The Boston Exam Schools have a brand new entrance exam. The contract that BPS had with the Education Research Bureau (ERB) and the ISEE test ended on June 30, 2020, and a decision was made not to renew the contract for the following year. BPS began seeking out new companies to work with in order to provide an equal opportunity for all students in the BPS system, including immigrants and minorities. BPS has partnered with NWEA and the new Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Growth assessment.
The main complaint with the ISEE exam is that it did not focus on what the students were learning in school which put certain students at a disadvantage. As a solution, the new exam will be untimed and adaptive. It will measure student progress in math, reading and language usage and be aligned with the Massachusetts state standards. Boston Public Schools has decided to stop using the ISEE test, and instead use the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Growth assessment created by NWEA for admission to the three Boston Exam Schools: Boston Latin School, Boston Latin Academy, and John D. O’Bryant.
The MAP Growth assessment is an online based test that focuses on the Massachusetts Department of Education standards for instruction. This allows all students living in Boston to have an equal opportunity to do their best on the exam. Visit the Department of Education website to see what your child is expected to know at their grade level. These learning standards are covered in all schools across Massachusetts, therefore students should be familiar with most of the material on the exam.
What does the test look like?
Although we do not know what the test will look like specifically, NWEA does give us an idea of the format and types of questions that will appear. Here is some information about the exam:
- It is not all multiple choice. Although some questions are multiple choice, some require you to fill in the blank or drag the answers in the appropriate boxes. Others questions may require choosing multiple correct answers.
- There are specific tools that are accessible to all students on the test. These include a magnifier, highlighter, eraser, notepad and an option to cross out any wrong answers. In the math section, a calculator, ruler and protractor are available.
- The MAP test is not timed.
- There are 4 subject areas on the MAP test but it is unclear whether or not all 4 subject areas will be used to determine admission to the exam schools. The areas include language, math, reading, and science.
- Students must answer every question. Once they move onto the next question, they cannot go back to the previous question.
Because the MAP test is brand new to Boston Public Schools this year, it is unclear whether or not the test will be altered as an admissions test to the Boston exam schools. The information in this article was gathered from the current MAP test presented on the NWEA website. For more information on the MAP test for Boston exam schools visit the official NWEA website.
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