Decline in RIT scores between MAP Growth K-2 and 2-5 testing

Document created by Community User on Oct 31, 2017Last modified by Community User on Jul 26, 2020
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Why do some of my students have a drop in RIT score when they switch from MAP Growth K-2 to MAP Growth 2-5 tests?


Changes to K-2 test item calibrations

As a part of the 2020 Norms release, NWEA performed scale maintenance on the MAP Growth K-2 test. More specifically, NWEA is updated item calibrations on the MAP Growth K-2 test, which resulted in adjustments to K-2 scores starting in July 2020. For more information, see MAP Growth K-2 Scale Maintenance FAQ in our community Products Update space. 

Audio support

Some students who are not independent readers may have a higher score in the K-2 test because it contains audio support. When taking the K-2 test, students don’t need to labor over decoding at all – they can just show what they know in relation to the skill being assessed.

Difference in content and higher grade level content

Another factor is that MAP Growth K-2 and MAP Growth 2-5 tests have different formats and content coverage. Second grade students taking the 2-5 tests can see content that they may not have been exposed to yet. For example, they may not have had exposure to long division, or some of the vocabulary in the 2-5 reading test. This may explain a one-time drop in score. If the student is performing close to grade level, we would recommend having the student take the 2-5 tests, but would suggest interpreting the growth scores carefully.

Which test score is more accurate?

If a student has tested in both K-2 and 2-5, you can consider the standard error of measure (SEM) for each test score. A lower SEM indicates a more precise score within the content being assessed. We also recommend considering other measures, such as classroom performance and performance on other assessments.

Are the K-2 and 2-5 tests on the same RIT scale? Which assessment should I administer?

The RIT between the two tests (K-2 and 2-5) should correlate. When they do not, it is often because the content being assessed does not match the content being taught. As a general rule, the student should be tested according to the content they are being taught. If the student is being instructed on 3rd grade level content, they should be assessed with a 2-5 test. As noted above, reading ability matters for both the reading and math tests, since there is no audio in the 2-5 test.

For more information about transitioning students from MAP Growth K-2 to MAP Growth 2-5, see When to transition students from MAP Growth K-2 to 2-5 reading or math.

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