NWEA™ MAP® pathway configurations in Imagine Math 3+

If your district has chosen the NWEA MAP® Growth Assessment as the assessment provider for Imagine Math, you have much flexibility in which learning pathways will be assigned to students and whether they will be assigned manually or automatically. During the NWEA implementation process, Administrators must select from the three pathway configurations in the table below and discuss this choice with their Customer Success Manager (CSM). It is possible to select different configurations for different user groups such as grade levels or schools. 

The Default option places students in a grade-level pathway based on their overall score on the NWEA MAP Growth Assessment for Math. Additional options assign domain-specific pathways either in addition to the grade-level pathway or instead of it.  

No matter what option your district selects, Administrators and Teachers always have the ability to manually assign other pathways to students at any time. (See more about this at the bottom of this article.)

Choosing an NWEA MAP pathways configuration:

Administrators, use the information in the table below to decide how your organization will implement the NWEA pathways. For more information, refer to Setting up and using NWEA™ MAP® with Imagine Learning and Sharing NWEA™ MAP® Growth scores with Imagine Learning.

Option Description

Default Option:

Students receive one on-grade-level pathway

Once the NWEA MAP scores are integrated, a rostered grade-level pathway is automatically assigned to provide targeted instruction for each student. The pathway is personalized with additional prerequisite/remedial lessons based on the student's overall RIT score from the NWEA Assessment.

This option only inserts lessons on or below a student's rostered grade level based on their assessment results. Above-grade-level content will not be inserted.

Imagine Learning recommends this option for:

  • Schools or districts that do not have a lot of experience with Imagine Math and/or NWEA. 
  • Schools or districts that prefer an automated approach to pathway assignment and desire a single, on-grade-level pathway. This can help eliminate any confusion students may experience if multiple pathways are assigned and students aren't sure which one they should select.

Supplement Option:

Students receive one on-grade-level pathway and multiple domain-specific pathways

As with the default option, students are automatically enrolled in their rostered grade-level pathway with personalized prerequisite remedial lessons based on their overall NWEA score.

In addition, students are automatically assigned multiple domain-specific RIT pathways to provide targeted support based on their MAP performance in the each domain. The number and names of the domains vary by state. Texas, for example, has domain pathways for elementary school students in the areas of:

  • Number sense and operations
  • Measurement and data analysis
  • Algebraic thinking
  • Geometry

The domain-specific pathways can be at a skill level above the student's rostered grade level. For example, if a 5th-grade student is performing at grade level in one domain, but above grade level in another, they automatically receive varying content levels catered to them based on their test results.

Students will have multiple pathways to work on and the teacher must tell students which one to select. Educators may decide:

  • The pathway with the lowest RIT range first; this is likely the area where students need the most attention to get up to grade-level proficiency.

  • The pathway most relevant to skills/concepts students are learning in their core math curriculum.

  • The grade-level pathway in order to get comprehensive exposure to the topics that the student is expected to master by the end of the year. 

Imagine Learning recommends this option for:

  • Teachers and administrators who have experience with Imagine Math and NWEA, as this option involves multiple pathways.
  • Schools or districts that need targeted focus on certain subject areas. 
  • Schools or districts that want to personalize the content for their students beyond what they receive with the default option. For example, one week students can focus on their default pathway, but another week can be used to focus on a supplemental pathway.  
  • Schools with many students working above their rostered grade level.


Students may repeat lessons since both the grade-level pathway and the NWEA domain-specific pathways draw from the same pool of lessons in Imagine Math 3+. 

Replace Option:

Students receive multiple domain-specific pathways 

Unlike the Default and Supplement configurations, in the Replace configuration, students do not receive a grade-level pathway. Students are automatically assigned the multiple domain-specific RIT pathways described in the Supplement section above, and the teacher must provide guidance for students on which pathway to select. 


In some cases, students may not receive enough lessons in their pathway to reach the "Think 30!" goal or the specific goal your district has set to measure usage. In this case, you should assign additional pathways to allow the student to reach their goal.

Imagine Learning recommends this option for:

  • Schools or districts with many students working below grade level. 
  • Schools or districts that want students to focus on the RIT-specific domain-level pathways without an additional grade-level expectancy pathway. 
  • Teachers who feel comfortable manually assigning additional pathways if students finish the ones that are automatically assigned.

No matter which configuration above is selected, at any time, Teachers and Administrators can also manually assign one or more grade-level pathways, domain-specific pathways, or any other custom pathways they create. These pathways will appear in the student's list of pathways when they log into Imagine Math, and educators must tell students which pathway they should select from the list. For more information, refer to Assigning pathways to Imagine Math 3+ students.