Understanding MAP testing

All freshman and sophomore students will be taking MAP tests the end of April and beginning of May. What is MAP? MAP is the acronym for Measures of Academic Progress, a measurement tool that Moffat County School District implemented last year.

MAP tests are administered by computer and are designed to measure each student's academic growth from year to year. All ninth and 10th grade students are tested in math, reading, and language usage.

The MAP test is different from other standardized tests the students take because the program adjusts the test to the student's level of achievement. Results are analyzed after each question is answered. Based on how well the student answered the question and all the other questions up to that point, the MAP program selects a question of appropriate difficulty to be answered next.

Because the tests are tailored to student's achievement levels, each student has the opportunity to succeed. This success can help students maintain a positive attitude toward testing.

Results of MAP tests are provided to parents of MCHS students twice a year, one with the first quarter report card and one with the second semester report card. Results are reported in RIT scores. RIT scores are an interval scale, like inches on a yardstick, which makes growth in learning easy to measure. The MAP report form shows the student's current and previous scores, how much they have grown since the last time the test was administered, and what the average growth for that time period should be. The amount of growth that should occur is based on scores from millions of students nationwide who have taken the MAP test.

Besides providing information to parents about how their student is doing, how else is the information obtained from MAP tests used? Teachers can access a student's score immediately after the test is completed, as it is displayed on the computer screen, or within a few days online. Each of the three tests has an overall score and several sub-scores. For example, the reading test has sub-scores in the areas of word meaning, literal comprehension, application of thinking skills, and literary expression.

The student's English teacher can access the test results, see that a student has a lower sub-score in word meaning, and stress that area during classroom instruction.

Another way MAP tests are used is for new students.

There is a shorter version, the survey test, which takes only about 20 minutes to complete. Students who are new to MCHS and aren't sure about their academic level or what classes they need can take the survey test and the results will provide information to help with the scheduling process. Classroom teachers have used the MAP test to assess how much their class has improved between September and May.

Students are allowed to take the test up to four times a year, so there is the option of testing single classes at other times during the year besides the "testing window" in the fall and spring.

The MAP testing schedule will be out the week of April 19. Please have your student check the schedule so they know which days they will be testing.

Each student will have three hour-long tests on different days and will be taken out of their integrated science, biology, or electricity classes to take the tests. If your student doesn't have one of these classes, he/she will be called to the test at a separate time. To help your child have the best testing situation possible, please be sure they get a good night's sleep before the tests, have a good breakfast on testing days, and please don't schedule appointments away from school on those days.

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