Assessment/placement options in Imagine Math


The following article applies to all Imagine Math users, both PreK-2 and 3+.

Organizations using Imagine Math have two assessment provider options for their students:

  • Imagine Math Embedded Benchmarks (default)
  • NWEA™ MAP® Growth Assessments

District Administrators should decide on one of these options in collaboration with their Customer Success Manager as they plan their initial implementation of Imagine Math. An assessment is required for students to be placed in their appropriate pathway in the Imagine Math curriculum or to have their pathway adjusted at least one time per year. However, Imagine Learning strongly recommends administering assessments three times a year so you can measure student growth as the year progresses.


The recommended implementation is to choose one assessment provider for the entire district. In some cases, districts opt to use different assessment providers for specific grade levels across the district or specific buildings based on district/school initiatives and needs. This cannot be done on a student-by-student basis. Clarify the details of your assessment needs with your Customer Success Manager during the rostering/implementation process. 


Once students are rostered, you can view each student's assessment provider on the Edit Student page.

Imagine Math Embedded Assessments

Description Additional Information Recommended for:

The Imagine Math Embedded Benchmark is the default assessment if NWEA is not specifically requested.

The Benchmark is an adaptive assessment that determines student proficiency in key skill areas. Students in the same grade level can receive different questions based on their performance. 

Students will automatically take Benchmark 1 the first time they log in to Imagine Math. Based on their score, the students' grade-level pathway is personalized with additional prerequisite/remedial lessons

After Benchmark 1, Benchmarks 2 and 3 may be administered later in the year. Imagine Learning recommends waiting at least 90 days between Benchmarks to allow time for students to demonstrate growth; educators enable Benchmarks 2 and 3 at the time of their choosing.

The Benchmark provides a Quantile® measure for each student, as defined by Metametrics' Quantile Framework. 

  • Organizations with primarily PreK-2 students. 
  • Users who want the test to match the student experience of the program. In PreK-2,  the Benchmark does not look and feel like a test.
  • Users who do not want to implement a formal, proctored assessment. 
  • Organizations with many students coming in throughout the year because the tests are always available.


NWEA™ MAP® Growth Assessments

Description Additional Information Recommended for:
The NWEA MAP Growth Assessment is a computer-adaptive third-party assessment that measures what the students know, how they are growing academically, and what they are ready to learn next. Students in the same grade level can receive different questions based on their performance.


NWEA MAP is not available for PreK students; if your organization elects to use NWEA, PreK students will receive the Embedded Benchmark instead. 

Students take the NWEA MAP Growth Assessments by logging in to NWEA; the scores are sent to Imagine Learning via an overnight sync process. The scores determine which precursor lessons are inserted into students' grade-level pathway. For Imagine Math 3+ users, districts must choose between two different pathway configuration options at the time of their initial NWEA implementation (or prior to the new school year for current customers).

The NWEA MAP Growth Assessment provides a Rasch Unit (RIT) score for each student, which measures their level of achievement and reflects their instructional level. A RIT score indicates the level at which a student answers questions correctly 50% of the time, thus identifying topics each student is ready to learn.

Students' RIT scores are available on the NWEA portal. A link to this portal is provided in the Benchmark section of the Imagine Math educator dashboard.


NWEA and MetaMetrics partnered to develop a Quantile measure and range from the MAP RIT scale. The Quantile range is a 100-point range. The student's Quantile measure is 50 points from the low end of the range and 50 points from the high end. For example, if a student's Quantile range is 250-350, their Quantile measure is 300. Educators must log in to the NWEA portal to view Quantile information for NWEA students, as it does not display within Imagine Math for NWEA users.

The NWEA testing windows are up to three times a year; the schedule is determined by your organization. 

  • Organizations that are already using NWEA in their school or district, so that students don't have to take an additional assessment.
  • Organizations already rostering through an automatic nightly sync (Clever, ClassLink, SFTP); this sync is required in order for Imagine Learning to utilize the score to determine student pathway(s). 
  • Organizations willing to look at data in two places  - the NWEA portal for assessment scores and growth between assessments, and the Imagine Math portal for usage and progress data.
  • Imagine Math 3+ users who want  auto-assign domain-specific pathways in addition to the grade-level pathway with its remediation lessons.