Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA)

Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) is a not-for-profit organization committed to helping school districts throughout the nation improve learning for all students. It partners with more than 1,300 school districts representing more than three million students. As a result of NWEA tests, educators can make informed decisions to promote your child’s academic growth.

NWEA’s computerized adaptive test is called Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). When taking a MAP test, the difficulty of each question is based on how well a student answers all the previous questions. As the student answers correctly, questions become more difficult. If a student answers incorrectly, the questions become easier. The final score is an estimate of the student’s achievement level.

2017-2018 NWEA Implementation Schedule

MAP tests (grades 2 thru 10) will be administered in mathematics and reading during the following test windows. Please note that the testing session will depend the student's current grade level and programming needs.

  • September 7-October 17 (Fall)
  • January 2- January 12 (Winter)
  • May 1 - May 25 (Spring)



Frequently Asked Questions

What are computerized adaptive tests?

Computerized adaptive tests are tests taken on a computer. The difficulty of a test is adjusted to the student’s performance so each student sees different test questions. The difficulty of each question is based on how well the student has answered the questions up to that point. As the student answers correctly, the questions become more difficult. If the student answers incorrectly, the questions become easier.

What subjects does MAP test?

MAP test’s students in math and reading.

How long does it take to complete a test?

Although the tests are not timed, it usually takes students about one hour to complete each test.

When will my student be tested and how often?

Districts have the option of testing their students up to four times a year. Our district tests a few grade levels at the beginning of the school year in fall and at the end of the school year in spring. Most STMA students in grades 3-8 test in the spring of the school year resulting in a Spring to Spring Growth Measure (from Spring of the previous year to Spring of the current year.)  Some students test in the Winter to help determine if programming is meeting individual student needs. 

Do all students in the same grade take the same test?

No. NWEA assessments are designed to target a student’s academic performance in math and reading. These tests are tailored to an individual’s current achievement level. This gives each student a fair opportunity to show what he or she knows and can do. In the MAP test, the computer adjusts the difficulty of the questions so that each student takes a unique test.

What are NWEA assessments used for?

NWEA assessments are used to measure your student’s progress or growth in school. You may have a chart in your home on which you mark your child’s height at certain times, such as on his or her birthday. This is a growth chart. It shows how much he or she has grown from one year to the next. The MAP tests do the same sort of thing, except they measure your student’s growth in reading and math skills. The scale used to measure your child’s progress is called the RIT scale (Rasch unIT). The RIT scale is an equal-interval scale much like feet and inches on a yardstick. It is used to chart your student’s academic growth from year to year.

How do teachers use the test scores?

The MAP tests are important to teachers because they keep track of progress and growth in basic skills. They let teachers know where a student’s strengths are and if help is needed in any specific areas. Teachers use this information to help them guide instruction in the classroom.

What can parents do to help their students prepare for testing?

Please see the Tips for Parents section for helpful information.

Resource Link

South Washington County Interactive Reading Games Based on RIT Scores


A Lexile is a unit for measuring text difficulty that is linked to the RIT score. A Lexile is reported on an equal interval scale, like the RIT scale. 10L is at the low end of the scale and 1700L is at the high end. Books for beginning readers are listed as BR on the scale. The Lexile range is included on individual student progress reports. It allows teachers and parents to find books, periodicals, and other reading material that is appropriately challenging for each student.

Students are considered to be at an appropriate level when they can comprehend approximately 75% of the material they read. This ensures that students are neither frustrated nor bored, and are stimulating their learning processes while rewarding their current reading abilities.

The Lexile database currently includes over 30,000 books. You can access the Lexile website at You can search titles, authors, subjects, Lexile ranges or ISBNs at the website free of charge. Other features of the website include frequently asked questions, the Lexile Times Newsletter, a parent link, and a reading calendar. More info on Lexiles can be accessed on the STMA Lexile site.

Some Examples of Books:

  • Green Eggs and Ham 30L
  • Amelia Bedelia 140L
  • Clifford, the Big Red Dog 220L
  • Bony-Legs 370L
  • Charlotte’s Web 680L
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 940L
  • Hatchet 1020L
  • Little Women 1300L
  • Pride and Prejudice 1100L
  • The Good Earth 1530L