A Full Guide to the Map Test Grade 3

A Full Guide to the Map Test Grade 3

Updated July 21, 2023

By Edward Mellett
A Full Guide to the Map Test Grade 3
A Full Guide to the Map Test Grade 3

The Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test is a widely used tool that measures a student’s progress and growth based on the common core curriculum followed by most US schools.

This adaptive, computer-based test provides educators with valuable data to evaluate learning and tailor instruction to meet individual needs.

The 3rd grade MAP test is specifically designed to measure growth and achievement in reading skills, language usage and mathematics.

This guide is a comprehensive overview of the MAP test for third-graders, including what the test measures, how it works and tips for preparing your child for the test.

What Is MAP Testing for 3rd Grade?

The 3rd grade MAP test was developed by the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA). It is responsible for creating reliable assessments that accurately measure student learning.

The MAP test is one of the most popular assessments developed by NWEA and is used by many schools across the USA to assess students from kindergarten to 12th grade.

The 3rd grade MAP test accurately measures student growth and achievement across different subject areas.

These are:

  • Reading skills
  • Language usage
  • Mathematics

Each subject area covers different aspects designed to measure students’ understanding of various concepts and skills.


  • Literature
  • Vocabulary and word recognition
  • Informational texts

Language Usage

  • Grammar and usage
  • Sentence structure
  • Writing conventions


  • Numbers and operations
  • Algebra
  • Geometry and measurement
  • Algebraic thinking

Each section includes skills and concepts students must master in 3rd grade.

The MAP test is adaptive, which means that the difficulty of the questions adjusts based on the student’s responses.

Third-graders often take their first MAP test in the fall to establish a baseline of their reading, language usage and mathematics knowledge and skills.

Further tests in winter and spring are then used to track the student’s progress and growth throughout the school year.

However, this is at the discretion of the school.

What Is the Purpose of the 3rd Grade MAP Test?

The MAP test has several purposes. These include:

  • To measure student achievement – The MAP test measures what students know and can do in various subject areas; this helps teachers understand where students excel and where they may need additional support

  • To track student growth – Administering the MAP test multiple times through the school year, schools can track a student’s academic growth and progress over time; this allows them to adjust instruction and support accordingly

  • To inform instruction – MAP test data can be used by teachers to tailor instruction to meet the individual needs of each student, providing targeted support and challenges as required

  • To evaluate program effectiveness – Schools can use MAP test data to evaluate the effectiveness of their curriculum, instruction, and support programs; this informs future planning to improve outcomes

How Are 3rd Grade MAP Scores Presented?

The 3rd Grade MAP test scores are presented as a RIT (Rasch unIT) scale.

This scale measures student achievement and growth in relation to specific subject areas.

RIT scores are calculated using a complex statistical model.

Results also include a percentile ranking. This compares a student’s performance to that of other students in the same grade level.

For example, a student who scored in the 75th percentile performed better than 75% of other third-graders who took the test.

Depending on the 3rd grade NWEA scores, students may be given more challenging work or offered additional support and intervention.

What Is a Good 3rd Grade MAP Score?

There is no ‘good’ score on the 3rd Grade MAP test as they are not designed to be a pass or fail result.

Scores vary depending on a variety of factors, including a student’s individual strengths and areas for improvement and their educational background.

Third-grade map test score ranges are typically between 160 to 210, with higher scores indicating higher levels of achievement.

As a guide, these are the RIT median scores for each section in the 3rd grade MAP test.

  • Math – 188
  • Language usage – 188
  • Reading – 187

These scores equate to a median percentile of 50.

Scores are compared with peers on both local and national levels. This provides a useful benchmark for tracking progress and growth.

It’s important not to view these scores as a target to be achieved. They serve as a personalized assessment of each student’s academic development.

The MAP test cannot be failed as it is designed with a computer-adaptive system. If a student answers incorrectly, the next question will be slightly easier to accurately assess the student’s level of understanding.

MAP testing scores 3rd grade should be interpreted in the context of a student’s individual learning needs.

What Is the MAP 3rd Grade Test Format?

The MAP 3rd Grade Test is a computerized test that adjusts the difficulty of the questions based on a student’s responses.

