What Is The Highest MAP Test Score?

The MAP test is considered one of the most effective ways of monitoring a K-12 student’s progress in the essential core subjects, math, reading, language usage, and science.

Not only does it provide parents and guardians with a reliable account of where their child is positioned in terms of school achievement, but it also helps teachers and educators decide on what they should do next in terms of helping the child with his/her academic progress.

As the MAP says on its website, better insights lead to better outcomes. But what are the best outcomes? As a rule, if you or your child scores in the top 95th percentile, they are among the highest achievers.

As a parent, all the details and scoring systems about your child’s progress can be overwhelming. Especially if you are dealing with their educational system for the first time. It takes time to understand academic feedback and grades.

That’s why we will break down MAP scoring and clear up exactly what the best scores are.

What Is The Highest MAP Test Score

How Does The NWEA MAP Growth Test Scoring Look?

nwea map logo

NWEA uses the RIT or the Rash unIT scale to measure the student’s score. The MAP scoring system is based on students’ scores in previous tests. So essentially, you are getting a report on how they have progressed since that date.

What Does the MAP Report Cover?

You can also see how your child has performed in relation to their peers, both:

  • In the student’s own district
  • And nationally

Essentially you are getting a picture of your child’s progress in relation to others, something that will make you better equipped when it comes to making decisions about the student’s future plans.

The report also goes one step further by giving you an indication of the student’s projected performance in the future.

All of this information is provided on a graph. A table accompanying the graph gives the student’s scores breakdown over a number of tests and also a breakdown of scores likely to be achieved in the future.

The information is very useful for schools wishing to see how their performance compares with schools’ performance nationally and for individual teachers planning future class work.

But for the adult responsible for a child’s progress, it is vital information on how the child is doing or is likely to do within the educational system.

And, of course, like all school reports, it will give rise to questions for the concerned adult.

What Is The Highest Possible MAP Growth Score?


Typically, the highest individual scores tend to be in the top 95th percentile — a.k.a. scores higher than 95% of other test-takers.

Highest Scores In 2020

For example, the following table illustrates MAP scores from 2020 5th grade testing on Math, language usage, and reading will give you an idea of the scores your 5th grader would have had to reach in that particular year to be seen as a high achiever and one of the 95 percentile who outshone other 5th graders.

Looking at the top line of the table, your 5th grader would have had to score 234 in math, 229 in language usage, and 231 in reading to get a place among the top 95 percentile.

Working your way down the table row by row will help you get a picture of how students at other percentile levels performed.

However, not very many students will achieve those scores. Even very talented students may encounter setbacks along the way. They may have gone through a period of ill health, family upsets, or even downright laziness. So perhaps there is a better way of phrasing the question.

What is the highest MAP Growth score my child can hope to achieve this time round? The answer, of course, lies in doing solid preparation for the test.

Can a Student Prepare For The MAP Growth Test?

Preparation begins in school and works for the student who does not have any difficulty when dealing with everyday school work.

However, factors such as dealing with the timing of a test or even being in a test situation can unsettle many students and impact their scores. The same applies to students who encounter setbacks in their academic careers.

For the student who finds themselves in one of those positions and even for the student who wants to reach a high-scoring level, there is help available from companies who provide the resources to help students ace their exams.

We recommend using TestPrep-Online, which has 30 years of experience in helping students ace their academic assessments.

They will provide you with a test prep pack for the specific grade you are in containing the following:

  • All the information you need about the test
  • Sample practice papers modeled on the real exam
  • A scoring system for you to measure your progress as you do the papers.
  • Detailed explanations for questions and answers

To get a feel for the type of tests they give you, have a look at the following free sample questions from the 3rd grade MAP test.

Helping Your Student Prepare

Many parents or educators has said that it would be easier to take the tests themselves than to help students prepare for them. However, a great deal can be done at home to enable the student to perform well in the MAP tests.

As the test is a measure of the student’s academic progress over their entire schooling, preparation should begin as soon as the student enters the grade in which they will have their first MAP test.

The benefits that come from this include:

  • The student becomes accustomed to the idea of doing tests and develops the skills to deal with them at an early stage in his or her educational career.
  • Tests lose their fear factor for the student.
  • Habits that play a significant part in academic progress, for example, developing a habit of reading, can be introduced into the student’s everyday life. Doing this will make the language usage and reading sections of the test much more doable for the student.
  • For students who find Math challenging, doing a Math question per day will enable them to hone their skills in dealing with Math problems.

Use The Sample Papers

Sample papers are an essential part of the preparation for the MAP. The student who incorporates them into their preparation will:

  • Become familiar with the style of questioning
  • Learn how to deal with the timing of the test
  • Be able to monitor their progress with the scoring system
  • Approach the tests with the confidence of knowing precisely what to expect

Offer Rewards And Encouragement

Testing is an essential part of a student’s life.

However, students, especially those at High-School level, are contending with a lot more than academia. As everybody knows, those teenage years are difficult on a personal level.

For many, dealing with testing is another burden placed on their already demanding lives.

To make it more manageable for the student, it is important to offer recognition for the work they are doing. Try:

  • Building in a reward system for any progress they are making
  • Rewarding them for the effort they are making as well as their successes

When helping a younger student prepare, remember young people learn when they are enjoying themselves.

Make the learning experience fun.

  • Turn doing questions into a game
  • Get the child to pit themselves against you. Let them decide if your answers are right or wrong. Ensure you make mistakes they can correct!
  • Reward them. Give them something to look forward to after a spell of working on tests.

Remember- A Healthy Mind In a Healthy Body

Preparing for tests can be stressful for even the calmest of students. Ensure the student gets adequate sleep, nutrition, and exercise. Our brains work better when we take care of our physical and mental well-being.

Focus On The Benefits That Come From Doing The MAP

Teacher Showing a Boy the Lesson

As indicated above, the MAP is challenging, but the challenges are mirrored by the benefits that come from doing it.

One of the main benefits is the warning it gives if a student isn’t living up to their potential. When that red flag is raised, it puts educators and parents in a position to rectify the situation.

On the other side of the scale, it identifies gifted students and helps them avail of the extra opportunities that are open to them.

MAP testing provides a win-win situation for students at all levels in the scoring system. If you or a student in your care are preparing for the MAP, you will find all the resources you need here.

Written by Elizabeth O Mahony

With 25+ years’ experience as a teacher and state examinations corrector, Elizabeth now writes for the education and careers industry. Her experience preparing students for examinations and running an academy for supplementary education give her invaluable insights into what it takes for job seekers and graduates to succeed in assessments.