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Interpreting Test Results

How to Interpret the Results of Standardized Testing

by Tammy Tillman 

Standardized testing or achievement testing is designed to help parents and educators increase the potential for student success. Students’ achievement test results will be mailed with the student’s report cards after the close of school, students’ achievement test results.  The test results for students in grades K-11 will be for the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) by the Northwest Evaluation Association.

The MAP testing is a form of standardized assessment that the NWEA describes as a means for better understanding the academic ability of individual students in grades Kindergarten through 11th grades. The test consists of a series of questions, which if the student provides the correct answer for the first question, the second question increases in difficulty. However, if the student provides an incorrect answer, the next question given will be less difficult. By administering the MAP test and using the data to better understand our students, our faculty and administration can better serve their students.

The scores on the MAP testing are reported using the RIT scale (or Rasch Unit) to determine student scores. This means that each question on the test is matched with a value on the RIT Scale. The RIT Scale (RIT is an equal interval scale) value is determined by the difficulty of the question. This means that difference between scores is the same no matter what the student's test level. The NWEA reports that student MAP test scores are separated into three different subject areas: language usage, math, and reading. Once the student completes the test, the student's academic level is determined and a RIT score is given.  The students are prompted to print out the test results and for the most part they do.  Sometimes it does not get printed because of a printer problem or an operator problem.  These sheets are in the packets with the report cards and give a breakdown of the subtopics that are part of the test. Within each subject area, there are sub-categories. For example, within the language section there are the subcategories of composing, composition structure, basic grammar, punctuation and capitalization. Each student receives a score for each subject area test that they complete. Theses scores help narrow down what may be problem areas.

The generic chart included will help parents and students use a student's level of understanding for each subject area and compare it to the mean (average). In order to use them, take the student's scores and match them with the correlating column in the chart. The other two carts provide student specific historical data and comparison data as well as a comparison of current scores.

If you have an 8th or 10th grade student, the packet will also include the results of the pre-ACT tests.  The 8th grade EXPLORE test and the 10th grade PLAN test results sheet gives you a wealth of information. These results sheets were reviewed with students so they would understand all that is included in the report.  The ACT organization tells us that if 8 points are added to the EXPLORE composite score and 4 points to the PLAN score, you will have an indication of what the ACT score would be if the student worked at the same rate as they currently are doing.  Yet, the information especially given on the backside provides areas in need of improvement to score higher on the ACT Test. The students have their test booklets to use to student along with the correct answers to the test, plus a copy of the answers is on the parent report.

Please do not discard any of this information.  Please go over this information with your children and help them set goals for improvement.

If you like to receive help in the interpretation of this information please call Mrs. Linde Rafferty at 586-1700.