The specific format of the test may vary depending on the subject area being tested but generally includes a variety of question types, such as:

  • Multiple Choice Questions – These present a stem or question followed by several answer options.
  • Drag and Drop Questions – Students must select and move a specific item to a designated location on the screen.
  • Fill-in-the-Blank Questions – These present a sentence or statement with a blank space, and the student must choose the correct word or phrase to complete it

The MAP 3rd grade Test is designed to be an engaging and interactive assessment.

Each section contains an average of 53 questions.

The MAP test is not timed, but students generally take between 45 to 60 minutes to complete each section.

Scratch paper is provided and a calculator appears on the screen when needed for particular questions.

3rd Grade MAP Test Sections

Math Section

  • Numbers and operations – This assesses the understanding of basic number concepts, such as whole numbers, fractions, decimals and place value.

  • Algebra and algebraic thinking – Students may be asked to identify number patterns, write and solve equations, and use mathematical models to represent and solve problems.

  • Geometry and measurement – This area assesses the understanding of basic geometric concepts, such as shapes, angles and symmetry, as well as measurement concepts, such as length, area, volume and time.

Language Usage

  • Grammar and usage – This area assesses the understanding of basic grammar, such as parts of speech, sentence structure, punctuation, and capitalization. Students may be asked to identify and correct errors in sentences, and use punctuation and capitalization correctly.

  • Sentence structure – Students may be asked to identify and correct errors in sentences related to usage, choose the correct form of a verb or pronoun and choose the correct word or phrase to complete a sentence.

  • Writing conventions – This area assesses a student’s understanding of the conventions of standard English usage, such as subject-verb agreement, pronoun-antecedent agreement and verb tense consistency.


  • Literature – This area assesses the understanding of literary elements, such as character, plot, setting and theme. Students may be asked to identify these elements and analyze how they convey meaning.

  • Vocabulary – This area assesses a student’s understanding of vocabulary words and phrases, including synonyms, antonyms and homonyms. Students need to understand word relationships and the meaning behind them.

  • Informational texts – This assesses a student’s ability to read and understand informational text, such as news articles, essays and reports. Students may be asked to identify the main idea of a passage, make inferences and draw conclusions.

Test Practice 3rd Grade MAP Examples

Math MAP Test Examples

Example Question

1. Solve the Y in the equation: Y = 2 x (8 – 3)

a) 8
b) 9
c) 10
d) 11

Example Question

2. A school bus carries 32 students. If there are four buses, how many students can the buses carry altogether?

a) 4
b) 8
c) 16
d) 128

Language Usage MAP Test Examples

Example Question

1. Which of these sentences correctly uses past perfect tense?

a) I called my friend yesterday
b) He had just left when I came home
c) She saw a bird on the way to school
d) I don’t want to call him tomorrow

Example Question

2. Question: Choose the sentence that is written correctly.

a) Their going to the park tomorrow
b) There going to the park tomorrow
c) They’re going to the park tomorrow
d) Theres going to the park tomorrow

Reading MAP Test Examples

Example Question

1. What is the main idea of the passage?

'Swimming is a great way to exercise and have fun at the same time. It is a low-impact activity that is easy on the joints and can be done by people of all ages. Whether you are swimming laps in a pool or splashing around at the beach, swimming is a great way to stay active and healthy.'

a) Swimming is a popular activity for people of all ages
b) Swimming is a low-impact exercise that is easy on the joints
c) Swimming can be done in a variety of locations, such as pools and beaches
d) Swimming is a fun way to stay active and healthy

Example Question

2. According to the passage, what is the author’s opinion about reading?

'Reading is an enjoyable activity that can transport us to other worlds and help us learn about new things. Some people prefer to read books, while others prefer digital formats such as e-books or audiobooks. However, regardless of the format, reading is an important skill that can benefit us in many ways.'

a) The author thinks reading is a waste of time
b) The author believes that e-books are better than physical books
c) The author thinks that reading is an important and enjoyable activity
d) The author believes that audiobooks are the best way to read

Map Test Grade 3: Full Guide
Map Test Grade 3: Full Guide

If you want 12-month access to all the practice resources for this test, our partner TestPrep-Online.com offers a Family Membership.

Family Membership gives you access to all the TestPrep-Online resources for the next 12 months. You will also get two separate accounts, which can be very helpful if you have two children preparing for their tests.

How to Prepare for a 3rd Grade MAP Test

Step 1. Know the Core Skills Being Tested

One of the best ways to prepare for the 3rd grade MAP test is to know the core skills that are being tested.

