NWEA Test Questions Recognized as Examples of Quality

News Type

A widely used teacher tool will now include NWEA test questions as exemplars. This is a marker of excellence in test question design and a notable distinction in the assessment industry.

Portland, Ore. – Sept. 10, 2020 – NWEA, a not-for-profit assessment provider, and Student Achievement Partners (SAP), nonprofit dedicated to improving student achievement,  announced today the addition of NWEA assessment items (also called test questions) to the “Achieve the Core” Coherence Map. The addition of NWEA’s items to the map is a marker of excellence. Test items featured on the map are only those that show high quality and alignment to standards.

The Coherence Map, developed by SAP, is a valuable instructional resource that shows the connections between the Common Core standards in mathematics. Each of the standards within the Coherence Map is illustrated with tasks, lessons, and assessments, as well as excerpts from the progression documents. Educators use the map to help them understand how standards are connected to each other within and across grades.  This tool is a resource in supporting understanding and also helping educators appropriately plan instruction that best meets the varying needs of their students.

After an 18-month partnership with SAP, 130 of NWEA’s MAP® Growth™ test items were selected to be included in the Coherence Map as examples of quality assessment items that meet the criteria established by SAP. Each of NWEA’s test items elaborates on the alignment of that item to the Common Core standard in mathematics, discusses how the items connect to work done in prior or subsequent grades, and how they attend to the rigor called for by each standard.

Here’s an example of one of the selected NWEA test item that highlights alignment to the grade 4 common core standard for number and operations in base ten (NBT) to understand place value for multi-digit whole numbers:

In grade 4, students deepen their understanding of place value in multi-digit whole numbers by recognizing the meaning of digits in different places; reading, writing, and comparing multi-digit numbers; and rounding multi-digit numbers. This item gives students three opportunities to interact with place value when comparing 5,362 to numbers in expanded form, and in doing so, is a better measure of students’ understanding. View the full test item description.