Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Map Assessments

The Greene County School System uses NWEA MAP assessments.  MAP assessments are computerized tests that are adaptive and used to measure a student’s progress or growth in school. MAP test keep track of a student's progress and growth in basic skills.  They let teachers know where a student's strengths are and if help is needed in any specific areas.  Teachers use this information to help them guide instruction in the classroom.

A Parent's Guide to NWEA Assessments
© 2011 Northwest Evaluation Association
NWEA - Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is NWEA?
    NWEATM is a global not-for –profit educational services organization with over 30 years experience developing adaptive assessments, professional development, and educational research.
  • Where can I learn more about NWEA?
    Visit the website
  • At Greene County Schools, which grades are being tested?
    We are presently testing all students in grades K-12.
  • What is the NWEA MAP Assessment?
    Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) – These computerized tests are adaptive and offered in Reading, Language Usage, and Mathematics.  When taking a MAP® test, the difficulty of each question is based on how well a student answers all the previous questions.  As the student answers correctly, questions become more difficult.  If the student answers incorrectly, the questions become easier.  In an optimal test, a student answers approximately half the items correctly and half incorrectly.  The final score is an estimate of the student’s achievement level.
  • MAP for Science
    This computerized adaptive test provides useful information about where a student is learning in two areas of science:  General Science and Concepts & Processes.
  • How long does it take to complete a test?
    Although the tests are not timed, it usually takes students about one hour to complete each MAP® test.  MAP® for Primary Grades tests take from about 15 to 30 minutes to complete.
  • When will my child be tested and how often?
    Districts have the option of testing their students up to four times a year.  Districts typically test students at the beginning of the school year in the fall and at the end of the school year in the spring.  Some districts may also choose to test students in the summer.  At Greene County Schools, we test one time in the fall (beginning of school year), one time in the winter (January), and one time in the spring (end of school year).
  • Do all students in the same grade take the same test?
    No. MAP® assessments are designed to target a student’s academic performance in mathematics, reading, language usage, and science.  These tests are tailored to an individual’s current achievement level.  This gives each student a fair opportunity to show what he are she knows and can do.  If a school uses MAP® assessments, the computer adjusts the difficulty of the questions so that each student takes a unique test.  If a school uses ALT, there may be four or five different levels of tests given in a single classroom.
  • What are NWEA assessments used for?
    MAP® assessments are used to measure your student’s progress or growth in school.  You may have a chart in your home on which you mark your child’s height at certain times, such as on his or her birthday.  This is a growth chart.  It shows how much he or she has grown form one year to the next.  MAP® assessments do the same sort of thing, except they measure your child’s growth in mathematics, reading, language usage, and science skills.  The scale used to measure your child’s progress is called the RIT scale (Rasch unIT).  The RIT scale is an equal-interval scale much like feet and inches on a yardstick.  It is used to chart your child’s academic growth from year to year.
  • How do teachers us the test scores?
    MAP® tests are important to teachers because they keep track of progress and growth in basic skills.  They let teachers know where a student’s strengths are and if help is needed in any specific areas.  Teachers use this information to help them guide instruction in the classroom.


  • Tips for Parents
  • What are some ways that I can help my child prepare for this test?
      Meet with your child’s teacher as often as needed to discuss his or her progress.  Ask the teacher to suggest activities for you and your child to do at home to help prepare for tests and improve your child’s understanding of schoolwork.  Parents and teachers working together benefits students.
      Provide a quiet, comfortable place for studying at home.
     *   Make sure that your child is well rested on school days and especially the day of a test.  Children who are tired are less able to pay attention in class or to handle the demands of a test.
     *   Give you child a well-rounded diet.  A healthy body leads to a healthy, active mind.
     *   Provide books and magazines for your child to read at home.  By reading new materials, a child learns new words that might appear on a test.  Ask your child’s school about a suggested outside reading list or get suggestions form the public library.

  • What are some ways I can help my child with language?
      Talk to your child and encourage him or her to engage in conversation during family activities.
      Give a journal or diary as a gift.
     *   Help your child write a letter to a friend or family member.  Offer assistance with correct grammar usage and content.
     *   Have a “word of the week” that is defined every Monday.  Encourage your child to use the new word throughout the week.
      Plan a special snack or meal and have your child write the menu.
     *   After finishing a chapter book or a magazine article, have you child explain his or her favorite event.

  • What are some ways I can help my child with reading?
      Provide many opportunities for your child to read books or other materials.  Children learn to read best when they have books and other reading materials at home and plenty of chances to read.  Read aloud to your child.  Research shows that this is the most important activity that parents can do to increase their child’s chance of reading success.  Keep reading aloud even when your child can read independently.
      Make time for the library.
     *   Play games like Scrabble®, Spill and SpellTM, Scattergories®, and BalderdashTM together.
     *   Follow your child’s interest-find fiction and nonfiction books that tie into this interest.  There are several third-party website links to generate booklists for students along with some additional features.
      Work crossword puzzles with your child.
     *   Give a magazine subscription for a gift.
  • What are some ways I can help my child with math?
      Spend time with kids on simple board games, puzzles, and activities that encourage better attitudes and stronger mathematics skills.  Even everyday activities such as playing with toys in a sandbox or in a tub at bath time can teach children mathematics concepts such as weight, density, and volume.  Check your television listings for shows that can reinforce mathematics skills in a practical and fun way.
      Encourage children to solve problems.  Provide assistance, but let them figure it out themselves.  Problem solving is a lifetime skill.
     *   Point out ways that people use mathematics ever day to pay bills, balance their checkbooks, figure out their net earnings, make change, and how to tip at restaurants.  Involve older children  in projects that incorporate geometric and algebraic concepts such as planting a guarding, building a bookshelf, or figuring how long it will take to drive to your family vacation destination.
     *   Children should learn to read and interpret charts and graphs such as those found in daily newspapers.  Collecting and analyzing data will help your child draw conclusions and become discriminating readers of numerical information.