Northwest Evaluation Association™ (NWEA™) has completed a study to predict performance on the ACT® achievement tests in reading and mathematics using scores on the Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) assessments for reading and mathematics for students in grades 5 through 9. The study identified cut-scores on MAP that correspond to published college readiness benchmarks on the ACT and provided a set of tables to help teachers and parents gauge, in a timely manner, whether a student is on track in his or her preparation for college success.
Generally, the study finds that middle school students are likely to be college ready if they performed between the 70th to 84th percentiles in mathematics or between the 66th to 75th percentiles in reading. Results also suggest, according to the 2015 achievement norms for MAP, that college readiness benchmarks are more stringent the closer it is to graduation from high school. It is important to stress that the estimated MAP benchmarks are anchored on the ACT score of 24, for both reading and mathematics, a benchmark recommended for use with NWEA partners. This benchmark, which takes into consideration the college admissions profile of enrolled students in major state universities across the country, is more stringent than the widely-circulated ACT college readiness benchmark of 22. For the less stringent ACT = 22 benchmark, middle school students are likely to be college ready if they performed between the 61st to 76th percentiles in mathematics or between the 59th to 69th percentiles in reading on MAP. The 2015 Measures of Academic Progress Comparative Data to Inform Instructional Decisions document now also incorporates multiple college and career readiness benchmarks for goal setting.