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MAP Testing

In the week of 16th october, grades 6 to 9 had MAP tests. MAP tests stand for Measures of Academic Progress. These are adaptive tests from IB to look at each student's level in various subjects including science, math and language and literature. MAP tests are very different from traditional tests as it's not a simple question-answer test, but rather, it adapts to each student to see their progress in education. This assessment gives the teachers actionable and accurate evidence to help make instructional strategies. The subjects we were tested on were Mathematics, Science, Language Usage and Reading. These tests were spread out from Monday to Thursday, one test a day. The tests took place on the NWEA app. We were given an hour to complete the tests with an additional 25 minutes of extra time if needed.

As I said before, MAP tests are adaptive. This means that there is not a fixed set of questions, but it is adaptive to the student, it responds to the student's answer and the difficulty of the question is adjusted based on the student's previous answer. MAP tests allow teachers, schools and districts to help tailor instruction and supportive learning. These tests provide unique personalised data on each student who is on their own path of learning. Each student had different opinions and experiences on the MAP tests, ranging from good to bad.

I interviewed students and teachers who had different opinions on the MAP tests. I found out the various experiences of each student and teacher. These were the different opinions of people on the MAP tests, their experience, and what people thought of the tests.

MAP tests are very important for teachers; they help them learn about their students and find out what level in academics they are in. A teacher I interviewed said, "Map tests are important to gauge all students' abilities in basic foundational subjects such as language science and math this knowledge will help us build a more inclusive curriculum which will benefit all students"

One great thing about MAP tests is that it is very individual to each student, based on their own abilities as a learner. As said by a student, "MAP testing is great, especially for adjusting learning to each student. These tests were very useful for the teachers to track our learning progress." These types of tests asseses everyone at a different learning level, which lets teachers focus on each and every student. "Each teacher gets to pay attention to each student. Teachers can use these findings to assist each child on an individual basis, which is really great, and demonstrates their commitment to our academic advancement."

All of us are advancing and moving to higher grades, soon reaching Grade 10, where there will be many more tests, including e - assessments, and more. A student said, "I think MAP tests were really good as it prepares us for e-assessments. " Having MAP tests once or twice in a year helps us practice for upcoming tests in school as we progress into higher grades. It teaches us how to work within a time limit, work with time pressure, and have the experience of tests.

Teachers can see what level the students are on and take away the feeling of competition between students. "It helps teachers identify the level we're on, then they can accordingly teach us and help us improve as students. It also makes us remember that the only person you should compare yourself to is you."

As we all know, tests can be very stressful. Because the MAP tests were 4 days in a row, it caused a lot of stress for many students. Taking tests within a time limit can cause stress to many students. One student said, " I think the MAP tests were stressful because I really wanted to do well, and feel accomplished as a student." An issue with this is when students are under stress they perform badly on the tests, not showing their true capabilities.

There were some issues with the NWEA software. It crashed on multiple students' laptops, and many faced technical issues. " I was asked to bring an extra device to the MAP tests since my laptop stopped working, which was very inconvenient for me"

Last year when we did the MAP tests, students or parents didn't receive the scores. The students worked so hard on the tests and so many of us thought we should get the results. "If we don't get scores, it is a waste of time because it takes up many academic blocks' . The test results are mainly for the teachers, but I think that they are also important for us students and the parents.  " The tests should also be for us to see where we are in our learning curve."

In conclusion, the MAP tests were successful for the most part. We just had to face a few obstacles along the way, in our journey as a student.

-Mira Gupta

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