Math Test For Kindergarten

How To Prepare Your Child For Kindergarten MAP Test – Ultimate Study Guide with Practice Tests

Last Updated on November 24, 2022

Schools around the United States check students’ proficiency in the subjects and areas learned during the school year using the MAP test. This test is administered to students for the first time in kindergarten.

The test covers both Math and English, but many students particularly struggle with the Math questions at such a young age. Due to their inexperience with tests, it is not unusual for them to get anxious and stressed about the math test taken in kindergarten.

We have prepared this article with all the essential info about the math portion of the MAP kindergarten test. We will also cover everything else you need to know about the MAP test.

We will familiarise you with the test, the preparation process, the questions, and the scores.

We will also propose helpful tips to make practice for the kindergarten tests more fun and direct you to the most comprehensive and interactive test practice.

What Testing Is Used In Kindergarten?

The MAP exam was developed by NWEA, a nonprofit organization that generates evaluations for schoolchildren.
The MAP Kindergarten test is a computer-based and self-paced exam that measures students’:

  • Math skills
  • Reading skills

Typically, it’s given at three particular times annually to measure if kindergarten children learn at an appropriate pace with the curriculum presented to them during the school year.

The assessment considers that not all kids within this age category can read fluently; therefore, all questionnaires are audio-recorded, so for all intents and purposes, your kid can use a headset and listen to the questions as often as needed.

Furthermore, the exam extensively uses images to make it more likable and enjoyable for kindergarten students.
The MAP test for kindergarten has a structure in which the child progresses through the questions at the pace they feel comfortable with.

With each correctly answered question, the next generated question becomes more challenging. Consecutively, with each incorrectly answered question, the following question has a lowered complexity level than the previous one.

The MAP’s distinctive rating scheme considers the complexity tier and generates a test set unique to your kid and the abilities it presents during the testing.

TestPrep-Online and their informational article can give your more details about the NWEA MAP test.

What Sections Does The MAP Test For Kindergarten Have?

Young Girls in Classroom

Kindergarten students are tested for two essential skills:

  • Mathematics
  • English language

Naturally, the complexity of the questions is lowered significantly so that the tests will check for appropriate abilities for the age.

The questions in the sections will measure abilities like recognition of letters, words, and numbers and the basic knowledge to approach word or numeral problems and devise a solution.

The next sections will detail the Reading and Math sections of the MAP kindergarten exam.

Math Test For Kindergarten

Children begin to understand addition and simple arithmetic only 10 days after entering kindergarten, which, contrary to popular belief, is quite a significant achievement.

The Math section of the MAP test contains questions in these three main areas:

  • Numeral

In this section, kindergarteners need to identify numbers from 1 to 10.

  • Counting

In the counting sub-test, students will count, compare and order numerals from 1 to 10.

  • Computations

In this section of MAP Math, students must solve mathematical word problems using basic operations and computational principles like addition, subtraction, equivalence, patterns, or series.

The Adaptive Sections for the Math MAP test for kindergarten are also for higher and lower complexity based on the proficiency shown by the student.

  • For Numeral skills, the lower complexity level matches numerals from 1 to 10, while the higher complexity is the identification of numbers from 11 to 20.
  • For Counting, the lower complexity is rote counting, while the higher complexity is one-on-one correspondence for numbers from 11 to 20.
  • For Computations, the lower level is the identification of the number of objects (more than-less than), while the higher complexity level is computing with manipulatives, i.e., giving numerical answers to problems.

To receive a more in-depth explanation of the MAP Math test and its sections, head over to the NWEA MAP Math article.

Math Sample Questions

Sample questions are an excellent way for your kid to gain improved awareness of the MAP Kindergarten Exam, the varieties of questions, and how they are expected to answer them.

Additionally, sample questions help paint a much clearer image of your child’s current educational abilities and capacity for the development of academic learning success.

Image Courtesy: TestPrep-Online free sample questions

Image Courtesy: TestPrep-Online free sample questions

If you want to learn more about the MAP test for kindergarten, its sections, and what they measure, head over to TestPrep-Online and their thorough guide for the Kindergarten MAP test.

How To Prepare For The Math Test In Kindergarten?

You can find one of the most precise and complete Kindergarten MAP practice kits on TestPrep-Online to assist your kid in getting ready for their exam day.

The MAP Kindergarten Practice Pack contains the following:

  • Six quizzes for each of the two MAP sections

The quizzes should support your child’s ability to concentrate on math and reading independently and significantly improve their comprehension of every topic.

