are not reported directly to parents in the way they were with previous standardized testing.

However, teachers are always available to discuss with parents how the MAP assessments are influencing their child’s learning program at Saint Peter.

10. What happens if my child feels they did not do well on the MAP test?

Keep in mind that the MAP tests are just one of the tools teachers use to measure student progress. Teachers use this information, together with class performance, results of benchmark screenings, state test results, and parent input to determine whether or not a student needs extra help or enrichment. No single measure is ever used to make programming decisions.

10. Why are the tests given three times a year?

MAP tests are given three times a year to measure student progress over time. The fall results help determine strengths and weaknesses and curricular areas in need of focus. The winter testing provides a “checkpoint ” to make sure that students are on target and lets us know if we need to make mid-term adjustments. Spring testing provides a measure of student progress over the course of the year.

Parent Resources

For extensive information and resources for parents about NWEA MAP tests, please visit the NWEA web site at http://www.nwea.org

NWEA Map Parent Toolkit: Parent Toolkit

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