MAP Test Language Usage

The NWEA MAP Growth Language Usage test is a computerized, adaptive test which maps a student's academic growth and proficiency in language. The test is adaptive, meaning the questions' difficulty level changes according to the student's previous answers. This ensures that the test is uniquely tailored to each student to show his or her individual academic progress.

The Language Usage section of the MAP test is designed for students from second to twelfth grade. It is made up of 50-53 questions in total and can take students 45-60 minutes to complete. The test assesses students' proficiency in writing and language. Specifically, students are tested on their ability to plan and organize their writing while also providing support and conducting research. Students are also tested on their knowledge and understanding of parts of speech (e.g., nouns and pronouns, adjectives and adverbs, verbs, prepositions, etc.) and full phrases and clauses. Students' punctuation and spelling are also tested.

Summary Table for the NWEA MAP Language Usage Test

Test name (Grade)Number of QuestionsDuration (minutes)Question SubjectsType of QuestionsMeasured Skills
Language Usage (2-12)50 - 5345 - 60Writing, Grammar, Spelling, Punctuation, ResearchDrag-and-Drop, Multiple Choice, Short Answer/Correction, Multiple ResponseWriting and Grammar
Start Practicing Now

Language Usage Topics for 2-12 grades

Language: Understand, Edit for Grammar, Usage

Parts of Speech
  • Singular and plural nouns
  • Reflexive pronouns
  • Verb tense
  • Adjectives and adverbs
  • Nouns
  • Pronouns
  • Verbs
  • Conjunctions
  • Homophones
  • Modal verbs
  • Personal and reflexive pronouns
  • Active and passive voice
Phrases, Clauses, Agreement, Sentences
  • Complete sentences
  • Subjects and predicates
  • Compound sentences
  • Subject-verb agreement
  • Prepositional phrases
  • Phrases and clauses
  • Misplaced and dangling modifiers
  • Parallel structure

Language: Understand, Edit for Mechanics

  • Capitalizing days, months, and holidays
  • Capitalizing titles


Parts of Speech
  • Apostrophes
  • Formatting letters and titles
  • Commas
  • Dialogue
  • Contractions
  • Dashes, hyphens, and ellipses
  • Restrictive and nonrestrictive elements
  • Semicolons, colons, and commas
  • Commonly misspelled words
  • Parts of Speech


  • Regular plurals
  • Diphthongs
  • Silent letters
  • Homophones
  • Word patterns
  • Comparative adjectives
  • Possessive nouns
  • Frequently confused words
  • Irregular past tense

Writing: Write, Revise Texts for Purpose and Audience

Plan, Organize, Create Cohesion, Use Transitions
  • Organization
  • Topic sentences
  • Time-order words
  • Transitions
  • Text purpose
  • Conclusions
  • Time-order words
  • Thesis statements
Provide Support, Develop Topics, Conduct Research
  • Facts and opinions
  • Supporting details
  • Opinions, reasons, and examples
  • Conduct research
  • Counterclaims
Establish and Maintain Style, Use Precise Language
  • Descriptive details
  • Sentence variety
  • Shades of meaning
  • Tone
  • Figurative language
  • Word choice

RIT Ranges

The following table details the different RIT ranges by grade category for the Language Usage section:

RIT Ranges for Reading

Free Sample MAP Language Usage Questions for 2nd Grade

Sample 1

  • Topic: Punctuation
  • Sub-topic: Punctuation marks
  • RIT range: <188

Read the following conversation and place the correct punctuation mark in the blank space.

Sam: I heard there was going to be a festival in town next week.
Emma: That sounds like fun.
Sam: Do you want to go _____
Emma: Yes, I would love to!

  1. !
  2. .
  3. ?
  4. ,

The correct answer is C.

Sample 2

  • Topic: Spelling
  • Sub-topic: Plural
  • RIT range: <188

Which words best complete the sentence?

I need to buy three _____ from the store.

  1. carton of milks
  2. cartons of milks
  3. carton of milk
  4. cartons of milk

The correct answer is D.

Sample 3

  • Topic: Parts of Speech
  • Sub-topic: Adjectives and adverbs
  • RIT range: <188

Which word best completes the sentence?

The ice cream store across the street has a _____ of flavors.

  1. lot
  2. many
  3. much
  4. few

The correct answer is A.

Free Sample MAP Language Usage Questions for 3rd Grade

Sample 4

  • Topic: Spelling
  • Sub-topic: Identify and correct errors with plural and possessive nouns
  • RIT range: 189-197

Read the paragraph, and then choose the word that is wrong.

The teacher was preparing the classroom for the day. The childs would arrive in a few minutes. He made sure that everything was neat and tidy.

Fix the word that is wrong by and write it correctly.


The correct answer is "childs" → children.

