Measures of Academic Progress (MAP)

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During the school year, District 140 students take tests called Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). We use MAP assessments to determine students' instructional level and to measure academic growth throughout the school year and from year to year in the areas of Math and Reading.

MAP tests are unique because they adapt appropriately for each student’s level of learning. The test becomes more difficult the more questions a student answers correctly. When a student incorrectly answers a question, the test become easier. Therefore, each student takes a test specifically tailored to his or her learning level. As a result, students have the same opportunity to succeed and maintain a positive attitude toward testing.

Commonly Asked Questions About MAP Testing

Why is Kirby School District utilizing NWEA Map Assessments and what are the results used for?

Kirby School District is utilizing NWEA MAP Assessments to measure a student's progress or growth in school. They are important to teachers because they let them know where a student's strengths are and if help is needed in any specific areas. Teachers use this information to help guide instruction in the classroom.

If you have ever used a growth chart in your home to show how much your child has grown from one year to the next, this will help you understand the scale MAP uses to measure your child's academic progress. Called the RIT scale (Rasch unIT), it 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. RIT scores typically start at the 180 to 200 level in 3rd grade and progress to the 220 to 260 level by high school.

What is NWEA?

Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) is a not-for-profit organization committed to helping school districts throughout the nation improve learning for all students.

More information regarding NWEA may be found at:

What is the MAP NWEA Test?

NWEA’s computerized adaptive tests are called Measures of Academic Progress, or MAP. 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.

What subjects does MAP Assess?

D140 students take MAP assessments in the area of Mathematics and Reading.

Who is tested and how often is it given?

Students in kindergarten through 8th grade will be assessed three time per year during the fall, winter, and spring. Student results will be sent home with their report cards at the end of  the 1st, 3rd and 4th quarters. 

Do all students in the same grade level take the same test?

MAP tests are tailored to an individual’s current achievement level. When taking the MAP Assessment, the computer adjusts the difficulty of the questions so that each student takes a unique test.

What is RIT?

Tests developed by NWEA use a scale called RIT to measure student achievement and growth. RIT stands for Rasch unIT, which is a measurement scale developed to simplify the interpretation of test scores. The RIT score relates directly to the curriculum scale in each subject area. It is an equal-interval scale, like feet and inches, so scores can be added together to calculate accurate class or school averages.

The RIT Scale is consistent, just like a ruler. One inch is always one inch, and one RIT is always one RIT. A student who grows from 165 to 170 shows the same amount of instructional growth as a student who goes from a 280 to 285 – five RIT points of growth. Because the RIT score is consistent, it can be used to accurately measure a student’s growth over a period of time.

For information on how to read your Student Progress Report, please review MAP Reports

What is the range for RIT scores?

RIT scores range from about 100 to 300. Students typically start at the 180 to 200 level in the third grade and progress to the 220 to 260 level by high school. RIT scores make it possible to follow a student’s educational growth from year to year.

The 2011 NWEA RIT Scale Norms Study provides growth and status norms for all five RIT scales: Reading, Language Usage, Mathematics, General Science, and Science Concepts and Processes. The information in this document is provided to help educators and parents see the correlations between RIT values and projected grade level equivalency.

Additional Information

The NWEA Parent Toolkit was created as a resource and guide for parents. It includes Frequently Asked Questions, Tips for Parents, and a list of websites for parents and kids.