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Test Review Essay


MAP ® Reading FluencyTM is a test to check early literacy among students at K1, K2 and K3 levels (NWEA, 2019). The test publisher is the NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association), the mission of which is to improve the quality of education and provide partner organizations with universal tools that can facilitate control over the knowledge gained by students. The company’s headquarters is located at 121 NW Everett Street, Portland, OR 97209. Phone numbers that allow contacting the publisher are 866-654-3246 and 877-469-3287 (NWEA, 2019). The company does not open its E-Mail contacts, but it is possible to fill in a virtual form with the address of the recipient of information in order to consult with the manager, sales department or customer support (NWEA, 2019). The company’s website does not provide Information about the cost of the test (NWEA, 2019). However, a potential customer can find out these data by contacting the manager or sales department.

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According to NWEA (2019), the main purpose of the MAP ® Reading FluencyTM test is to check oral reading fluency skills, which is carried out by using an online tool. The test is designed for Spanish and English speakers and provides individualized assessment information for each student. Grading levels are based on K1, K2 and K3 classes. The test involves evaluating the speed of reading, reading comprehension, and the presence of basic reading skills. Scoring is automatic and allows teachers to save time for data interpretation. The base of the test relies on advanced technologies, which are supported by most operating systems and therefore provide wide availability.

The main convenience of the test is its high speed. Direct testing lasts for 20 minutes, which ensures fast receipt of assessment data by the teacher in a group format or individually. MAP ® Reading FluencyTM has a flexible structure that allows varying the test depending on the goals set. For example, the test provides a choice of texts for reading or questions that help to determine the student’s ability to understand and analyze the text. The simplicity of test control and automatic interpretation of its results contribute to its use by persons with different pedagogical experience. In addition, MAP ® Reading FluencyTM can be used for self-testing, testing with parents, or in research projects by people with a wide range of specialization. In this regard, the test under consideration is intended for a wide range of people who do not need to have professional pedagogical education. Another feature of MAP ® Reading FluencyTM is the possibility to apply it within a large group of students. At the same time, the number of people who may be involved is not specified and may vary depending on the preferences of the teacher. MAP ® Reading FluencyTM is a test that students can pass an unlimited number of times. For each new case, it nulls the previous results and gives fresh data, which is extremely important for adjusting the learning process and integrating more effective approaches to develop reading skills.

Administering the test and assessment is carried out directly by the teacher or persons interested in obtaining the results. Interpretation of the information depends on the initial conditions specified. Since the test involves working with multiple levels (K1, K2, and K3), its complexity also varies. For this reason, it allows assessing students with poor preparation and early and advanced readers. The test results show whether the student has basic reading skills, how well they correspond to his/her level, what the speed of reading the text is, and whether he/she understands its contents. The resulting totals demonstrate the learner’s abilities and provide teachers with a platform for deciding whether to transfer him/her to a new level or to correct his/her shortcomings.

Directions for assessment are not complex and include the listed characteristics, namely, the presence of basic skills, reading speed, and understanding of the text. For levels K1, K2 and K3, these areas are sufficient for evaluation and give reliable results. The test is relevant for its use in the field of education since it provides convenient reporting tables that reflect the student’s progress in accordance with the requirements of his/her level, the number of correctly spoken words per minute, his/her understanding of the material read, and the degree of correctness of words pronunciation. The teacher can easily interpret all this information and draw conclusions regarding further steps in the development of the learner.

MAP ® Reading FluencyTM as a screening tool has been extensively explored for its effectiveness and reliability. According to the latest data, this test fully meets the criteria of universality and has a high level of interconnection with state and country test results (NWEA, 2019). Parker et al. (2015) have also investigated its diagnostic accuracy and have confirmed that MAP ® Reading FluencyTM meets the requirements of the educational environment and shows a high percentage of reliability.

Analysis of the technical and qualitative characteristics of the test has shown that MAP ® Reading FluencyTM is flexible enough and is suitable for individual testing of students depending on their needs despite its belonging to standardized tests. The test has several advantages, the main of which is its simplicity and ease of administration. Its strong point is also in the design and playing theme. The colorful interface, the animated guide for action, and the playing base of the test are important because MAP ® Reading FluencyTM is designed for the younger age group. Students passing the test do not have the psychological tension that usually accompanies standardized and rigorous testing tools (Kubiszyn & Borich, 2016). Another advantage of MAP ® Reading FluencyTM is its short time. Given the fact that it lasts an average of 20 minutes, the testing process can take place within one lesson. Automatic interpretation of the results also saves time and allows using the test by those who do not have pedagogical education. In addition, the test is convenient because it is supported by most operating systems and does not require additional software. The disadvantage of MAP ® Reading FluencyTM is the need to have additional equipment for its use, in particular, a microphone and headphones, which is not always convenient for students of the younger age group. In addition, currently, it covers only two languages, English and Spanish, and therefore cannot be used for testing people of other ethnicities. However, in general, MAP ® Reading FluencyTM is adapted for the school environment and contributes to the effectiveness of the educational process.

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Kubiszyn, T., & Borich, G. (2016). Educational Testing & Measurement. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
NWEA. (2019). NWEA Official Website. Retrieved from https://www.nwea.org/
Parker, D., Zaslofsky, A., Burns, M., Kanive, R., Hodgson, J., Scholin, S., & Klingbeil, D. (2015). A Brief Report of the Diagnostic Accuracy of Oral Reading Fluency and Reading Inventory Levels for Reading Failure Risk Among Second- and Third-Grade Students. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 31(1), 56-67. doi: 10.1080/10573569.2013.857970

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