Sample 5

  • Topic: Plan, Organize, Create Cohesion, Use Transitions
  • Sub-topic: Topic sentences
  • RIT range: 189-197

Read the story Kelly is writing.

Daniel is going to visit his grandmother today. Her house is a few blocks away. It takes Daniel just a few minutes to walk to her house. Whenever he visits his grandmother, he helps her with a few chores around the house. First, he helps her water the flowers in her garden. Then, he helps her load the laundry into the washing machine. Afterwards, he brews some tea and watches television with her. Daniel always loves spending time with his grandmother!

Kelly wants to tell more about the chores that Daniel helps his grandmother with. Which two sentences should Kelly add to the story?

  1. Daniel's grandmother makes him cookies when he comes to visit.
  2. Daniel washes the dishes in the sink.
  3. Daniel visits his grandmother every Saturday.
  4. Daniel loves watching television with his grandmother.
  5. Daniel also sweeps the floor sometimes.

The correct answer is B and E.

Sample 6

  • Topic: Punctuation
  • Sub-topic: Contractions
  • RIT range: 189-197

Read the sentence. Then, enter the contraction for does not in the blank space.

Annie _____ have time to watch a movie today.


The correct answer is "doesn't".

Free Sample MAP Language Usage Questions for 4th Grade

Sample 7

  • Topic: Phrases, Clauses, Agreement, Sentences
  • Sub-topic: Complete sentences
  • RIT range: 189-197

Choose the set of words that will form a complete sentence.
I always make sure to _____ before I leave for school.

  1. my backpack
  2. after I finish breakfast
  3. feed my cat
  4. if I leave early

The correct answer is C.

Sample 8

  • Topic: Plan, Organize, Create Cohesion, Use Transitions
  • Sub-topic: Text purpose
  • RIT range: 189-197

Billy is writing an essay about Kangaroos and wants to know what baby kangaroos are called. Choose the sentence that tells what a baby kangaroo is called.

  1. Kangaroos are native to Australia and New Guinea.
  2. The kangaroo is known for its pouch which their young are carried in.
  3. Joeys do not leave their mother's pouch for nine months after they are born.

The correct answer is C.

Sample 9

  • Topic: Spelling
  • Sub-topic: Regular plurals
  • RIT range: 198-204

What is the correct spelling for more than one leaf?

  1. Leave
  2. Leafes
  3. Leafs
  4. Leavs

The correct answer is A.

Sample 10

  • Topic: Capitalization
  • Sub-topic: Review
  • RIT range: 198-204

Which sentence is capitalized correctly?

  1. "I'm not sure," remarked the baker, "if I have enough flour to bake the cake."
  2. "Are you sure," my mom asked, "That you don't want to go to the park?"
  3. she told me," I said, "that she'll be here in ten minutes."
  4. "I asked danielle," my friend told me, "if she will be able to make it to the party."

The correct answer is A.

Free Sample MAP Language Usage Questions for 5th Grade

Sample 11

  • Topic: Punctuation
  • Sub-topic: Punctuating dialogue
  • RIT range: 198-204

Choose the sentence that is punctuated correctly:

  1. The store has many types of candy, such as: butterscotch, lollipops, and chocolate.
  2. Sam loves playing sports, basketball, football, and soccer.
  3. I wanted to watch: a movie and a game show.
  4. We're missing several ingredients for the cake: eggs, flour, and sugar.

The correct answer is D.

Sample 12

  • Topic: Phrases, Clauses, Agreement, Sentences
  • Sub-topic: Sentences
  • RIT range: 198-204

Which one of the following sentences is not a declarative sentence?

  1. Cats and dogs make great pets.
  2. Don't cross the street before looking both ways!
  3. The train will arrive in ten minutes!
  4. My favorite ice cream flavor is strawberry.

The correct answer is B.

Free Sample MAP Language Usage Questions for 6th Grade

Sample 13

  • Topic: Spelling
  • Sub-topic: Homophones
  • RIT range: 205-209

Which word best completes the sentence?

My mother wants to _____ a new dress for me.

  1. sew
  2. so
  3. sow
  4. soe

The correct answer is A.

Sample 14

  • Topic: Phrases, Clauses, Agreement, Sentences
  • Sub-topic: Subjects and predicates
  • RIT range: 205-209

Read the sentence.

After getting home, John made dinner for himself.

What is the direct object of the sentence?

  1. home
  2. John
  3. dinner
  4. himself

The correct answer is C.

Sample 15

  • Topic: Provide Support, Develop Topics, Conduct Research
  • Sub-topic: Supporting details
  • RIT range: 210-213

Nicole is writing an essay about learning to sing.
Which two articles will best help Nicole with her research?

