MAP Kindergarten Test

The MAP Kindergarten Test is a computer-adaptive test that measures your child’s progress throughout their academic career. 

The grades K through 2 tests assess mathematics and reading abilities. The results from these tests allow teachers to identify the gaps in your child’s knowledge and to better understand their ability to learn and retain information. 

The MAP test is administered three times in the academic year to ensure your child’s progress is properly recorded. 

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What Is a MAP Test?

The MAP test is a computer-adaptive test created by the NWEA, a non-profit organization that creates assessments for school children.

This means that each question gets harder with every correct answer and easier with every incorrect answer, allowing your child to work through at a level that suits them. 

The unique scoring system that the MAP uses takes the difficulty level into consideration and produces a result unique to your child.

It is taken by students grades K through 12 and assesses:

  • Language usage
  • Mathematics
  • Reading 
  • Science

MAP tests for kindergarten level only assess reading and mathematics.

The MAP test is given in the fall, winter and summer as a way to monitor your child’s academic progress. 

It is untimed, but guidelines suggest it should take approximately 45 minutes to complete.

The MAP tests are available in English and Spanish, as well as a host of accessible options such as Braille and color contrast. 

How Is the MAP Kindergarten Test Different?

As the kindergarten age is so young, NWEA has made some adjustments to the school assessment test format.

The questions are recorded so your child can listen through a set of headphones.

There are also a lot of visual aids and pictures to keep your child engaged.

Before the test begins, an audio test will ensure the headphones and visual aids are working. There will also be a series of practice questions to help settle your child. 

After 20 minutes, the test will be interrupted to either pause, suspend or terminate the test.

  • A pause means the test will resume after 25 minutes on the same device, starting where they left off.
  • Suspend means your child will need to come back after 28 days and resume the test from where they left off.
  • Terminate means that the current test is discarded, and your child will have to wait for the next assessment date.

MAP Kindergarten Mathematics Section

The mathematics section consists of about 43 questions and the test areas are:

  • Computation and Problem Solving – Basic calculations and solving mathematical word problems
  • Number Sense – Counting, ordering and understanding numbers 
  • Measurement – Understanding time, temperatures and lengths
  • Statistics and Probability – Understanding simple graphs and guessing the likelihood of something happening
  • Algebra – Using simple applications such as patterns and relationships
  • Geometry – Identifying simple shapes and understanding concepts such as symmetry.

Below are some kindergarten MAP test samples. These questions are not affiliated with the official test and will therefore not be on the test

They are designed to give you an idea of the type of questions your child might have to answer.

Example Questions

1. What is the name of this shape?

a) Sphere
b) Cube
c) Cone
d) Pyramid

The correct answer is: b) 

This shape is a cube. Spheres are round, and both cones and pyramids will have pointy bits.

2. Look at the crayons below. Move the long crayons into the box with the other long crayons, and the small crayons into the box with the other small crayons.

The correct answer is: There will be 4 long crayons altogether and 4 small crayons.

3. Sarah has 5 balls. Her friend gives her 3 balls. Move the correct number of balls into the box.

The correct answer is: 8 of the balls should be moved into the box, leaving 4.

MAP Kindergarten Reading Section

The MAP kindergarten test reading section also has around 43 questions and assesses:

  • Phonology and Phonics – Understanding different sounds, rhyming words and vowels/consonants 
  • Concepts of Print – Understanding the alphabet, order of letters, words and sentences 
  • Word Structure and Meaning – Categorizing words, prefixes, affixes, synonyms and antonyms 
  • Comprehension – Understanding different elements of a story, listening and reading
  • Writing – Capitals, spelling, tenses

Example Questions 

1. Look at the sentence. What sign is missing?

Do you like apple juice

a) .
b) ?
c) :
d) !

The correct answer is: b) 

It needs a question mark because it is a question. a) would make it a full sentence. c) is an advanced punctuation sign used to link two sentences together. d), an exclamation mark, is only used to show a reaction such as excitement.

2. From the sentence below, click on the word ‘and’:

I love playing on the swings and slides

3. Which picture matches the sounds ‘ch’ ‘air’?

The correct answer is: a) because the sounds make the word ‘chair’.

b) would be sn-ow-man. c) would be c-at. d) would be ch-oc-o-late.

Why Are MAP Tests Used?

MAP tests are used as a tool to track a student’s progress from grades K-12. 

