Six commonly used MAP Growth terms worth knowing

Every school year, students take assessments, and in the case of MAP® Growth™, a K–12 interim assessment, they test in the fall, winter, and spring. Teachers communicate results to students and their families and perhaps use terms unfamiliar to them. Let’s examine six of the more commonly used terms and what they mean.

  1. RIT: MAP Growth uses a scale called RIT to measure student achievement and growth. RIT stands for Rasch UnIT and is a measurement scale developed to simplify the interpretation of test scores. It is an equal-interval scale, like feet and inches on a ruler, so scores can be added together to calculate accurate class or school averages. RIT scores range from about 100–300. Students typically start at the 180–200 level in the third grade and progress to the 220–260 level by high school. RIT scores make it possible to follow a student’s educational growth from year to year.
  2. District average: The district average is the average RIT score for all students in a school district in the same grade who were tested at the same time as a specific child.
  3. Norm group average: This is the average score of students who were in the same grade and tested in the same term as observed in the latest NWEA norming study.
  4. Percentile range: Percentiles are used to compare one student’s performance to that of the norm group. Percentile means the student scored as well as, or better than, that percent of students taking the test in their grade. There is about a 68% chance that a student’s percentile ranking will fall within this range if the student tested again relatively soon.
  5. Percentile rank: This number indicates the percentage of students in the NWEA norm group for a grade that a student’s score equaled or exceeded. The percentile rank is a normative statistic that indicates how well a student performed in comparison to the students in the norm group. A student’s percentile rank indicates that the student scored as well as, or better than, the percent of students in the norm group. In other words, a student with a percentile rank of 72 scored as well as, or better than, 72% of the students in the norm group.
  6. Standards: Standards are statements, developed by states or districts, of what students should know and be able to do, related to specific academic areas.

As teachers, families, and students discuss MAP Growth results and other assessment data, having a baseline understanding of these terms will help. If a teacher uses terms you’re unfamiliar with, be sure to ask them what they mean. MAP Growth data is used to measure your student’s progress or growth in school and helps teachers develop individualized learning plans to advance your student’s learning.


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