Understanding MAP Assessments and Results

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What is MAP? 

MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) is an adaptive assessment that provides information for all students regardless if they are currently below, at, or above grade level. The difficulty of each question is based on how well a student answers previous questions. As the student answers correctly, questions become more difficult. If the student answers incorrectly, the questions become easier.

Why MAP? 

We have chosen to place more emphasis on MAP assessment results rather than CMAS (Colorado’s state summative assessment) because MAP provides teachers and administrators with more precise timely performance information that educators can act upon with immediacy. Students take the MAP assessment three times per school year, and schools can access both achievement and growth information the next day after a child has completed the assessment. Since MAP results provide detailed information regarding students’ current instructional levels (regardless of their age-grade level), our schools can use MAP data to target instruction more effectively for each student. School staff can also analyze student progress during the school year as students complete each benchmark assessment. This gives schools a more actionable description of student progress than the state assessment growth results, which are both delayed and limited in their applicability to current instructional needs.

Interpreting MAP 

Student achievement percentiles describe student performance relative to historical performance at a given grade level and are based on NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association) norms:

  • Low = 20th percentile or lower.
  • Low Average = 20th to 40th percentile.
  • Average= 40th to 60th percentiles
  • High Average = 60th to 80th percentiles
  • High = 80th percentile or higher

If a student scores at the 80% percentile, the student’s score is equal to or higher than 80% of the scores. These percentile scores are helpful in seeing how a student performed relative to their peers in the same grade.