Preparing to test
NWEA recommends 3 Mbps for every 30 computers concurrently testing. To perform an internet speed test, use a website such as Speedtest.net and select Portland, Oregon (the primary location of NWEA servers). While we can’t guarantee success in every case, we have tested children over satellite and cell phone connections without issue. If you have issues with connectivity (your internet connection goes down and you need to reconnect), rest assured that when you test with us, each answer is saved as your child enters it. If you lose your internet connection, simply call your proctor once you are back online, and they can help your student pick up where they left off.
When you are preparing to assess your children with MAP Growth, you need to prepare your children and your testing device.
To prepare your children, we encourage using the NWEA “warmup” site to familiarize your child with the format of the test. MAP Growth is designed to challenge all students, and because of this, your child will be asked questions they cannot yet answer correctly. We encourage you to explain to your children that students typically answer about half the questions correctly on MAP Growth. This does not mean they are doing poorly on the test—the test adapts to the level that is providing the correct amount of challenge. Encourage them to think about the question, eliminate any obviously wrong answers, and then take their best guess. We do not recommend reviewing material to prepare for MAP Growth, because the purpose of the test is to help you assess your normal homeschool routine. When you are choosing your test date, we recommend choosing a day that is at least two weeks after any long break in homeschooling so the results aren’t unduly influenced by the break.
To prepare your testing device, you will need to ensure that you have the proper software installed. For a smooth testing experience, please test with the Chrome browser or the NWEA Secure Testing App, if being taken on an iPad.
If you have any posters or other learning aids that might serve as reference material during the test, please cover them up or put them away before testing begins. If you have internet blocking or accountability software, please disable it during testing. The device will need to be connected to the internet throughout the test.
We recommend that you choose the grade level for which you would like percentile rankings. For many families this is the grade level the child would be in their local public school, based on their birthdate. MAP Growth adapts to the student’s performance as they test independent of their grade level, so selecting a grade level is not an effective way to set the level of the test. If your child is working well at grade level, please see our guidelines for above-level testing.
Students may test with us up to three times a year: once each in fall (August 15–November 30), winter (December 1–February 28), and spring (March 1–June 15). We encourage families to balance testing with the rest of their homeschool schedule and test as often as they find helpful.
Our children attend a private school or public school that does not offer MAP Growth; can we test with you?
No, we are only able to test homeschooled students.
Please choose dates where your schedule will allow you to make testing a priority. MAP Growth testing usually takes 40–60 minutes per day for two or three days, but because it is an untimed test with unlimited breaks, some kids need significantly more time than that. If you need to pause a test to run an errand or take a break for lunch, that’s not a problem. We do encourage you to only schedule activities that you are comfortable missing on testing days.
Select a testing time when your child is at their best. For younger kids, this is frequently first thing in the morning. Older kids and teens often prefer to start a bit later in the day. We do not offer evening testing times, as we find kids frequently struggle with MAP Growth if it’s taken too late in the day. We do not recommend scheduling challenging academic work on MAP Growth testing days.
If you would like for all your kids to test on the same days, but not at the same time, we can accommodate you. Register all your kids for an appointment beginning at the time when you would like your first child to start testing. When each child is done, call your proctor and they will help the next child log in and begin testing. Please sign up for an early enough appointment for all children to have completed testing by 7:00 p.m. Eastern/6:00 p.m. Central/5:00 p.m. Mountain/4:00 p.m. Pacific/3:00 p.m. Alaska/2:00 p.m. Hawaii. We recommend allowing 90 minutes per child to accommodate breaks and avoid any unnecessary time-related stress.