DesCartes: A Continuum of Learning

DesCartes: A Continuum of Learning is provided by Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) as part of their MAP assessment sytstem.



  • Makes connections between specific skills and RIT scores to identify what students are ready to learn and to guide instructional planning.
  • Is structured by goal areas (such as Literature for Reading and Geometry for Math) which are organized based on state or Common Core standards.

Each column in DesCartes includes the skills within a block of 10 RIT points. If a student has a RIT score of 205, then the skills within the 201-210 block are the skills that student is ready to work on in class right now.

– More Information –


DesCartes can be used for:

  • Planning small group instruction, including flexible grouping
  • Goal setting
  • Creating centers, homework, or other assignments based on skills needed for each student
  • Providing students, parents, and aides with specific skill sets for a student to focus on


To Access DesCartes:

  • Go to the NWEA reports website where you access your students’ MAP scores
  • Log in using the User Name and Password provided by your administrator
  • Look under the section for “Instructional Resources”


View DesCartes for a Student or Group of Students:

* DesCartes can be accessed directly from the students’ RIT score reports, making it even easier to match skills to students and to organize flexible grouping and differentiated assignments.

  • Open report Class Breakdown by RIT
  • Choose the Term (i.e. “Fall 2013”). Click “Submit
  • Scroll down to view the chart. Click on Math, Reading, Language Usage, or Science to see the goal areas
  • For each goal area desired, click on a student’s name to view DesCartes skills for that individual student -OR- Click on “All Students in Cell” to view DesCartes for the group of students – useful for flexible grouping


Additional Resources:

(Available after logging into NWEA’s Report site)



Material from DesCartes: A Continuum of Learning is provided by courtesy of Northwest Evaluation Association and may not be republished, rewritten, or redistributed. All rights reserved.



  1. Ginnie Gillette says

    Are there any plans to provide lessons and activities that are correlated to NWEA’s Learning Continuum (now that Des Cartes has been replaced by it)? Thank you!

    • For the Teachers says

      There are plans to add new lesson plans based on the Learning Continuum, most likely starting later this fall. Thanks!

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