Understanding NWEA MAP Scores by Grade Level in 2024 (With Chart)

by Sarah Duncan

Take NWEA Map Practice Test Now

The NWEA MAP Test has grown in popularity throughout schools in the United States. The MAP test is unlike any other academic assessment. It measures a student’s academic growth.

If you want to know whether your child is learning, the NWEA Map test can answer that. Helping your child prepare for the test will give them the opportunity to maximize their results.

This article covers what an NWEA MAP score is, what an RIT score means, helpful tips to improve your child’s scores, and how to interpret a score report.

Student Writing

NWEA MAP scores by Grade Level in 2023

NWEA MAP scores are measured by the increased improvement averages for students in given subjects over their time in school.

NWEA MAP testing is available from Kindergarten through to 12th Grade, and academic improvement is measured by growth norms per grade level.

2020 Reading Student Achievement Norms

Fall Winter Spring
Grade Mean Mean Mean
K 136.65 146.28 153.09
1 155.93 165.85 171.40
2 172.35 181.20 185.57
3 186.62 193.90 197.12
4 196.67 202.50 204.83
5 204.48 209.12 210.98
6 210.17 213.81 215.36
7 214.20 217.09 218.36
8 218.01 220.52 221.66
9 218.90 220.52 221.40
10 221.47 222.91 223.51
11 223.53 224.64 224.71
12 223.80 223.85 224.33

2020 Mathematics Student Achievement Norms

Fall Winter Spring
Grade Mean Mean Mean
K 139.56 150.13 157.11
1 160.05 170.18 176.40
2 175.04 184.07 189.42
3 188.48 196.23 201.08
4 199.55 206.05 210.51
5 209.13 214.70 218.75
6 214.75 219.56 222.88
7 220.21 224.04 226.73
8 224.92 228.12 230.30
9 226.43 228.67 230.03
10 229.07 231.21 232.42
11 231.72 233.49 234.25
12 233.02 233.31 234.19

Source: NWEA.org

To see if your child has improved or is sitting at a normal level for their age group and subject, you can look at the growth norms and assess whether or not your child is falling into this category.

The MAP scores are calculated and then assessed based on previous RIT scores so that academic growth can be measured in any given grade.

Your child’s RIT scores should grow every year to show academic improvement, and the growth norms are a reflection of the schooling system and your child’s learning.

For example, the average growth for a 5th grader in their mathematics MAP test is 5.56, with a variance (SD) of 1.39 on either side.

The growth norms are what is typically expected for a child in their testing and how much they are expected to have grown between their last and most recent tests.

This is a great way to determine whether or not your child is learning the best way they can.

Norms are reassessed every 5 years to equate to changes in academic performance around the U.S.

What Is NWEA Map Scoring?

The MAP Growth Test evaluates student performance on an RIT scale. The RIT scale is measured at equal intervals, despite a student’s grade or performance. This provides teachers with accurate information about how a student performed, whether they were performing at, above, or below grade level.

NWEA refines its best-in-class research model to make NWEA norms more accurate. Norms help teachers monitor a student’s performance and predict whether their growth is typical or atypical.

Take Practice Test

Schools administer a mix of the following subjects: reading, math, language usage, and general science. Students will receive a RIT score for every subject test they take. So, they will most likely have more than one RIT score.

A child’s RIT score in their Reading Map Test cannot be compared to their score in their Math Map Test. Their MAP Test scores are not equivalent to one another.

It is important for a child’s RIT scores to increase each year so that their RIT growth can be measured. The growth expected depends on each child’s performance.

For example, the mean reading growth for a third-grade student is 10.3 from the start of the fall semester to the end of the year. As the average score for a third-grade student is 188.3 at the beginning of the year, the score they should be aiming for in spring is 198.6.

To measure the performance of a child, their RIT score is compared to all the other results from students in the same class or the same grade. This measurement is known as a percentile. Students should be expected to stay within the same percentile from one semester to another.

The test results are presented in a student progress report, which is easy for educators and parents to interpret.

