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Tool: Analyzing the MEAP for elementary mathematics

Given the pressures to help children perform on standardized tests today, many teachers see preparing their students for the MEAP as an important goal. However, new teachers in particular, may not understand the mathematical demands placed on students by this test. This tool will help you analyze released test items with the goal of informing your instructional decisions.
In the Michigan Department of Education website, you can find a number of released test items from previous years. Looking at these items can be valuable, even for teachers who are not in testing grades, because they help to suggest the sorts of experiences children will need in mathematics from the earliest grades in order to be successful on the test.
You can download a set of sample questions from the Department of Education website and use this test analysis tool to explore them:

Test analysis tool

What kinds of mathematical skills would children need to successfully complete these items (e.g., adding, reading graphs)?


What other skills might they need (e.g., reading, making strategy decisions, shifting between topics)?


How are the demands of the constructed response questions different from those of multiple-choice questions?


How might you use the rubric for the constructed response items in designing tasks for your classroom?


What kinds of experiences in the math classroom would be most helpful in preparing a child to do well on a test like this?


What kinds of experiences would be least helpful?