What is so important about MAP Growth?


Leisa Morton-Standish, PhD

Director of Elementary Education

Teachers and administrators are now looking at how they can get the most out of their MAP Growth assessment data and refining administrative procedures.

Test in the Fall, Winter and Spring

NWEA recommends testing three times a year. Why so many times?

  1. Administering MAP Growth tests three times a year provides additional data points for each student, resulting in a much clearer and more stable picture of student performance.
    For example, assume that a student is tested in mathematics every spring and produces a very low result in Grade 5 after steady growth over the previous five years of testing. It may appear that the student took a step backward, academically, or the instruction was not effective.

    However, if testing is administered three times a year teachers will be able to see a pattern of results. The additional data points make it clear that the student had an off day during spring testing in grade 5. The pattern of additional tests helps everyone involved in this student's learning get a much clearer and more stable view of the student's growth over time.

    The use of fall, winter and spring testing also offers more ways to measure growth, such as fall to winter, winter to spring, fall to fall, winter to winter, and spring to spring, which is far more robust than one testing, annually.
  2. Testing multiple times in the year also assures that teachers review and use student data more often. For example, if spring testing is administered late March, students may have as many as 10 weeks of instruction and a summer interim between spring testing and the fall testing season.
  3. The recommendation to test three times per year as MAP is meant to inform instruction. Without the winter data piece, educators may not be aware of a student that is not growing, academically, until close to the end of the school year when the “window for action” may have already passed.


Integrating MAP Growth Testing into the school day

The MAP Growth testing is taking too much time.

MAP Growth testing administration is flexible. The testing window in Fall, Winter and Spring is two weeks. Schools do not need to block out three days of the school year to test students. Each test is untimed but should only take 45 – 75 minutes.

  1. If testing is at the same time of the day, teachers can create a test center and rotate students through the testing center over two weeks
  2. High School students could use one study hall or one class each day to take the MAP testing
  3. Block out 75 mins over a week for students to take each MAP Growth test


How do I use the Data?

Make the most of your data. You have free professional development at your fingertips. Here are five suggested free trainings from NWEA on using MAP data:

Free Information on MAP Reports

Free Video on Student Profile Report

Free Video on Class Report

Free Video on Learning Continuum

Resources on understanding Growth and Norms

A MAP data information session, specifically targeted for our Multigrade teachers, but helpful to everyone, is available on ALC


Additional Resources


Free recorded webinars are available on this page:

Scroll down to see the full list.


Report Basics

To get started using your MAP Growth results, follow these key steps:

  • Step 1 – Find the Right Report
  • Step 2 – Choose Report Options
  • Step 3 – Download from the Reports Queue

To learn details about the data in each report, see MAP Report Details.




t’s exciting to hear teachers’ comments, like the one below, about the implementation of Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Growth assessments in NAD schools.

Testing Duration:

How long is too long ...


“We did our second MAP test for math yesterday. My students had SO MUCH growth!! It was an average overall gain of 7.4 points per student. Math is not my area of confidence, but I’ve been doing my best. I’m so excited about these results!!”





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