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Academic Progress

The MAP of Academic Progress F.A.Q.
What is a MAP test?
The MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) test is a computer-adaptive test.  A test is uniquely created for each student based on how he or she responds to question.  If a student responds correctly the next question will be a little harder, or, a little easier if the student responded incorrectly.  All students are measured on a single, continuous scale, called a RIT scale, and the score is reported in RIT points or RITs. 

All questions come from a huge bank of questions with each corresponding in difficulty to a particular RIT score.  Because a question with a RIT level of 215 is more difficult, or represents a higher level of learning or skill level, than a question from a RIT level of 214, it is possible to measure growth over time.

What is the RIT scale and what does a score on the scale mean?
A RIT score represents a point on a continuous scale of learning. Measuring a student’s learning on the RIT scale is similar to measuring a student’s height with a yardstick.  Each unit on the scale represents the same degree of change so it is possible to measure growth over time.  For example if a student measured 46 inches tall in spring and measured 48 inches in October we would say the student grew two inches in height.  Similarly, if a student’s spring RIT score was 195 and his or October RIT score is 198, the student’s academic growth increased by 3 RITs.  A RIT score indicates the difficulty level at which the student is answering about 50% of the questions correctly.  Although it is possible to score as high as 265 or more on the reading test and 285 or more on the math test, 240 (reading) and 250 (math) are typical top scores.

How do I interpret RIT scores?
Each RIT score represents a point on a continuum of learning – a snapshot of a student’s academic performance at a particular time.  The score represents a student’s instructional level.  Because all scores fall on the same scale they give a picture of the student’s growth over time.
RIT scores should be used for measuring an individual student’s progress; RIT scores are not intended to be used as a comparison among students.  The same score at different grade levels can mean different things.
Students at lower grade levels tend to show a greater increase in RIT scor es during a school year than students in higher grade levels.  At higher levels, questions get much harder and the overall growth is a smaller proportion of all that one knows.
A percentile score gives a ranking for how the student compares to students in the national norm group.  The norm group represents all the students in the same grade level across the country who have taken MAP tests.  A score in the 75th percentile means that the student’s RIT score is higher than 75% of the students in the comparison group.
How will teachers use MAP scores?
Teachers can use MAP scores in conjunction with DesCartes, a description of the learning continuum that MAP scores measure, to determine the instructional needs of students and to plan for student learning. 
Teachers and students will use RIT scores to identify learning goals for the school year and also for specific academic gifted identification.

How should I interpret difference in MAP scores from spring to fall or fall to fall?
Because students have spent a relatively short amount of time in classes from spring to fall testing dates, changes in RIT scores will depend upon many factors. The amount of time that students spent in academic pursuits over the summer will affect their scores.  Students who were in summer programs or who read extensively over the summer may show greater gains than those who did not. A comparison of norm group scores from season to season and grade level gives an indication of typical changes in RIT scores.
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