Improving standardized test scores through planning
The table below shows the distribution of items on the 2001 fourthgrade
MEAP test by mathematical strand.
Strand 
Percent of questions on test 
Patterns, relationships, and functions 
15% 
Geometry and measurement 
25% 
Data analysis and statistics 
20% 
Number sense and numeration 
20% 
Numerical and algebraic operations 
15% 
Probability and discrete mathematics 
5% 
Nearly half the items on the test come from the areas of geometry, measurement,
data analysis and statistics. However, these are often precisely the
mathematical strands that get shortchanged in terms of teaching time.
Try comparing the amount of time devoted to each of these strands in
your yearly plan to the percentages listed here.
(If you do not have a yearly plan, you can go to the Yearly
planning section of the site to
see ideas for making one.)
Questions to consider:
 Does the emphasis you put on each of the mathematical
strands roughly match the emphasis in the table above? (What do you
spend the most time teaching? The least time? Does that make sense
in light of the emphasis on the MEAP?)
 How might you modify your yearly plan to emphasize underrepresented
strands?
 Are there daily or weekly routines (such as group problem
solving, mental math or daily reviews) that you could use to make
underrepresented strands more prominent?
 Do you understand the mathematics involved in each strand?
If not, reviewing your Grade
Level Content Expectations might
help.
