The Purpose of MAP Tests

The NWEA MAP icon for testing. MAP tests are often a source of frustration for students, but they are necessary for future learning (photo credit A. Davis).

The NWEA MAP icon for testing. MAP tests are often a source of frustration for students, but they are necessary for future learning (photo credit A. Davis).

Annabelle Davis, Staff Writer

MAP tests are often dreaded by students and there is a lack of confidence when it comes to taking these tests. When taking them at home, it is hard to maintain focus. For the winter MAP tests, students had to take the tests from home. This could have been an issue because it wasn’t showing the true growth of each student. When students took them at home, they were not necessarily in a learning environment. From sitting on their bed to their couch, it is not the same as sitting in a classroom. 

MAP stands for Measures of Academic Progress because they are strictly used to track a student’s progress. These tests are not meant for students to rush through, as they are truly measuring the level of improvement. 

“It can then track that performance with previous tests to show ‘growth’ or, for future tests, what can be expected,” said Tim Shea, assistant principal. 

The tests are taken to help determine where a student should be, and what classes a student should enroll in. Therefore, as a student shows less improvement, they are more likely to be placed into a class that is lower than their level of intelligence. It goes for the other way too, if a student guesses and gets an above average score, they could be placed into a class that is harder for their mentality to maintain. 

“A student’s grades on a test are compared to all other kids of the same grade level who took the test,” Shea said. 

The amount of work students put into these tests are actually very important because it helps the administration to collect the data they need. When the data is inaccurate, it affects how the school comes across or the reputation. 

“We use it to help create IEPs and to place kids in classes,” Shea said. 

It is important for students to take their time and answer questions to the best of their ability, so they may be placed in classes that ensure academic success.

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