Accommodations for MAP® Assessments

Updated July 2014—see the following bulletin for a summary of changes. Refer back to this page before each MAP test season.

The adaptive nature of the MAP and MPG assessments makes them appropriate for students with a wide range of skills and needs. For those students who need accommodations, use the following guidelines. Please carefully consider your state and/or district accommodation policy, along with the accommodations given to students during instruction, so that accommodations are as consistent as possible between the classroom and assessments.

Standard Accommodations

For the accommodations that follow, it is NWEA’s judgment that they will be irrelevant to, or only minimally affect, the validity of the student’s test score. (In contrast, see the Non-standard Accommodations.)

Presentation Accommodations

  • Simplify or clarify directions; for example, clarifying the location of the Next button
  • Use visual magnification devices or software (for example, MAP is compatible with ZoomText Magnifier 9.1 or MAGic 11)
  • Use auditory amplification devices, noise buffers, or software
  • Use masks to block a portion of the screen; for example, the student may use a sticky note, index card, or a blank sheet of paper to move down the screen as he or she is reading
  • Read or reread aloud the test directions
  • Read or reread aloud the test questions for math, science, or language usage tests only

Response Accommodations

Scribes, educational assistants, and other people supporting a student during testing must be neutral in responding to the student during test administration. Assistance in test administration must not lead a student to the correct answer. The student’s response must accurately represent the student’s own choice.

  • Assign a scribe to record responses
  • Dictate responses to a scribe
  • Point to responses for a scribe
  • Respond in native language

Setting Accommodations

  • Test an individual student in a separate setting
  • Test a small group of students in a separate setting
  • Minimize distractions; for example, use a study carrel

Timing / Schedule Accommodations

  • Administer test over multiple sessions in a day
  • Administer test over a number of days (within the limits of your district's test administration guidelines)
  • Allow flexible schedule
  • Extend time for testing (actually, all MAP assessments are designed to be untimed for all students)
  • Administer at time of day most beneficial to student
  • Offer breaks

Materials or Devices Accommodations

  • Provide scratch paper
  • Provide a comparable calculator when a student is unable to access the on-screen calculator given in a question

Miscellaneous Accommodations

  • Provide a drink during testing
  • Provide a snack during testing

Non-standard Accommodations

Accommodations that have the potential to bias the student’s test score are considered non-standard, and they require special consideration. Examples include:

  • Native language translation
  • Reading aloud the answer options
  • Reading or translating any portion of the reading test
  • Pronouncing symbols for math or science
  • Defining words within the test question
  • Using a calculator for questions that do not have an on-screen calculator
  • Any other accommodations not listed above

These examples may introduce potential bias and therefore alter the assessment. Bias can arise from differences in the way each person reads, translates, or pronounces. Also, from one question to the next, variation in tone and inflection may cue or miscue the student to a particular answer option.

What you can do: If circumstances necessitate non-standard accommodations (such as an Individualized Education Plan, 504 plan, or English for Speakers of Other Languages program), the MAP test does not preclude you from making those accommodations. That decision belongs to schools, districts, and states. However, your leadership has the responsibility for the interpretation of the test results. Your organization also has the responsibility to track non-standard accommodations so that they can be factored in interpretations. See How to Track Accommodations.

Interpretating Results: The greater the use of non-standard accommodations during the test’s administration, the weaker the validity of the inference that can be drawn from the student’s score. This qualification should be considered when interpreting test scores or using them to make important educational decisions, such as promotion or retention in a course, classroom, or grade.

How to Track Accommodations

To keep a record of accommodations provided, you can either:

  • Open and save the Accommodations Checklist form, which is a text file you can edit.
  • Or, use the Assign Accommodations feature, available with the Web-based MAP system. The Assign Accommodations button appears when you set up testing sessions (Test Students page) or test students (Set Up Testing page). A box opens with a list of accommodations you can select. It is a shortened version of the list above.

More Information

  • National Center on Educational Outcomes (see Accommodations topic)
  • Thurlow, M. L., Moen, R. E., Liu, K. K., Scullin, S., Hausmann, K. E., & Shyyan, V. (2009). Disabilities and reading: Understanding the effects of disabilities and their relationship to reading instruction and assessment.
  • Abedi, J., Leon, S., Kao, J., Bayley, R., Ewers, N., Herman, J., & Mundhenk, K. (2010). Accessibility reading assessments for students with disabilities: the role of cognitive, grammatical, lexical, and textual/visual features. (CRESST Report 784). Los Angeles, CA: University of California, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).

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