MAP Test Guidance Guide
WHAT IS MAP TESTING? MAP stands for Measures of Academic Progress.
MAP is a three-part test that measures student knowledge in reading and mathematics. All students in grades K – 8 will be taking the MAP every year in the fall, winter, and spring.
WHAT IS IT FOR? The MAP measures your child’s academic progress or growth. By having precise measurement of student achievement, teachers and others are able to monitor academic progress. This testing keeps you informed on the progress of your child in basic skill areas.
WHAT DO THE TESTS COVER? Each Measure of Academic Progress is made up of parts, which are called goals. These goals are closely aligned to reflect progress toward the standards. Below is a listing of the goal areas for each test.
- Word meaning
- Literal comprehension
- Interpretive comprehension
- Evaluative comprehension
- Problem solving and reasoning
- Number sense and operations
- Algebraic concepts, processes, patterns, relations, functions
- Data analysis, probability, and statistics
The Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) use scores to measure growth in each of the three academic areas tested. Scores depend on two things: how many questions are answered correctly and the difficulty of each question. When you, your child and your child’s teacher look at MAP results, it may become apparent that certain goal areas need more attention than others.
DO ALL STUDENTS TAKE THE SAME TEST? Yes and no. The computerized tests are leveled to meet the needs of children at each grade level. Then within the grade level, the tests are again adjusted to match a student’s current level of achievement. Although every test has questions covering the same goal area, not every test has the same questions, and the test questions vary in difficulty. In a computerized adaptive test, the difficulty of the test is adjusted to the student’s performance so each student sees different test questions. The difficulty of each question is based on how well the student has answered the questions up to that point. As the student answers correctly, the questions become more difficult. If the students answer incorrectly, the questions become easier. Prior to the testing, students in each class will receive an explanation of how to do the testing and why we are testing, and how the results will be used.
HOW IMPORTANT IS THE MAP TESTING? The MAP testing is very important because it measures the growth of your child in essential skills. If a child needs help, we know exactly what skills on which to focus. Because we test in the fall, winter, and in spring with the MAP, we have a picture of a student’s progress during that year in each of the goal areas. These tests will also give a long-range picture of a student’s learning as they progress through the grades.
HOW SHOULD MY CHILD GET READY FOR THE MAP TEST? The best preparation is to keep in mind that school is important every day of the year, not just on test days. Let your child know that you expect and appreciate hard work. During the days just before the testing try to make sure your child gets plenty of rest. Getting up and off to school with plenty of time to spare on test day helps, as well as a good breakfast. Test-taking should be taken seriously, but you can help by not pushing the seriousness all the way to test anxiety. We hope that you and your child will see testing as an opportunity to focus on academic strengths and set new goals.
HOW DO I READ THE RESULTS? Reading the results is fairly straightforward. After each test administration, you will receive a Parent Report showing your child’s score in each subject. The RIT score is a measure of the difficulty of the material with which your child has been successful. Further, the Parent Report indicates whether your child’s achievement is high, average, or low in each of the goal areas. Over time you will be able to keep track of your child’s RIT scores (academic growth) the same way many people make marks on a chart to record a child’s height. The best use of results will occur through collaboration among you, your child, and your child’s teacher(s).