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Last Updated: 20.01.10


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MAP is a computerized academic assessment started in District 15 in Spring 2007.  All children, grades 2-8, took the MAP test in Spring 2007 in all three subject areas (math, reading, language).  Students take the MAP test in the Fall and Spring of each academic year (and in some cases in the Winter as well) to assess instructional level and measure academic growth. 


Each subject area is an approximately one hour test on the computer for each child.  The results are quickly available to teachers and parents.  If your child has an "off" day with their MAP test, the test can be easily re-taken.


Your child's MAP scores are generally mailed to you or sent home in backpacks within a week after the MAP testing window closes.


Understanding MAP test scores

Performance vs. Growth

Parents and teachers generally want to know two things, when looking at test scores: 1) Is my student performing at, above or below the expectation for their grade level (academic performance), and 2) Is my student making progress (academic growth) during the school year? 


MAP test scores help answer both these questions, but can be difficult to understand at first. MAP test scores are different than other standardized testing scores, in that MAP uses "RIT" scores to place student's achievement into academic RIT bands that correspond roughly to grade levels. 



By looking at your student's RIT score, and comparing it to National Average RIT scores for that student's grade level, you can determine if your student is performing at, above or below the expectation for their grade level (academic performance).

Compare your child's RIT score to the National Average RIT score for his/her grade level

Example:  If your 2nd grader has a Math RIT score of 202 on their Spring MAP test, then your 2nd grader has the math achievement level of the average (mean) 3rd grader.


A percentile score is also given, which shows how your student compares to other students the same age.  If your student scores greater than 90% on the math portion of MAP, they may be eligible for Out-of-Level math instruction.


It is important, although sometimes difficult, to understand academic growth, because it is important for students to continue to learn, even if their performance is above grade level.  For students that are below grade level, they may be making significant progress, even if they haven't "caught up" yet.


MAP scores can be used to measure academic growth, and whether growth is faster or slower than the "mean" growth for that grade level.  It is important to compare year-to-year growth numbers (i.e. Spring-to-Spring is the best comparison). If your child is above or below grade level performance, it is important to look at the growth numbers for that grade level.

Compare your child's RIT growth to the National Average growth for his/her grade level.

Example:  If your student had a mean Math RIT score of 211 on the 3rd grade Spring MAP test and a mean Math RIT score of 219 on the 4th grade Spring MAP test, then his/her growth was 8 RIT values (219-211=8).  The RIT score of 211 means that your 3rd grader was at the 4th grade achievement level.  The expected growth, at the 4th grade level from Spring-to-Spring is 9.5 RIT points.   Since your child's growth was 8 RIT values, his/her growth was slower than the average 4th grader.




MAP RIT Charts:


*understanding MAP*


Language Usage




NWEA Parent Handbook

2005 National Average MAP Scores

Aligning MAP with

Illinois Standards

Mean RIT Scores by Grade Level


District 15 MAP summary


Daily Herald Article on MAP


Parent Toolkit