The MAP Pep Talk

If you're about to take the MAP, don't worry- we can help you ace the exam. One of the most basic tips we can give you is to always double check your work. Good news, the MAP test is untimed! This means you do not have to rush in with your answers- just take your time and try the best you can.

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Math Section: Doing Your Best

Mathematical Definitions: Do you remember what a quadrilateral is? What properties does an equilateral triangle have? What is the difference between mean, mode, and median? If you are at all stumped, go back through your class notes. These terms will most likely be on your MAP Math Test.

Graphs: Graph problems are likely to appear on your exam as well. Remember that there are many ways to show information using graphs. Practice how to read and interpret bar graphs, pictographs, dot plots, and how to compare a table with a graph.

While understanding mathematical definitions and graphs is a necessary step in passing your test, there are other theories that have a second hidden method to them. Let’s review, while remembering formulae and how to calculate a perimeter, area, and volume is a must, sometimes with the added pressure to pass, you simply forget. If you find yourself here, don’t worry, we have a few secrets we can share with you! The following may be best understood by math students in grade 6 (and above), but are relatable to all ages:

✓ Shape Area: If you have forgotten how to calculate the area of a shape, don’t worry; simply find the portions of the shape you do know then divide the object and add the results together. Likewise, for questions on probability, remember the proper formula: the probability of any event can be calculated by looking at the favorable outcomes and dividing it by the total number of answers.

✓ Bite-Sized Calculations: Do not forget that sometimes, an arithmetic problem can be performed more easily by dividing it into smaller calculations.

  • If you’re feeling stumped by an equation that is not easily solvable with mental arithmetic, we recommend splitting it into smaller equations. For example, if you want to find the product 32 x 11 you can split it up as (30 +2) x (10 + 1) and then open the parentheses. The result is 30 x 10 + 30 x 1 + 2 x 10 + 2 x 1. Each of these bolded products are easier to find than the original, and adding the results gives the same number.
  • Percentages can also be divided into easier calculations. For example, instead of calculating 35% of a number, you can calculate 10% of a number, multiplying the result by 3, and then adding 5% of that same number (which, in turn, equals half of 10%).

✓ Fractions can sometimes be tricky. Practice all four operations and remember the rules. Write down tricks to identify equivalent fractions or try using a circle and shading a portion of it. Often, a shape divided into either four or eight equal parts can help you understand function between fractions.

  • Remember that a fraction always represents a division. Therefore, comparing fractions can be thought of as sharing objects between different groups of people.

Hopefully after reading these tips you will have a better idea of how to handle the math section of MAP. Let’s read on to see how the English sections look.

Excel in Language Usage & Reading

Similar to the math section of the test, the language usage and reading sections is untimed, but watch out, there is a catch! After submitting your answer you will not be allowed to view it again. Thus, it is important to carefully read all the instructions. This way you can avoid misunderstanding a question and answering incorrectly. Here are some tips on what to review before the exam:

Similar to the math section of the test, the language usage and reading section is untimed, but watch out, there is a catch! After submitting your answer you will not be allowed to view it again. Thus, it is important to carefully read all the instructions. This way you can avoid misunderstanding a question and answering incorrectly. Here are some tips on what to review before the exam:

Review the definitions of speech such as nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, and conjunctions. This knowledge will help you recognize grammatically correct and incorrect sentences. Remember that a complete sentence must have a subject (noun or pronoun) along with a verb. Think of subjects and verbs as forever partners in crime. Each noun is subjected to an action (a verb) to complete the thought process of its writer.

Pay attention to common errors that sneak into your answers and keep them tucked away in your own writing. One way to practice with sentences is by identifying which parts are important and which provide extra description to the subject. On that note, go further and figure out which sentences are declarative, interrogative, and exclamatory. Once you’ve discovered them, take an additional step and decide if the sentences are simple, compound, complex, or compound-complex. Knowing how and when to use punctuation marks is always a plus:

Punctuation Name Punctuation Sign
 Period .
 Comma ,
Question Mark ?
Parentheses  ( )
Exclamation Mark   !
Apostrophe  '
Colon  :
Semicolon  ;
Dash  -

Let’s also not forget the rules of capitalization, paying close attention to proper names and titles. Going through common examples of affix, prefix, suffix, root, synonym, and antonym is not a bad idea either. Review definitions and differences between various texts such as biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, fictions, book reviews, etc. is a must.

Feeling tired? Don’t worry, we’re almost done!

Look over the steps of the writing process: pre-writing, drafting, revising, and publishing, along with the structure of the text such as the title, subheading, subsections, and paragraphs will bring you further to the score you aiming for. Here’s a fun exercise, think of topics that interest you and write! At the end of your exam there will be an essay, which is precisely why it is important to prepare yourself by practicing how to structure and lay down your argument. During your creative exercise, be sure to add examples of fact and opinion, recognizing which ones are which. Or, if you are tired of writing, consider reading. To become a better writer, reading is important and can easily be added to your daily routine.

Know the difference between a main idea, moral, theme, setting, and mood of a story and practice recognizing each one. On that note, it may help reviewing various literary definitions. Below is a list of common literary tools to to start you off with:

 

simile

metaphor

personification

imagery

alliteration

hyperbole

paradox

oxymoron

allusion 

symbolism

metonymy  

irony 

foreshadowing

Tips for General MAP Preparation

Still feeling nervous? Here are a few extra tips to help calm your nerves prior to the test:

✓ Stay SENtered. Sleep, Exercise, and Nutrition are all invaluable weapons for optimal brain performance. So the day before the exam we recommend making sure you get a good night's sleep. When you wake up, take the time to have a hearty breakfast, and perhaps a walk around the block!

✓ Bring layers. Since you can never be sure what the temperature will be in a classroom,  we recommend arriving on test day wearing a t-shirt and a sweater.

✓ Stay curious and have fun! As odd as this may sound, remember that the MAP itself is full of interesting information and challenging material! So take the opportunity and enjoy the chance to learn more and improve your knowledge! 

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