There are various tiers of complexity for the tests, so your child can get used to the fact that on the testing day, some questions will be straightforward to answer, while others will require more time and effort.

  • MAP test simulation

Such academic simulation studies’ goal is to subtly replicate the MAP testing setting. It will give your kid the most accurate educational learning simulation of the exam possible, allowing them to, for the most part, feel at ease and well-prepared for the big assessment event.

  • Precise score reports and explanations

After each completed test or quiz, there will be a detailed explanation for the correct answer to each question. This part of the bundle ensures that your child doesn’t only practice but also learns through the quizzes he or she takes.

These detailed explanations for the correct answers are thorough and descriptive, providing your child with the correct answer and the logic of the solution. Your kid will gain knowledge of new approaches to thinking, generally understand their missteps, and perform well on the actual exam with the aid of all these explanations.

  • MAP Learning Guide

The MAP study guide offers an overview of the MAP kindergarten exam, advice for acing the MAP kindergarten, and usage of the guidelines provided for the preparation test. The learning guide will help you learn and understand constructive ways to assist your child and ensure they are getting ready for the assessment.

Reading Test For Kindergarten

This testing section contains three main skills:

  • Visual Discrimination i.e., Identification of letters;

Through visual discrimination, kindergarteners need to identify different words and sounds and understand the meaning and difference of vowels, consonants, or syllables.

  • Phonological awareness, i.e., Rhyming words;

Understanding and controlling spoken words and sentences is known as phonological awareness. Identifying rhymes, recognizing alliteration, breaking down sentences into words, determining the number of syllables in a word, and blending and segmenting onset-rimes are a few examples.

  • Various concepts of print, i.e., orientation on the page;

Through concepts of print, students need to understand and use concepts like the letters of the alphabet, the hierarchy of words, letters, and sentences; and the structure and characteristics of different prints (books, poetry, color books, etc.)

They should also be able to distinguish important elements of stories, like main characters, setting, and problems presented.

In theory, the higher and lower complexity of these questions is called Adaptive Sections.

There are more complex and less complex levels for each of the Reading section sub-categories.

  • For Visual discrimination, the lower level is Visual discrimination of whole words, while the upper level is Matchings sounds to letters.
  • For Phonological awareness, the lower level is Matching sounds, and the upper level is Manipulating Sounds.
  • For Various compacts of Print, the lower level is Understanding pre-reading behaviors, and the upper level requires identifying the author/title or counting words.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive guide about the reading section of the MAP, join TestPrep-Online and their NWEA MAP reading article. Please note that the details on their link include the overall reading proficiency levels for numerous grades, not just kindergarten.

Reading Sample Questions

Various simulations and sample questions are available for kids to practice before the main exam. Here are some of the most common types of questions you and your kid can expect.

Image Courtesy: TestPrep-Online free sample questions

Image Courtesy: TestPrep-Online free sample questions

How Many MAP Assessments Are There?

It’s usually the school that decides what kinds of exams will kindergarten students take, but if they decided to go for MAP type of assessments, you could essentially choose between three types of exams:

  • Screening – receiving primary data for a particularly young student in the early educational phase, i.e., just starting preschool or kindergarten.
  • MAP Growth English or Spanish – a test created to monitor each learner’s performance using an academic learning method. The exam, in particular, has a proven track record for identifying gifted skills and talents and defining readiness for the upcoming semester. A strong performance on the MAP Growth Test may give your child the advantage they need to achieve academic excellence later at school.
  • Skills Checklist – evaluating proficiency in a specific talent/area/skill in Math and English language before or during learning that particular area.
    Throughout our article, we refer to the MAP Growth test since the other two tests are either specified area assessments or are given only at the beginning of preschool.

How Many Questions Are There On The MAP Test For Kindergarten?

There will be around 43 questions on each MAP exam (Reading and Math.) The questions on your child’s exam will vary based on the region and school municipality that they attend. Furthermore, the complexity of the questions will vary depending on the proficiency your child displays during testing.

How Long Does The MAP Test For Kindergarten Last?

The fairly average kindergartener needs between 45 and 55 minutes to fully finish a MAP Growth exam. MAP Growth is not time restricted, so students are able to take as long as they require to complete the exam.

Is The MAP Test For Kindergarten Hard?

The MAP exam for kindergarten has a complexity level that adapts to the child and their portrayed proficiency.
If the child has incorrectly answered four or more consequent questions, the sub-skill section questions will decrease in complexity.

