Useful Links and Resources
Complied by Sandra Maddox
Thanks to all the websites referred to on this page!

Important Vocabulary 
DesCartes – A continuum of learning. Translates test scores into skills and concepts students may be ready to learn. It orders specific reading, language usage, and mathematics skills and concepts by achievement level.
Dynamic Reports – Simplifies data analysis and offers classroom tools to apply test scores directly to instruction. The  reports visually portray student achievement so teachers and  principals can immediately take action to improve learning.
Goal Performance Area or Goal Area – Goal reporting categories on the NWEA website that are aligned to the content of the individual state standards. The goal areas are the specific concepts that RIT scores are broken down into for each MAP test.These are also called strands.
RIT – A scale that measures student achievement and growth. The RIT scores allow teachers to follow a student’s educational  growth from year to year. These do not equal grade level ability. "RIT" is an abbreviation for "Rausch Unit." The difficulty and complexity of each MAP test question is measured using the RIT scale. A student's RIT score indicates  that the student was answering questions correctly 50% of the time at that level of difficulty.

Description of Online Reports
Teacher Reports - a list of your students’ RIT Ranges or Goal
Descriptors for the selected term. Interpreting Goal Descriptors: Categorized as LO, AV, and  HI. These are based on how well a student performs compared to other students nationally.

Class Rosters - a list of the roster for each of your classes for a selected term. Student Progress reports are accessible from the Class Roster reports.
Student Progress Reports - a historical view of your students’ test events.
Class by Subject - a list of test events for your classes for a selected term and subject. Very useful for grouping students by RIT Bands within a classroom. Can be used to find Lexile reading scores. This report can be optionally grouped by ethnicity or gender.
Grade by Subject - a list of test events for a selected grade within a school for a selected term and subject. Useful for grouping students by RIT Bands within grade levels. This report can be optionally grouped by ethnicity or gender.
Students Not Tested - a list of students who have not tested or have no reportable test event in the selected measurement scale for the selected term.

Before MAP Testing (Students)
Student Practice Tests and Orientation: 

NWEA tests produce scores that make it possible to monitor student growth from year to year along developmental curriculum scales or continua. The RIT Charts show examples of the kinds of work students can do at various points along the NWEA RIT scale, assuming they have been exposed to the content. This type of information is helpful in supporting appropriate instruction.
MPG=MAP for Primary Grades

MAP is aligned to state standards at this time (Fall 2012)  NWEA is helping our partners gain that insight today with our MAP and MAP for Primary Grades assessments aligned to the Common Core.
Accessing Student Reports  This is a how-to guide to finding student reports!
Understanding Teacher Reports:  This is an excellent summary for beginning teachers.

2011 Normative Data This is a very important resource!  Check the norms for the beginning, middles and end-of-the-year!  

The information in this document is provided to help educators make informed decisions about what instructional programs or optional strategies might be used to help kids 
learn. These data should be used as one of many data points for instructional decisions rather than as the only single placement guide. They are applicable to a variety of instructional programs and instructional decisions. These might include but are not limited to: 
• Identifying and qualifying students for various 
instructional strategies
• Guiding teachers who do not regularly make decisions 
on instructional program choices for students
• Scheduling and grouping to meet students’ learning needs
• Screening for special or alternative instruction

State Alignment  Find your state and see the alignment. Revised April 2011

Dynamic Reporting Suite  The Dynamic Reporting Suite provides reports that are tailored for all members of a student's learning team. Results are timely, allowing you to use the information when it has the greatest impact. This suite of reports visually portrays student achievement so teachers and principals can immediately take action to improve learning. Use this document as a guide to understanding each of the reports within the Dynamic Reporting Suite.

Student Motivation for MAP testing:

Student Goal Setting: Do you involve students in their own goal setting for growth in MAP?  

Great for a Data notebook! 

Another Student Organizer

Extreme Makeover-Personal Goals

Why not create a Classroom Goal Setting Anchor Charts for Reading, Math, and Language!  

  Here is a sample!

The Instructional Resources section of the NWEA website allows teachers to access more specific reports relating to RIT scores. The class breakdown reports show students’ scores by RIT band, not only for each content area, but also for each individual goal area or strand within a content area. The reports in the Instructional Resources section will give the teacher a clear picture of how to group students for differentiated instruction. These reports also allow access to DesCartes to show an individual student’s placement on the Continuum of Learning. When grouping students by RIT bands, these reports will show group’s Goal RIT ranges for subsequent MAP testing as well as specific skills needed by these grouped students on the Continuum of Learning.

DesCartes  The purpose of DesCartes is to help guide instruction based on reports from an NWEA 
Achievement Level Test or computerized Measures of Academic Progress assessment.  DesCartes enhances a teacher’s ability to provide targeted instruction for individual  students or student groups.
Compacted DesCartes  This school website (Greenville) has posted the compacted DesCartes.

Skills by RIT Level  This is a site created for Idaho teachers that is tied to Common Core and has a breakdown of skills required in each RIT band. 

Negative Growth?  What then?  Click on this link to read what the NWEA says about negative growth.


This is a wonderful website to align your lessons to CCSS or State Standards or even your textbook!  You can focus on your student's areas of need with the lesson plans on this site!  I love it!  Differentiate lessons based on MAP!

Lexile® Overview Video
This six-minute animated video on the basic concepts and uses of The Lexile Framework for Reading is the perfect resource for educators and parents who are new to Lexile measures. Please click on the image below to view the video, or click here.

Find A Book on your Lexile Level:  Teachers can use this Lexile tool to find books for students that will be on their Lexile level.  This list can be sent home to parents.  Families can take this to the library and check out books.  I like to use it for RTI, special education, and end of the year tools for parents.

Excellent website for Lexile resources:  You will find Lexile levels for books, a link to the Scholastic Book Wizard, and a correlation chart.

Text Level Correlation Chart Handy chart for comparing Lexile to DRA or F&P. 
AR to Lexile
AR to Guided Reading DRA or F&P


  1. THANK YOU- this blog is an amazing resource full of even more resources ready to use by teachers! I can't wait to share with my co-workers!

  2. Brilliant post, thanks. So glad I found it. Great resources too. What I wish I could access is a bank of exemplars showing examples of what children should be producing to meet the requirements of specific descriptors within a RIT band. Sometimes I'm not sure how in depth to pitch activities.

  3. Great information...Thank you!

  4. As a reading interventionist for several years, working in schools that used the NWEA test, I always had to find ways to differentiate based on students RIT bands and hit all those important DesCartes skills at their levels.

    I ended up creating sheets that are differentiated to each level that help students practice needed skills, but that are generic/flexible so they can be used with ANY reading assignment EVER.

    Here's my page with some of those resources: