About the NWEA MAP Growth Reading Section

The MAP Reading section is part of the three main MAP tests offered to students in grades K–12. Like all other sections of the test, the MAP Reading Test is an untimed computer adaptive achievement test. This means that questions either increase or decrease in difficulty, depending on the student's previous answers.

NWEA’s reading section of the MAP Test is used by educators to track growth throughout students' school years. Results give students an idea of where they rank nationally, as well as a view of their own personal progress. Preparing for the MAP Reading Test ensures more accurate results.

MAP Growth Reading Questions

The NWEA MAP Reading Test is comprised of 40-43 questions that are based on the following three components:

Informational Text

Questions in the informational text component ask students to read passages such as articles, studies, text entries, advertisements, letters, or any other informational piece,  and demonstrate their reading comprehension abilities. The following elements are commonly asked about in this section to determine your ability to recognize, analyze, and interpret them: 

  • Main idea, Details, and Inferences 
  • Purpose, Structure, and Argument 
Question 1: Informational Text

Read the passage.

Leonardo da Vinci was an Italian artist who lived in the time of the Renaissance. He is famous for his paintings, but he was also a scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician, and writer. Leonardo wanted to know how everything worked in nature. He was very good at studying, designing, and making all sorts of interesting things.

Leonardo was born in Vinci, a small town near Florence, Italy. He was trained to be an artist by the sculptor and painter Verrocchio. He spent most of his life working for rich Italian noblemen. In his last years, he lived in a beautiful home given to him by the King of France.

Two of his paintings are among the best-known works of art in the world: the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. Leonardo was often thinking of new inventions. He kept scrapbooks with notes and drawings of these ideas. While most of his inventions were never made, some of his ideas include a helicopter, a tank, a calculator, a parachute, a robot, and a telephone.

Which of the following sentences summarizes the passage best?

A. Leonardo da Vinci was trained to be an artist by the sculptor and painter Verrocchio. He lived in a beautiful home given to him by the King of France.

B. Leonardo da Vinci wanted to know how everything worked in nature. Two of his best- known paintings are the Mona Lisaand The Last Supper.

C. Leonardo da Vinci was a talented artist and inventor. He is mostly known for his paintings, but his creative ideas as an inventor should not be overlooked.

D. Leonardo da Vinci was often thinking of new inventions: a helicopter, a tank, a calculator, a parachute, a robot, and a telephone.

Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is (C).

A summary must contain the central ideas of a passage. It should not contain many specific details, but rather focus on the general points that the passage is trying to make. Answer choice (C) summarizes the central ideas of the passage—Leonardo da Vinci as an artist and inventor, who is famous mostly for his paintings yet his inventions were also very impressive. Therefore, the correct answer is (C).

Word Meaning

Questions in this subcategory ask you to demonstrate your knowledge of words, their meanings, nuances, and components. Younger students may be asked about phonics, syllables, word recognition, and word relationships, such as synonyms and antonyms. Older students may be asked to interpret connotations of words or specific meanings from context, the roles words are playing, the connections between words, and the breakdown and meaning of their affixes. 

Question 2: Word Meaning

Read the following passage and answer the corresponding question on the right:

Jeb had a meeting at work to discuss the company’s progress in product development. The conversation veered briefly into the area of customer satisfaction, yet Jeb’s boss steered them away from that discussion, claiming that it wasn’t pertinent to the goals of the current meeting. In less than an hour, they had already covered all of the items on the agenda, and the meeting ended.

Which of the following words is a synonym of the underlined word as it is used in the passage?

A. Similar

B. Important

C. Unrelated

D. Interesting

E. Relevant

Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is (E).

Both the words “pertinent” and “relevant” describe something as having to do with the topic at hand. The conversation veered off-topic and the boss's reaction to this was to move them away from that new topic because it was not "pertinent" to the meeting’s goals. This implies that the issue with discussing the new topic was that it was "not related to the topic at hand," or as the passage describes it, "not pertinent." Therefore, it makes sense that the word "pertinent" would have the same meaning as "relevant": having to do with a given topic.

Literary Text

Similar to the informational text questions, these  questions provide literary passages   in order to assess your reading comprehension as it pertains to literature. You will need to be able to identify, analyze, and interpret different forms of literature, such as prose, poetry, stories, and dialogue, as well as various literary elements, as they pertain to the following components:  

  • Theme, Characters, Setting, and Plot 
  • Purpose, Structure, Genre, and Literary Devices 
Question 3: 

Read the passage.

It was a fine day and the sky was clear above Lake Moore. Trees all around were blooming. The air itself seemed easier to breathe than usual as I stood there, taking in the magnificent view. I had just stepped out of the lake. My feet were still soaked in the gentle water of the lake and I myself was completely drenched, but the gentle breeze, which made the flowers around dance ever so slightly, only made me shiver with joy.

Which of the following is an example of personification?

A. Trees all around were blooming.

B. My feet were soaked.

C. The breeze made the flowers dance.

D. It only made me shiver with joy.

Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is (C).

Personification is a figure of speech in which a non-human thing or animal is described as having human qualities or as doing human actions. The flowers in the text are described as dancing, which is a human action. Therefore, the correct answer is (C).

Answer (A) is incorrect because blooming is not a human action.

Answer (B) is incorrect because being soaked is not necessarily a human action—objects can be soaked, too.

Answer (D) is incorrect because the subject is already a person (me), and therefore cannot be personified.

NWEA MAP Reading Standards

NWEA MAP Growth Reading Test scores are given using a RIT scale. RIT scores are designed to track individual student progress. The NWEA MAP Growth Test is meant to be taken by students at various points throughout the academic calendar. This means that if a student scores a RIT score of 181 on the MAP Reading Test, his or her goal should be to surpass that score next time. 

Standard RIT Scores for Reading from the 2020 Academic Year

Grade Beginning
of Year
of year
of Year
K 136.65 146.28 153.09
1 155.93 165.85 171.40
2 172.35 181.20 185.57
3 186.62 193.90 197.12
4 196.67 202.50 204.83
5 204.48 209.12 210.98
6 210.17 213.81 215.36
7 214.20 217.09 218.36
8 218.01 220.52 221.66
9 218.90 220.52 221.40
10 221.47 222.91 223.51

Prepare for the NWEA MAP Reading Test

Preparation is key to ensuring that your child receives the grade he or she deserves. Our MAP Practice Packs are designed to zero-in on every section of the test, providing ample opportunities for your child to learn and progress. Each practice pack comes not only with full-length MAP tests, but with tests and quizzes dedicated to specific sections, including the MAP Reading Test.

Not Sure About Our Packs Yet?

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