The MAP kindergarten test is an aptitude test specifically designed to assess your child’s ability to learn and retain information. It is an indication of their learning style and identifies gaps in their knowledge.

All this information is then used to determine their learning potential and what additional support they may need.

How Are MAP Tests Scored?

The MAP test is scored using the Rasch unIT scale (RIT), which gives your child a grade-independent score.

This method allows you to accurately measure and assess your child’s progress through the grades.

Each question on the tests has its own RIT value that is determined by the difficulty of that question.

The RIT scale was developed by NWEA employees and is used by teachers to:

  • Find common areas of improvement in an entire class
  • Act as a starting point in future assessments
  • Help them prepare their teaching plan
  • Measure a student’s academic growth
  • Set student goals

Your child will receive a RIT score for each MAP test subject taken, as well as a general RIT score.

The subject scores will help you see which areas your child needs support in. 

The general RIT score indicates the difficulty level your child is expected to correctly answer at least 50% of the questions.

2022 results suggested that NWEA MAP norms were:

  • Mathematics – 148
  • Reading – 145

How to Prepare for the MAP Kindergarten Test

Preparing a young child for the MAP test for kindergarten is not always easy. They are incredibly young and don’t yet know the importance or value of sitting aptitude tests.

They also often have short attention spans, which can be an issue when taking a test with multiple questions.

Giving yourself and your child ample time to prepare will help improve your child’s understanding and performance without causing stress.

Begin your preparation by learning what you can about the test, such as the subject areas and question format. Excellent websites that provide sample questions are WikiJob and TestPrep-Online.

Practice MAP Kindergarten Test

These sites have several free MAP tests for kindergarten.

From there, you can decide on the best methods for teaching your child.

These may include:

  • Purchasing a variety of colorful toys, such as building cubes, stuffed animals and child-friendly learning cards with numbers and the alphabet.
  • Turning the questions into games to help keep your child engaged and having the whole family play along.

While working through the MAP test practice for kindergarten encourage your child to think about their decisions by asking them why they chose that option or why they think that’s correct. 

A big factor in the kindergarten level is improving attention span. When you start the practice session, begin with short games regularly throughout the day – no more than five minutes.

When your child is more than happy focusing for five minutes, try seven, then nine, and so on until your child can answer a full test paper.

Essentially, your preparation is going to include a lot of patience and play-based learning.

Explore online forums such as Quora and Facebook to see what learning games and tips other parents found useful.

Adding reading to their schedule will help with their vocabulary, spelling and language understanding. 

Reading, in general, is a great hobby to encourage, especially when it includes a variety of texts such as non-fiction, fiction and poetry.

Most importantly do not put any stress on your child. This test is designed to highlight which areas they are behind in and which areas they excel in. 

But they are also very young and at the beginning of their schooling experience. Showing any anger or frustration will cause your child to lose interest in the learning process.

Instead, focus on what your child has done well and actively praise and reward them. The more encouraging you are, the more interest your child will show.

Keeping your child well nourished, hydrated, rested and healthy will help develop and improve their learning abilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

When are MAP Kindergarten Tests taken?

The MAP Kindergarten Tests are taken in the fall, winter and spring of the Kindergarten academic year.

What is the average MAP Test score?

The average MAP test score for Kindergarten level is 140 for mathematics and 137 for reading; first grade is 160 and 156; second grade is 175 and 172.

What subjects are included in the MAP Tests in Kindergarten?

The subjects assessed in the MAP Kindergarten Test are mathematics and reading. Within the mathematics test, you can expect questions with simple additions and subtractions, identifying shapes and recognizing number sequences.

The reading test measures understanding of punctuation, tenses, sentence structure and spelling.

Can you help your child practice for their MAP Tests?

Yes, it is highly advised that you help your child prepare for their MAP test. You can do this by creating a study schedule and making all your child’s learning fun and rewarding.

You can also help their developing learning abilities by ensuring they eat a healthy balanced diet, get enough exercise and sleep and are properly hydrated.

Final Thoughts 

Preparing your child for their first official school test can be scary, especially when they are so young. However, it is important to remember that the MAP tests are there as a tool to measure and track your child’s academic performance. 

It is also important to remember that children can get anxious and nervous when faced with these situations. 

Ample preparation will help calm some of those nerves and give your child extra confidence. 

When helping your child prepare, remember to make the activities fun, enjoyable and rewarding. This will encourage your child to participate more and reinforce that learning is something they enjoy.

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