MAP Data Important Terminology and Concepts

In this article, you will find information on:

The basics: what is the MAP Growth test?

MAP stands for Measures of Academic Progress. It is a test in which the difficulty of questions is adjusted or adapted by the student’s performance during the test. It compares the student’s performance to the normative standard so educators can better understand where the student is placed in the norm group across the nation. It is also a test that measures student growth over time. MAP Growth reveals how much growth has occurred between testing events and, when combined with our norms, shows projected proficiency. Educators can track growth throughout the school year and over multiple years.

  • MAP Growth Test Terms (i.e. Fall 2016, Spring 2018)
    MAP test has three terms each year, Fall, Winter, and Spring. And project growth goal is displayed in the report from term to term.
  • Disciplines/Subjects
    There are four subjects in MAP test, Reading, Math, Language Usage, and Science. Each test is divided into strands to help educators further understand their students. Each subject test is approximately 45 mins long, however, it is untimed.

Understanding the Report (RIT/Percentiles/Norm Grade Level Mean RIT etc.)

  • RIT: The student’s RIT score appears immediately on the screen after they complete the test. A RIT score is an estimation of a student's instructional level and also measures student progress or growth in school.
  • Percentiles:
    A percentile rank indicates how well a student performed in comparison to the students in the specific norm group, for example, in the same grade and subject. A student's percentile rank indicates that the student scored as well as, or better than, the percent of students in the norm group. For example, a student scoring at the 35th percentile scored as well as, or better than, 35 percent of students in the norm group. It also means that 65 percent of the students in the norm group exceeded this score. Note that the percentile rank is not a percentage of items the student answered correctly.
  • Quintiles:
    Quintile Report or Achievement Report is the report that reflects what your students achieve during one term’s test. It is a quintile bar graph that reflects students’ RIT scores in five categories: Above Average (percentile >80th), High Average (percentile 61st-80th), Average (percentile 41st-60th), Low Average (percentile 21st-40th) and Below Average (percentile <21st).
  • Norm Grade Level Mean RIT:
    Norm Grade Level Mean RIT means the average score for students in the same grade across the country who took the MAP assessment for that content area. The NWEA Norms Study provides percentile rankings. The tables below tell you the normative mean score for each grade level (50th percentile).


  • RIT to lexile range
    When students take NWEA's MAP Growth reading assessment, they also receive a Lexile® range score, based on the RIT score data generated from the individual student's MAP Growth reading assessment. The score is based on an NWEA algorithm developed by NWEA and Lexile® that transforms the student’s RIT score to an estimate of the MetaMetrics® Lexile® score. The Lexile® score can be used to evaluate the reading levels of all students in a class for differentiated instruction or to select appropriate reading materials. More details on how to use the Lexile score in an educational setting can be found here:

For More Resources

If you have more questions about how you can use MAP reports more efficiently with your instruction, please visit NWEA Knowledge Base

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