What is the NWEA MAP Test for Grade 3? – Ultimate Guide for Parents & Teachers

Last Updated on June 20, 2022

The Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) testing is taken by a lot of children in US schools. It assesses the academic progress they are making in comparison to their peers in schools country-wide.

Grade 3 children undergo MAP Testing on their academic progress at the ages of 8-9 years.

A computerized, adaptive test, the assessment is based on the Common Core Curriculum followed by a majority of US schools. It assesses the student on the material they have covered in their specific grade.

The test is adaptive meaning it is directly related to the students’ ability. When questions are answered correctly they are followed by a more difficult question. If the student gives an incorrect answer the following question will be easier.

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Why should your child prepare for the MAP Test?

As with any test, preparation is important.

Firstly, children of this age like to do well and have a competitive streak that responds well to being tested.

Secondly, the child’s academic career is very often decided by the scores gained in the test. Teachers use them to decide on the direction learning should progress in.

Thirdly, preparing for the test lays a good foundation for the years of schooling to follow. Children learn the importance of making an effort with their school work. Learning this also lays a foundation for their lives in general.

Not alone are they learning that making an effort at school matters but they are learning the value of doing your best with whatever project you undertake.

For the adult, helping a child prepare for the MAP Test comes with its own challenges. The child is young and generally enjoying life. The parent wants to see them through this stage of their schooling but in as stress-free a way as possible.

Equip yourself with the resources you need

For you, the parent or guardian, the 3rd Grade NWEA MAP Test may be one of your earliest encounters with this type of testing. You want your child to do well but it is difficult to help if you do not know precisely what you are doing.

Becoming familiar with the test will take away that difficulty. We recommend you use a test preparation company like TestPrep Online, experienced in providing the resources that help parents with children undertaking the MAP Test.

This company will provide you with the information you need as well as a test prep pack with sample papers your child can practice on. Becoming familiar with the test allows you to help the child, knowing you are using accurate information.

In turn, the child will become familiar with the style of testing and will face the test knowing what to expect. This will enable them to get through the process comfortably.

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What is the child being tested on?

The child is being tested on material worked on in 3rd Grade. The test focuses on the main area of the Core Curriculum specifically Math, Language Usage and Reading Comprehension.

The 3rd Grade MAP Math test

The Math test is made up of approximately 53 multiple-choice questions. Children are tested on areas they should be familiar with.

The questions test the child’s ability to:

  1. Do mental Math to count and calculate
  2. Use fractions and decimals
  3. Find the missing number in equations
  4. Use geometry to work on parallel and symmetrical lines.

Your child might like to try these examples of questions asked.

Which number is missing from this sequence?

A) 600
B) 625
C) 650
D) 660

Mary needs 300 grams of dough to bake one cake. To make 100 grams of dough, Mary needs two eggs. How many eggs does Mary need if she wants to bake three cakes?

A) 18
B) 12
C) 10
D) 6

For free examples of 3rd Grade Math tests check out these resources at TestPrep Online here and here.

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The 3rd Grade Language Usage test

Children are again tested on areas appropriate to their grade and age. Once again the 53 questions are in multiple-choice format.

In this section children are tested on their understanding of:

  1. Punctuation, capitalization and spelling
    For example they may be asked to select the word missing from the following sentence. “I ———– the ball to the dog.” Is it a) throwed b) thrown c) threw d) through
  2. How well they understand grammar rules and on their ability to use them. For example they may be asked to select the correct verb for the following sentence……”The girls —- the movie yesterday.” Is it a)seen b) see c) saw d) will see
  3. How to plan and organize a piece of writing.

The 3rd Grade MAP Reading test

This section tests the child’s ability with words Expect them to be tested on:

  1. Their vocabulary range, their ability to understand the meaning of words, and to see the connection between words.
  2. Their ability to analyze literary texts and find the main ideas in the text.
  3. Their ability to get the main ideas from a piece of informational text.

