Curriculum Pages

Parent Toolkit – a document from NWEA that describes adaptive testing and how parents can best help their children (pdf format).

For more information, visit the NWEA Website

NWEA Assessment Testing

The Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to helping all children learn. NWEA provides research-based assessments, professional training, and consulting services to improve teaching and learning.

Computerized Adaptive Tests

The NWEA MAP achievement tests in mathematics, reading, and language usage are delivered by computer to students.  Each test is “adaptive“, which means it immediately responds to student answers and custom selects future questions. This method provides an accurate and immediate measure of their achievement.  Important assessment information is available when and where it is needed.

The Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) has extended the power of its Achievement Level Tests to the modern computing environment of pull-down menus and engaging graphics.  NWEA’s Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) are electronically administered and scored tests designed to measure growth for individual students, classrooms, schools and districts.

While most tests simply provide scores that compare and rank students and schools, the MAP tests provide growth information that is vital in classrooms faced with helping students meet rigorous standards.

Advantages of the Adaptive MAP Tests

Teachers want to improve student learning, but to do this they need more accurate information than a single-form test can provide.  With conventional tests, low-performing students see only a few questions that they can get right, and high-performing students see only a few that they will miss.  This not only causes boredom or frustration in students; it also makes achievement scores less accurate.  This most accurate picture of student achievement is obtained when each student is appropriate challenged at his or her functional achievement level.

An adaptive test gives all students an equal chance to succeed. There are no “wasted” items; students can actually attempt all of the items in a given test, which makes them feel better about the testing experience.

Adaptive testing couples the advantages of Achievement Level Tests with the power of technology to tailor tests to each student’s achievement level.  Each student takes a unique test that is dynamically developed for him or her as the test is being administered.  The program instantly analyzes the student’s response to each test item and determines the appropriate difficulty level to present throughout the remainder of the test.  It also remembers which items a student has seen in previous sessions and doesn’t display them again.    

Unique Tests, Versatile Data

The Map tests can be customized to match district goals and standards.  Mathematics, reading and language usage MAP tests can be used with students in grades 2 through 10.  The tests are not timed; a test that provides information at the goal level takes about 45 to 60 minutes per student.

Results are reported on an achievement scale called the NWEA RIT scale.  This scale enables districts to measure student progress – growth in student achievement can be accurately tracked between terms and across years. Academic growth for individual students can be tracked through a longitudinal report.  In addition to the RIT score, NWEA provides percentile scores that can be used to compare students to others in the nation.  NWEA’s norms include more than 500,000 students.

Results are available to teachers within 48 hours of administering the tests. This allows teachers to respond immediately to potential problem areas and adjust their curriculum accordingly to their existing group of students.

    NWEA’s mission is rooted in the belief that accurate and timely information about student achievement leads to improved student learning.