The test assesses a range of skills in math, language usage, and reading comprehension. It’s important to review these skills and practice them regularly leading up to the test.

Be sure to focus on the specific skills and concepts that your child may need additional help with.

Step 2. Take 3rd Grade MAP Test Practice Tests Online

Taking practice tests is a great way to prepare for the 3rd grade MAP test.

Many online resources offer NWEA practice test 3rd grade examples that simulate the format and structure of the actual test.

These practice tests can help your child become familiar with the types of questions they will encounter when taking the test and identify areas where they may need additional support.

Step 3. Understand Strengths and Weaknesses

To effectively engage in 3rd grade MAP test pratice, it’s important to understand your child’s strengths and weaknesses.

Focus on helping your child improve in areas where they struggle while also reinforcing areas where they excel.

This will help them build confidence and feel more prepared for the test.

Step 4. Review Basic Skills Through Play

Learning through play is a fun and effective way to review basic skills that will be assessed on the 3rd grade MAP test.

Games, puzzles and other interactive activities can help your child practice important skills like math facts, reading comprehension and language usage.

Incorporate these activities into your child’s daily routine to help them prepare for the test in a fun and engaging way.

Step 5. Get Enough Rest

Rest and relaxation are essential preparation in the run-up to your child’s MAP test.

Getting enough rest is an often-overlooked but essential part of test preparation. Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep leading up to the test to ensure that they are well-rested and alert on test day.

A good night’s sleep can help your child feel more focused, confident, and ready to do their best on, and attain the best 3rd grade MAP test scores.

Step 6. Have a Positive Attitude

Tests can feel stressful for children. It is important to remain positive and supportive.

Reward your child for good focus and for making an effort. This helps them remain engaged and motivated to do well.

Reading together and practicing math while at the store are some fun ways to engage your child.

Frequently Asked Questions

The 3rd grade MAP test is a standardized assessment used to measure the academic progress of third-grade students in the areas of math, language usage and reading comprehension.

The test is designed to provide educators with valuable information about each student’s strengths and areas for improvement.

The MAP test (3rd grade) is not a pass-or-fail test, so there is no ‘passing’ score. The test is designed to assess a student’s current level of academic progress, so each student’s score will be different depending on their individual abilities and knowledge.

Yes, you can prepare for the 3rd grade MAP test. Many online resources are available, including NWEA practice test 3rd grade samples, study guides and interactive games that can help students prepare for the test.

Incorporate fun activities into your daily routine that focuses on key skills. For example, reading and discussing texts and adding up the grocery bill at the store.

The MAP test (3rd grade) is not timed. It generally takes between 45 to 60 minutes to complete each section. This depends on the individual student and the specific testing conditions.

The number of questions on the 3rd grade MAP test varies as it is an adaptive test. However, the test typically contains around 50 questions per subject area.

A ‘good’ score on the MAP test (3rd grade) depends on the individual student’s abilities and knowledge. Generally, a score at or above the national average is considered good. The average score for 3rd graders is around 188 in each topic area.

You can’t fail the 3rd grade MAP test as it is designed to assess each student’s current level of academic progress rather than pass or fail them. The results are used to determine the next steps in their academic journey.

There are many online resources available that offer examples for MAP test 3rd grade practice. TestPrep-Online offers a practice pack to help you prepare.

The MAP test can be retaken, but it is up to the individual school or district to determine their retake policy. In the 3rd grade, it may be taken more than once throughout the school year.

The MAP test (3rd grade) is meant to assess a student’s current academic progress in math, language usage and reading comprehension.

Your score for the MAP test (3rd grade) will be provided to you by your school. Typically, scores are distributed to parents and guardians through a report card or other communication. Teachers can access scores immediately to determine the next best steps for students.

A complete guide for the MAP test (3rd grade) can be found on TestPrep-Online. This contains a practice pack you can use to support your child as they prepare for their MAP test.

Final Thoughts

MAP scores are just one measure of a student’s academic performance and should be used in conjunction with other assessments and classroom observations.

This gives you a more comprehensive understanding of a student’s strengths and areas for improvement.

Always interpret MAP scores in the context of a student’s individual learning needs and the specific instructional and support programs in place at their school.

To help improve your child’s performance and confidence when taking the 3rd grade MAP test, prepare in advance and support them as they learn.

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