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The Growth Research Database (GRD)

The Growth Research Database (GRD) is a unique repository of NWEA student assessment data from across the United States. NWEA schools include public schools, charter schools, and private schools, and tests are available in the subject areas of reading, language arts, mathematics, and science.

Assessment Data

NWEA assessment data is one of the few means for accurately and reliably measuring student academic growth. Because of the unique nature of the assessment results, the GRD offers researchers an unprecedented opportunity to discover what factors impact student learning.

The GRD houses student achievement data collected from computerized adaptive and paper-pencil assessments developed by NWEA (MAP and MAP for Primary Grades). Both formats of tests are unique in that they are designed to accurately measure individual student achievement and growth. Here are some facts and features of the GRD:


Most student data spans Grades 2 through 10, with some information available for the early primary and high school grades.


NWEA developed an equal-interval scale called the RIT scale to measure student achievement. All student scores are reported on this scale. The RIT scales are continuous across grades, making them ideal to study student achievement change across time (i.e., growth). In addition, the RIT scales have remained stable throughout their use, allowing for highly accurate measures of student growth.

Subject Areas

MAP® assessments cover reading, language usage, mathematics, science concepts and processes and general science topics.


Test items are aligned to the content and structure of state standards, so each test is relevant to the student’s instruction. Learn more about NWEA’s adaptive assessments.

Growth Data

Because NWEA develops tests to monitor achievement growth so that instructional decisions can be made, most students take the test twice each year. Therefore, test results available in the GRD include longitudinal data from within a school year. In addition, NWEA maintains student records from year to year so that longitudinal information for a student’s academic career is available.

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Data Confidentiality

Information in the GRD is confidential and its use is subject to federal and state regulations. Only NWEA researchers, NWEA approved researchers and individual NWEA member districts who have signed a Confidentiality Agreement provided by NWEA and who are conducting legitimate research are allowed to use the data contained in the GRD.