Try the following reading comprehension to get a better understanding of the informational reading section

Read the passage.

The Eiffel Tower is one of the most famous landmarks in the world, a symbol of both Paris and France as a whole. It was originally built to serve as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris, but it remains standing to this day. Despite the dangers in building such a tall and open structure, very few people were hurt thanks to the safety checks employed by its architect.

Another word that means the same as “employed” is
A) used
B) built
C) hired
D) watched

For a free sample 3rd Grade MAP Test go here. When the child completes the test you will get their results and an indication of what direction the test preparation needs to take.

To get a test prep pack visit TestPrep Online.

Organize your child’s test preparation routine

Ideally preparation for the test should be carried out over a period of time. For an 8-year-old child cramming everything into a short period of time will become daunting. Working to a regular routine will ease them comfortably into test preparation mode.

Working with the child over the school year, the work can be carried out over small chunks of time with each preparation session leading naturally from the previous one. This will also help get the child into a routine for following years.

When the routine has been established, it is important to stick with it to maintain the flow of the work.

Decide on where the child is going to do the work

The child would preferably have their own place of study. This allows them to differentiate between study and their free time.

However, children of this age are constantly learning, and very often unknown to themselves.

This allows you to incorporate learning into everyday activities. A child can learn to:

  1. Count and calculate while helping you to arrange cans on a kitchen shelf
  2. Use correct grammar in everyday conversation
  3. Get the main ideas in a piece of writing during a story reading or telling session.

For the real test

The real test however demands the child needs to gain experience of the testing format. Keeping an eye on their learning during household activities provides a foundation for learning.

But for the test you need to rely on your sample tests. Equipped with your test prep pack you have the tools to take a more formal approach to test preparation.

It is recommended you use the sample tests in these sessions. This will:

  • Make the child more comfortable with the test format
  • Ensure there are no unpleasant surprises waiting for them on the day of the test
  • Allow you to track their progress from test to test
  • Identify areas they may need more help with

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Have fun

Children learn best when they are having fun. When they see a significant adult enjoying that fun their learning improves even more.


To make the learning experience more enjoyable for both of you try the following tips:

  1. Turn doing the tests into a game. Children of this age are competitive. Getting the correct answer to a question before you do boosts their confidence and gives them a sense of achievement.
  2. Encourage the child to beat the score they have achieved in a previous test. They will enjoy competing with themselves as much as they do with you.
  3. Reward them. They are taking time out of their busy lives to do this preparation. Reward them for that as well as for a good score or for making a good effort.
  4. If you stay positive during the preparation process, that will rub off on the child.

Related Prep GuideHow to Prepare for 4th Grade NWEA MAP Test?

On test day

Test day, the day the child has been preparing for, arrives. No matter how upbeat the child appears on the day, this is a significant day in their lives and they are bound to be a little nervous.

To make the day a little more manageable for them try the following tips:

  • Avoid preparing any new material with the child on the day before the test. Ideally this is a day for rest and relaxation. If the child insists on working confine it to reviewing material already covered.
  • They need to maintain their energy for the actual test. Ensure they have a real breakfast on the morning of test day and have something to snack on if they become hungry while doing the test.
  • Ensure they are wearing comfortable clothes. Tests can be stressful for the most experienced of us. The child needs to feel relaxed in the test center.
  • Allow plenty of time to get to the school. Neither the child nor you will need to have to deal with the stress of running late on test day.
  • Free up your own schedule in case you are needed for last-minute advice or a few words of encouragement.

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When the test is over

Bring along another reward when you go to collect your child. He or she has participated, with your help, in a challenging part of their schooling.

Be prepared for endless chatter about the test and how they answered the questions.

At this point scores and results are irrelevant. What matters is they rose to the challenge.

If your child is doing the 3rd Grade MAP Test you will find helpful resources here at TestPrep Online.

Other NWEA MAP Exams We Have Practice Tests for –

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.

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