What is the NWEA MAP Test Practice for 6th grade? – Ultimate Prep Guide for Parents

Last Updated on June 20, 2022

Standardized testing time at school can be one of the most nerve-wracking times of the year for parents, teachers, and students alike. While your child might get some preparation at school, helping them at home can give them the extra boost they need to score in a proficient range.

For many students, their 6th grade academic year determines whether they will be placed on an advanced, average, or remedial track. Depending on the school district and area in the country, they may stay on this track for the rest of their time in grade school.

Therefore, it’s imperative to make sure that they are prepared as best as possible so that the test results accurately represent their skills and performance level.

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What test do students take in the 6th grade?

The Sixth Grade Measurement of Academic Progress (MAP) test assesses whether or not a student has retained the necessary information for that grade level. It looks at their strengths and weaknesses, allowing teachers to prepare them for the next year ahead better. It also allows them to see where a student is struggling or is above average.

How is the 6th-grade NWEA MAP test scored?

Considered an “adaptive test,” the NWEA MAP test can vary in difficulty level by each student’s performance. Each question’s difficulty level is determined by the question before it, making it easier or harder for some.

So, the material could be anything from a 5th-grade level to an 8th-grade level. Because of this, scoring is not determined by the level of difficulty. Instead, the Rasch-Unit (RIT) scale determines a person’s score on the MAP test.

It is made of intervals that have equal weight, meaning that it’s similar to looking at a ruler where each unit carries the same value. Scores can go from 100-300, with a higher score indicating better performance.

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What is on the 6th grade MAP test?

There are three main sections on the 6th grade NWEA MAP test:

Math

The math portion of the test covers four sections of basic math. Below is a description of each:

  • Operations & Algebraic Thinking – Here, students have to look at different models, numerical expressions, patterns, and numerical series. Skills that will be important to know are the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, divisions) and how to calculate and apply them.
  • Measurement and Data – Knowing how to solve problems that involve angle, length, perimeter, area, and volume is important for this section. Additionally, students should show that they can interpret, represent, analyze, and make conclusions about data from different sources.
  • Numbers and Operations – This section focuses on fractions and decimals, along with performing higher-level math problems like double and triple-digit multiplication or division.
  • Geometry – Perhaps the most challenging section of the test requires students to use graphs and charts to solve math problems involving shapes and three-dimensional figures. While there won’t be majorly complicated geometric concepts, they should show that they can know the basics of it.

Reading

The reading section covers three major topics:

  • Word Meaning and Vocabulary Knowledge – Students should be able to use context clues to decipher the meanings of words, know how to relate words that may not automatically go together, and know word structure.
  • Literature – Questions in this section require students to demonstrate their reading comprehension skills. Being able to pick themes, structures, and other essential details out of a passage is also important. Passages in this section will be literary-based rather than factual.
  • Informational Texts – Passages in this section will be more fact-based than literary, like the previous section. Here, picking out the different arguments and points of view in the passage will be an important skill to have.

Language Usage

This section is focused on English technical skills rather than reading comprehension. There are three main topics students should know:

  • Writing – Students will have to know how to research, revise, develop, and write a passage for this section.
  • Grammar and Usage – Knowing basic grammar and identifying errors, and writing correctly is crucial for this section.
  • Understand and Edit Mechanics – Knowledge of grammar and writing will come into play for this section, as students will have to show that they can correctly spell, capitalize, and use punctuation when crafting sentences.

Depending on the school, students may also see a science section on this test. It covers basic elementary scientific concepts. However, it is not required for all students.

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How many questions are on the test? How are they structured?

All questions on the 6th grade NWEA MAP test are in a multiple-choice format. However, that doesn’t mean that all questions will look the same. Each section will vary in how the questions are structured.

6th grade students

In total, there are around 40-50 questions in each section. It should take students around an hour to complete each one, making the total time spent on the test around 3-4 hours depending on if they have the additional science section.

An example of a question from each section can be found below:

Language Usage

_____ friends left the mall early, so you decided to go home too.

A) You’re
B) Your
C) You
D) Their

Reading Comprehension

The light that came out of the lamp was like sunshine.
What is the meaning of the simile in this sentence?

A) The light of the lamp alternates between yellow and blue.
B) The light of the lamp is very intense.
C) The lamp does not work correctly.
D) The lamp is a source of heat.

Math

Farmer Brown needs to fit all his cows and sheep into an oversized pen. He sees two rectangular pens for sale. One measures 30m by 15m. The other measures 45m by 10m. Farmer Brown thinks they are both the same, and therefore, just buys the cheaper pen. Which property does he use to say they are the same?

A) They have the same perimeter
B) They have the same area
C) They have the same supplier
D) They have the same volume

For the answers and explanations for these questions, visit Test Prep Online.

How can I prepare my student for the NWEA MAP 6th-grade test?

Preparing for the 6th grade NWEA MAP test is crucial to ensure your student’s success. Because the test can determine their skill level and could have significant implications for their education, using as many resources as possible is recommended.

Test Prep Online has a package that provides study questions, practice tests for each section, and study guides to help students learn the necessary concepts to ace the NWEA MAP test. There are three memberships:

  1. MAP 6th Grade Practice (for students, $89, 12-month license) – includes over 500 practice questions, full-length practice tests, enrichment drills for the math and language usage sections, score reports, and 18 different practice quizzes.
  2. Family Membership (meant for multiple children and can hold three accounts, $149, 12-month license) – includes over 100 practice packs, score reports, and 5,500+ practice questions.
  3. Teacher Membership (meant for educators and can hold up to six accounts, $169, 12-month license) – includes everything that the family membership has, along with exclusive content meant for teachers.

In addition to their paid materials, Test Prep Online also offers free sample questions and a practice test. By using the free materials in addition to the paid membership, it provides you with more study materials. You are already studying more than the average person because you are preparing with Test Prep Online. Take it a step further!

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Other Tips to Succeed on the 6th Grade NWEA MAP Test

While studying is the number one way to succeed on the NWEA MAP test, there are also some other ways to ensure that your student does well. Here are a few tips.

  • Start studying and using practice materials as early as possible. This way, your student will be more well-versed in the test concepts.
  • Do a quick analysis of what subjects are most challenging compared to those that come naturally for your student. Spend more time studying the complex topics, but don’t forget to review the easier ones too.
  • Make sure your student eats a healthy breakfast before they go to school to take the test.
  • Avoid any sugary or highly caffeinated beverages or snacks during the day. Pack a lunch that emphasizes health rather than junk food.
  • Have a positive attitude about standardized testing around them. The more they view the test as just another thing to complete at school rather than something that will determine their entire academic future, the less likely they are to have anxiety about it.
  • If your student does start to show any test-taking anxiety, practice breathing exercises with them. This can help reduce stress and give them a method to calm down if they begin to panic.
  • Talk with their teachers if there is a significant problem. Always check for accommodations if that is something your student would qualify for.
  • Make sure they are comfortable with how and what they are learning.

Overall, using Test Prep Online can help you significantly improve your student’s score on the 6th-grade NWEA MAP test. While it may seem like a daunting task, you and your student will be just fine. We wish you the best of luck!

Written by Bailee Boggess McCoy

Bailee, MSW, is a freelance writer and editor. She specializes in career, social work, tech, B2B, marketing, and medical, health, and wellness content. She has experience as a job coach, DEI consultant for companies, community-project manager, and clinical researcher. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Georgetown College in 2018, and studied neurolinguistics and developmental psychology at the University of Oxford. She earned her Master’s in Social Work at the University of Kentucky in 2021. Her scientific research has been presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference and published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Associated Disorders.

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