Florida Standards Test also helps you to assess your child’s knowledge of English Writing, Reading, and Mathematical abilities.

How to Read MAP Scores

Now that you understand what a MAP score is, you’ll need to know how to read the scores!

If we look at this MAP score as an example, we can determine the average score per grade level for the semester and what the SD of these scores are. SD stands for standard deviations, or the variation from this score.

There are three seasons for testing, each with a mean (average) score and the SD.

For example, the average score for a 10th grader in the fall semester for reading is 221.47.

In our example, the SD for this score is 17.92 which is relatively high. The smaller the SD number, the closer together the scores across the grades have been! You can add and subtract this number on either side to determine a score radius.

Therefore, to be within average for reading in the fall semester at 10th grade, you would need to score between 203.55 and 239.39.

What Does an RIT Score Mean?

What Is The Highest MAP Test Score

RIT scores supply administrators, educators, and parents with useful information that should be utilized to make educational decisions.

If you notice that your child is falling behind on their target scores on a yearly basis, then you may want to amend your child’s academic plan.

One of the biggest advantages of administering the MAP test is its ability to track a child’s progress.

Take Practice Test

What Do MAP Growth Percentiles Mean?

MAP growth percentiles are used in a few different ways during your child’s schooling.

The main way that growth percentiles are used is to compare students’ test scores to other children who have taken the same test.

The higher the percentile of your child, the higher the number of students that they outperformed in the same test!

So, if the growth percentile is 63%, your child would have done the same as or better than 63% of students.

A growth percentile can also be used to compare growth over time in a given subject to your child’s peers.

This is extremely useful in understanding how the child has improved over time, and whether they are on par with other students at the same grade level who are taking the same tests.

hese percentiles are all referenced against the growth norms, making for a more standardized and general assessment of growth.

RIT Reading Scores

You can convert an RIT Reading score to a Lexile range. This should ideally be used to find suitable reading material for each individual child. If your child’s school operates on a different reading program, you can easily convert their Lexile score to match that program.

Tips to Improve MAP Reading and Language Usage RIT Scores

Sitting Woman Reading Book in Library

Read a Diversity of Texts.

It’s important that the reading materials given match the student’s reading level. However, it is also important to remember that you should encourage your child to try reading texts that are outside their comfort zone. Through this, they will be able to widen their knowledge, boost their vocabulary, and improve their reading comprehension.

Become an Active Reader.

One way to help your child improve their reading language usage score is by helping them become an active reader. Active reading means being conscious of even the small details of what you are reading. This means you find out the key point of each paragraph and assess how each of them contributes to the purpose of the entire text. This practice is an essential skill for reading comprehension questions.

Keep a Vocabulary Notebook on Hand.

Sometimes reading to improve your vocabulary is not enough. Sometimes you also need to write a new word down so that you can remember it. Then, you can try to actually use it in real life. As a parent, you need to make your child become excited about learning. So, encourage them to make an effort to improve their knowledge. Doing so will help their academic progress and, in extension, boost their NWEA Map Test scores.

Practice Speed Reading Techniques.

For your child to get a good score in the Map Tests, it is important that they can read informational texts quickly. Speed reading helps you save time in the Map Tests, which will ensure that you will be able to answer all the questions. 

While you may think that this is a weird top since MAP tests don’t have a time limit, students can only remain focused for a certain amount of time until they get a headache. And if your child has a headache, it will be more difficult for them to answer questions correctly. 

Practice Map Reading Comprehension Sample Questions.

Using MAP sample questions during revision can help the student familiarize themselves with the actual test format. This will prevent them from freaking out the first time they see the exam.

Take Practice Test

RIT Math Grade

RIT Match Scores are slightly complex. According to theory, children who score 240 or higher on the NWEA MAP Math test are ready to study algebra. But this does not apply in reality.

The math test consists of 46 multiple-choice questions, which leaves quite a bit of room for error.

Students who possess stronger test-taking skills are sure to get higher grades on the  MAP test than they would on a written end-of-the-year exam. The MAP results could highlight that the child understands how to convert decimals to percentages, but they may have only been asked one question in that section.