  1. The Importance of Breath Control when Singing
  2. The Best Singers of the Decade
  3. Vocal Warm-Ups for Singers
  4. The Hardest Song to Sing
  5. Hit Songs of the 80s

The correct answer are A and C.

Free Sample MAP Language Usage Questions for 7th Grade

Sample 16

  • Topic: Spelling
  • Sub-topic: Frequently confused words
  • RIT range: 210-213

Kate is writing a story and want to improve her word choice. Select the best word from each group that fits best in the paragraph.

Lisa nervously waited to be called for the job interview. She arrived ten minutes early and was now sitting in the waiting room in front of the receptionist who was [happily/casually] typing away on the computer. Lisa [thought/decided] to drink some water to calm her [jittery/crazy] nerves.


The correct answer is "casually, decided, and jittery".

Sample 17

  • Topic: Plan, Organize, Create Cohesion, Use Transitions
  • Sub-topic: Transitions
  • RIT range: 210-213

Read the following passage.

The school dance was such a success that all the students got up from the tables and danced. _____ the shy students were on the dancefloor!

  1. Also
  2. Even
  3. Later
  4. Although

The correct answer is B.

Free Sample MAP Language Usage Questions for 8th Grade

Sample 18

  • Topic: Phrases, Clauses, Agreement, Sentences
  • Sub-topic: Sentence types
  • RIT range: 217-218

Which type of sentence is this?

Annual plants only last through one season and have to be replaced each year, but perennials reappear every year with new blossoms and leaves.

  1. Simple
  2. Compound
  3. Complex
  4. Compound-complex

The correct answer is B.

Free Sample MAP Language Usage Questions for 9th Grade

Sample 19

  • Topic: Plan, Organize, Create Cohesion, Use Transitions
  • Sub-topic: Transitions
  • RIT range: 217-218

Jason is writing an article. Choose the best words or phrases that help Jason's argument and move them into the blank spaces.

The local elementary school has implemented a new rule that home lunches must exclude certain foods that are common allergens, such as dairy, peanuts, soy, and wheat products. _____ this decision was made with the best interest of the students' health in mind, I argue that there are other students whose health could be harmed by this decision. There are students that have certain deficiencies who may need to eat such products. _____ I believe the rule should be changed. _____, I believe there should be two different areas in which students can eat lunch, one without allergens and one with. That way, all students will be able to enjoy their lunch safely.

  1. Although
  2. Therefore
  3. However
  4. For instance

The correct answer are A, B, and D.

Sample 20

  • Topic: Establish and Maintain Style, Use Precise Language
  • Sub-topic: Word choice
  • RIT range: 217-218

Choose the incorrect interrogative word in the paragraph.

Today I went to the new toy store at the mall. I found a toy that I thought my brother might like, but it didn't say what the price was, so I asked the cashier. He asked me who the toy was for, and I told him it was for my brother. I told him where his birthday was and that I was hoping to find him a new toy as a gift.

Enter the correct interrogative word: _____


The correct answer is "where → when".

Sample 21

  • Topic: Spelling
  • Sub-topic: Commonly misspelled words
  • RIT range: 219+

Correct the one word that is spelled incorrectly.

I always stop at the bekray on my way to school each morning.


bekray should be changed to "bakery".

For more comprehensive and explained material, choose our complete preparation specifically tailored to your child's grade level.

Tips and Tricks

  • To strengthen your child's skills in writing and prepare them for the language usage section of the test, encourage them to write their thoughts into a journal so they can practice their writing skills.
  • Introduce a new word to your child and encourage them to find ways to incorporate the word in their speaking and writing.
  • Ask your child to describe things in detail to you, such as a movie they watched or something fun they did with their friends.
  • Encourage your child to write a letter to a family member or friend.
  • Read a book together. After each chapter, ask your child to tell you about the event that made the biggest impression on him/her.
  • Review the different components of a sentence and text, such as nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, transitions, etc. The MAP test includes sentences to be completed with these different elements for each grade, depending on the student's level.
  • When reading a text, pay attention to the different sentence elements and try to figure out what type of sentence it is; e.g. simple, complex, compound, etc. Punctuation and capitalization rules are also very important to review.
  • Don't wait for the last minute, start preparing now with your children.

2020 Language Usage Median RIT Score by Grade

The following table displays the median RIT scores for the MAP 2020 Language Usage Test. The chart depicts the students' progression and growth for each grade from fall to spring.

If you don't remember how the RIT measure works, you can check out all the details on this page.

Grade and SeasonFallWinterSpring

How to Practice for the NWEA MAP Language Usage Test?

We offer practice MAP Language Usage tests for each grade which your child can use to prepare. These tests are designed to be as similar to a real MAP Reading test as possible and can give your child an idea of what to expect. Our preparations can be found here.

You may also like: