About rapid-guessing and test disengagement

Document created by Community User on Sep 10, 2018Last modified by Community User on Oct 18, 2019
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When students are disengaged from MAP Growth tests, they may rapidly click through test items. NWEA has some tools to help proctors identify students who are disengaged from testing, and to help educators interpret these results and decide whether to retest students.


What is a rapid guess?

A rapid guess means the student answered in a few seconds, well below the average response time measured by NWEA for each test question. The response is so fast that the student could not actually view the whole question.

When is a student considered disengaged from their test?

A student is considered disengaged when they answer three successive questions with rapid guesses. When this happens, MAP displays an alert for the proctor.

How should proctors respond to disengaged students?

We recommend pausing the student’s test and speaking with them before you resume the test. For more information, see How to Intervene in the MAP Help Center.

In the future, NWEA will be releasing more tools to help proctors keep students engaged. See FAQ: Improving test engagement in MAP Growth.

How does rapid-guessing impact a student’s score?

Rapid-guessing tends to deflate a student’s score. We provide a metric on the Student Profile report called Estimated Impact of Student Disengagement on RIT which shows how different the score potentially would have been if the student had been fully engaged during the test.

If a student meets the rapid-guessing threshold, it means the student rapid-guessed on 30% or more of the questions possible on the test. As a result, the score might misrepresent the student's abilities. The Retest Recommended - Rapid Guessing report provides a spreadsheet showing students who completed testing but exceeded the rapid-guessing threshold, so you can consider whether to retest.

For additional details on the Retest Recommended - Rapid Guessing report and how rapid guessing affects scoring, see Retest Recommended - Rapid Guessing in the MAP Help Center.

Does NWEA automatically invalidate tests with a high level of rapid-guessing?

Not currently. During the fall 2018 testing season, NWEA invalidated tests in which students rapidly-guessed on 30% or more of the test items. However, as of October 31st, 2018, NWEA no longer invalidates these tests, as we are working on improving tools and resources for educators to identify disengaged students and intervene. See FAQ: Improving test engagement in MAP Growth for more information.

Which reports show information about rapid-guessing and test disengagement?

Rapid-guessing metrics (if any) are reported in the following reports:

How does test disengagement and rapid-guessing affect growth?

Rapid-guessing impacts growth scores, either in a positive or negative direction (depending on when the student became disengaged). Rapid-guessing also helps to explain instances of negative growth. For more information, see the following blog post written by the leading researcher in the field of student disengagement, Steve Wise: How Does Test Engagement Affect RIT Score Validity?

Additional blogs from our research team:

What other resources help students stay engaged with MAP Growth testing?

See Tips to Prepare Students for MAP Growth in NWEA Connection. You must log in to access the PDF. See How do I create an account and sign in to NWEA Connection?

Where can I find more information about test disengagement and rapid-guessing?


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