Tips to Improve MAP Math RIT Scores

Aim to Solve One Math Problem per Day.

Math can be too much to deal with at times. However, you can avoid this by practicing a little every day. Start with one math problem per day and work your way up.

Study Specific Mathematical Techniques.

Finding the correct answer to a math problem all comes down to using the right technique. It is important to study and revise different methods of solving math problems.

Understand Mathematical Formulae.

When it comes to math, merely knowing a formula isn’t enough. One needs to understand the formula so that they can answer complex questions as well.

Revise the Basics.

If you find the difficult problems challenging, go back to the basics. Recall the simple things like addition, multiplication, addition, and subtraction.

Practice Map Math Sample Questions.

The best way to prepare for a math test is to practice similar questions. It will give you an idea of the structure and wording of the questions, as well as some “tricks” you may find on the test.

Take Practice Test

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good score on the MAP test?

To get a score that is considered ‘good’ on the MAP test, it is likely your child should aim for above the average or mean score for your grade level and subject that you are testing. 

For example, if the average grade score for a 6th grader in the fall semester in Math is 214.75 with an SD of 16.12, your child could aim to score between 214.75 and 230.87 or higher for a good score. 

You can view the most recent full table of average scores and their SDs here.

What is an average score on the MAP test?

The average score on the MAP test depends on your grade level, which semester the test is taken, and the subject that is being tested. 

There are many averages depending on these factors. You can view the most recent full table of average scores and their SDs here

What if the RIT Score is lower than expected?

If your child scores lower on their NWEA MAP tests than expected, there are steps in place to evaluate why this might be. 

You can analyze their strengths and weaknesses, see where they went wrong, and support them to do better next time by setting realistic and achievable goals. 

Continuing with MAP testing is a good way to continue to monitor educational achievement and support your child in the best way for them. 

How often do students take the MAP?

Depending on the school your child is at, the frequency of MAP testing can vary. There is a maximum of three times per year for MAP testing, administered in the fall, winter, and spring. 

Your school might choose to administer them once or twice a year or simply as needed, depending on the system they have chosen. Average MAP scores and growth percentiles are calculated for all three testing periods.

How Are NWEA RIT Scores Calculated?

The NWEA uses the RIT, or Rasch unit scale, to calculate MAP assessment scores. The scale compares a student’s current grade to their grades on prior tests.

Every RIT score acts as an indicator of a continuous scale of learning. NWEA scores should not be seen as target scores but rather as benchmarks of an individual student’s academic performance over a specific period of time.

MAP test questions get their RIT value after being tested on thousands of students across the country.

The RIT grade a student receives is a prediction that, at that level of difficulty, a student will correctly answer approximately 50% of the questions.

What Is the NWEA MAP Score Report?

Parents receive a “Student Progress Report”. The Student Progress Report displays the student’s recent scores as well as all of their past scores.

The report is designed to show students’ educational progress as a whole, as well as from semester to semester.

The chart includes the mean of the district grade level and the norm grade level.

The reports also feature a growth projection. The dotted bar on the graph indicates what score the student is expected to reach.

If the growth progresses from fall to spring, the student should achieve the stated score by spring. If the growth progress is from fall to winter, then the child should achieve this score by winter.

Take Practice Test

Why Do Teachers Use RIT scores?

Teachers use a student’s RIT score for the following:

  • Narrow down what skills a student is missing with MAP Skills.
  • Link to instructional resources that are in line with the student’s RIT score.
  • Track the long-term growth over a student’s career.
  • Group students together based on their RIT score for different instructions.
  • Plan lessons around educational areas revealed by students’ RIT results.
  • Develop growth goals with the class.

Final Thoughts

NWEA allows teachers, schools, and parents to measure an individual child’s academic performance using the RIT scoring system.

It is essential that your child makes progress from their previous grades. To help your child prepare for their tests and boost their performance, use a helpful resource like TestPrep-Online.

TestPrep-Online offers a range of tools, from tutorials to study guides, that can help your child achieve better results. Below are helpful study guides for the NWEA MAP Test for every grade.