If the child has more than 4 or 5 correct answers, the next section of sub-skills will increase in complexity.

Why Are Kindergarten Kids Tested?

Little Girls Sitting in Classrooms

Tests in kindergarten don’t follow the regular school system of grading. Even though they get tests, the point of those assessments is not to quantitatively grade the kindergarten students but to qualitatively check if they can follow the curriculum and keep up with the learning pace.

The MAP kindergarten test is one of those assessments used to assess kindergarten children’s skills and abilities as they move through the material.

MAP Test For Kindergarten Scores

In contrast to standardized assessments, MAP Growth is given at regular intervals throughout the academic year. Each student gets questions adapted to the knowledge they’ve presented,

So, the MAP test scores are more efficiently used to measure the progress your student makes as the school year moves forward and are not suitable to compare peers or national standards.

What Does The RIT Score Mean?

The Rasch unIT (RIT) scale is the foundation for the NWEA MAP Growth scoring scheme. This measurement offers a three-tier scoring frequency that monitors the child’s aptitude and development with the range of topics covered by the exam.

Each test question has an RIT value that mirrors its complexity. The kids will obtain independent RIT scores for every section of the MAP assessment in addition to their overall RIT score, allowing them to identify their strong and weak points.

Scores For MAP Kindergarten Math Test

Low Threshold (5th to 31st percentile) – from 119 to 133 points
Median Threshold (50th percentile) – around 140 points
High Threshold (69th to 90th Percentile) – 146 to 160 points

Scores for MAP Kindergarten Reading Test

Low Threshold (5th to 31st percentile) – from 117 to 131 points
Median Threshold (50th percentile) – around 137 points
High Threshold (69th to 90th Percentile) – from 143 to 157 points

What Is The Average MAP Test Score?

The average MAP test score for the kindergarten level is 140 for mathematics and 137 for reading.

What Is the highest MAP test score?

The maximum number of points that a child can get on the MAP test for kindergarten is 157 for MAP Reading and 160 for Math MAP. Nonetheless, students usually get around 137 for MAP Reading and 140 for MAP Math, which is the median, average threshold.

Tips For Passing The Math Test For Kindergarten

Mother Helping her Daughter with her Homework

Testing can be incredibly stressful for young children without experience with tests and assignments. So, to help your child prepare for the MAP test and lower their stress levels, you can use the tips we prepared.

  • Plan the preparation

Create a study schedule and list subjects in order of importance based on your child’s talents and weak points.
To ensure that your child doesn’t get overwhelmed by their practice, leave enough room for practice before the actual exam.

Furthermore, make sure that your child takes regular breaks between practice sessions.

  • Introduce enjoyment and fun during MAP kindergarten exam preparation

As with most children, your kid is prone to occasionally losing concentration while practicing or studying for the MAP Kindergarten test.

Consequently, we propose you incorporate various fun and enjoyable activities into the planning and preparation process.

One-on-one cooking workshops for math notions, storytelling, or movie screenings for language skills are just a few examples of keeping your kid suitably focused and happy.

  • Take periodic pauses during study sessions

Long-term mental focus and concentration are generally difficult to maintain, even in adults. So, incorporate quick breaks from time to time to give your child the opportunity to handle better new information presented.

This means learning in a more focused and concentrated way without getting bored or overwhelmed. The pause breaks can still be educational. Your child can count the characters in their cartoon or paraphrase what happened in the episode they saw.

  • No pressure on your kid during learning and exams

When an exam like this is scheduled to take place, it is common for kids to become highly anxious. Trying to pressure your kid to study might demotivate them and sometimes result in nervousness.

To avoid further pressure or increase stress, you can take the initiative to, for the most part, find a way to introduce humor in some circumstances and reassure your child that they are doing fantastic, regardless of what scenario may occur.


Most kids may experience fear, high anxiety, and hesitancy before their first official classroom exam, mainly if they are still young and playful. The MAP test might be that experience for your child, so it’s essential to ensure they get academically and mentally prepared.

This article detailed everything you need to know about the MAP test for kindergarteners. We also provided sample questions and thoroughly explained the MAP test subjects and the measured academic areas.

In the end, we also recommended TestPrep-Online, the best and most extensive online library for MAP practice materials and MAP test preparation.

​Written by Victoria Todorovska

Victoria (or Viki) is a Freelance Writer, Psychologist, and Gestalt Therapy Consultant. With years of experience in higher education as well as counselling others, she is well-placed to offer expert advice on guiding others up the career ladder.