What Is the MAP Growth Test?

The Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) is a computer adaptive assessment test produced by the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA). The test is designed for kindergarten through 12th grade students, and it assesses reading, language usage, math, and, for some grades, general sciences. The test is un-timed, but it usually takes about an hour to complete.

The MAP adaptive test provides each child with a unique exam that is suitable for his or her academic level, independent of grade. This makes the MAP different from other standardized test that you or your child may have seen in the past and makes it even more important to familiarize you or your child with the test’s format and changing difficulty level before test day.

TestPrep-Online offers full MAP preparation packs for the 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade.

Why Does My Child Need to Take the MAP Growth Test?

The MAP test is a useful tool for both teachers and students. It measures student progress so that teachers can pinpoint weaker areas to work on and stronger areas where students need to be challenged. It can be used to compare a group of students in the same classroom or to predict individual achievements. MAP tests are also used to place students in special programs based on their progress. The test was designed to be used by students of all ages, underlining the importance of tracking progress to improve education in general.

MAP Growth Practice Resources

2nd Grade MAP Growth Practice

3rd Grade MAP Growth Practice

4th Grade MAP Growth Practice

5th Grade MAP Growth Practice

6th Grade MAP Growth Practice

MAP Growth Content and Format

NWEA's MAP Growth Test covers four main areas: reading, language use, math, and, for some grades, general sciences. The test uses a variety of question types, such as multiple choice, fill in the blank, and drag and drop answers. Each section contains approximately 52 questions. However, this is subject to variation due to the test's adaptive nature.

Computer adaptive tests are different from paper-and-pencil tests as the difficulty level of the test changes throughout the test according to the child’s ability. The test starts with a question that matches the student’s grade level. Each time the child answers correctly, the following question is more difficult. But, if the child answers incorrectly, the next question is easier. Optimally, the child answers half of the questions correctly and half incorrectly.

MAP Growth Sections

Each of the sections of the MAP test include questions on material relevant to the student's grade or level. On the reading section, you may see questions asking you to identify different types of writing or more classic reading comprehension questions that ask to find the main idea of a given paragraph. The language usage section tests for vocabulary, grammar, and spelling. The math section includes questions ranging from basic to advanced math. Finally, the general science section includes questions on areas usually covered up to that point in standard educations, such as biology, earth science, physics, and chemistry.

MAP Growth Test Scores

Scores for the NWEA MAP are reported using the RIT scale (Rasch unIT). The RIT scale is an equal-interval scale, like a ruler with inches. The RIT scores are stable and cover all ages, and can be used to measure progress and academic growth from year to year.
Since the MAP test is taken on a computer, once the child finishes the test the scores are available. Read more about how the MAP test is scored and how to interpret your child's progress on our MAP Scores page.

MAP Growth Sample Questions

If you're still not sure where to start in your prepping process, have a look at our MAP sample questions for grades 2-6. Have a quick preview below!

MAP Math

The following question is an estimation and computation question, for scores 191-200 RIT which is an average 3rd grade score.


            ? - 14 = 27

         A. 13        B. 17        C. 51        D. 33        E. 41


The correct answer is 41.

The first thing to notice when solving this type of question is that both sides of the equation must be equal. Since we are trying to solve for the ?, we must get it by itself on one side of the equation. To do this, we must add 14 to the left side of the equation, and since both sides of the equation must be equal, we must also add 14 to the right side of the equation.

? - 14 + 14 = 27 + 14

On the left side of the equation, we have our '?' by itself. We now have:

? = 27 + 14

To solve for the '?', simply add 14 to 27. Be sure to line up the numbers correctly to perform the addition:


This means that ? = 41.

MAP Reading

The following question is a reading comprehension - evaluation question, for scores 211-220 RIT which is an average 6th grade score.

        Which of the following sentences is an opinion?
  1. Nicole ate one vegetable yesterday.
  2. Nicole is polite to her classmates.
  3. Nicole has brown hair.
  4. Nicole ran faster than Jacob.


The correct answer is B - Nicole is polite to her classmates.
The sentence “Nicole is polite to her classmates” is an interpretation of a behavior, and not an objective description of something that happened.

A is incorrect because “Nicole ate one vegetable yesterday” is a fact. Whether or not Nicole ate one vegetable yesterday can be verified or proven. It is a description of something that happened.
C is incorrect because “Nicole has brown hair” is a fact. The color of Nicole’s hair can be confirmed, and is an objective description.
D is incorrect because “Nicole ran faster than Jacob” is a fact. Since we can measure the how fast Nicole ran, and how fast Jacob ran we can confirm who ran faster.

MAP Test Tips PDF

Inside our specialized MAP Test Tips PDF, find a parent and children’s conjoint reading guide to further explore ideas in succeeding math, language, and reading. While these tips may be best suited for particular grade levels, know that some tips may be applicable for students of the younger generation. Tips include friendly advice, nitty-gritty math breakdowns along with practical ways to excel in language and reading. Still on the fence? Check it out yourself!

FREE MAP Tips & Guide

Practice for the NWEA MAP Growth Test

TestPrep-Online is here to help your child practice for NWEA's MAP Growth Test. We currently offer full MAP preparation packs for the 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade, each equipped with an authentic practice test per subject. Though our packs do not use the same computer adaptive format, each quiz is designed to simulate the varying difficulty of the MAP tests. Each MAP practice pack also provides a thorough student guide as well as a parent guide geared at helping your child succeed. Start preparing for the test so your child can come confident and ready to succeed on the day of the test.

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