Reading difficulty scale

Flesch Reading Ease and the Flesch Kincaid Grade Level – Readable

Flesch readability scores are the most popular and are the most widely tested and used. We'll explain what the Flesch and Flesch-Kincaid readability scores are and how to interpret and use them.

What is a Flesch Reading Ease score?

The Flesch Reading Ease gives a text a score between 1 and 100, with 100 being the highest readability score. Scoring between 70 to 80 is equivalent to school grade level 8. This means text should be fairly easy for the average adult to read.

The formula was developed in the 1940s by Rudolf Flesch. He was a consultant with the Associated Press, developing methods for improving the readability of newspapers.

Now, over 70 years later, the Flesch Reading Ease is used by marketers, research communicators and policy writers, amongst many others. All use it to help them assess the ease by which a piece of text will be understood and engaged with.

What is the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level?

The Flesch Kincaid Grade Level is a widely used readability formula which assesses the approximate reading grade level of a text. 

It was developed by the US Navy who worked with the Flesch Reading Ease. Previously, the Flesch Reading Ease score had to be converted via a table to translate to the reading grade level. The amended version was developed in the 1970s to make it easier to use. The Navy utilised it for their technical manuals used in training. 

Now it’s used for a much wider variety of applications. If a text has a Flesch Kincaid level of 8, this means the reader needs a grade 8 level of reading or above to understand it. Even if they’re an advanced reader, it means the content is less time-consuming to read. 

How do Flesch tests work?

Flesch readability tests work by taking into account sentence and word counts. The mathematical formula underlying the two tests look like this:

At first glance, the formulas for the readability scores may not seem to make sense. But, the building bricks that make up both Flesch scores are straightforward and based on two factors:

  • Sentence length. As judged by the average number of words in a sentence
  • Word length. As judged by the average number of syllables in a word

Sentences that contain a lot of words are more difficult to follow than shorter sentences.

Many of the classics of English Literature were written in the 18th and 19th centuries. During this time, the average sentence was a lot longer than it is now. 

You could have a long paragraph which was one long sentence; strings of clauses connected with peppered semicolons were the norm. However, because the average length of a sentence has decreased with time, so has our attention span. We no longer have the tolerance for lengthy, meandering prose. 

Similarly, words that contain a lot of syllables are harder to read than words that use fewer syllables. For example, “it was a lackadaisical attempt” is more difficult to read than “it was a lazy attempt”.

What do the Flesch scores mean? 

Both Flesch scores reflect how readable a piece of content is. The Flesch Reading Ease score is between 1 and 100, and the Flesch Kincaid Grade Level reflects the US education system. They are both calculated with the same units, but the weightings for these units are different between the two tests, resulting in different readability scores.

Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease

The higher the reading score, the easier a piece of text is to read.

Note that this differs from the majority of readability scores where a lower score is easier.

For example, a reading score of 60 to 70 is equivalent to a grade level of 8-9 so a text with this score should be understood by 13 to 15-year-olds.

To make sense of a Reading Ease score, a conversion table is needed. This translates the score into a grade level. 

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level

The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level is equivalent to the US grade level of education. It shows the required education to be able to understand a text.

Text intended for readership by the general public should aim for a grade level of around 8, schooling age 13 to 14.

When is Flesch-Kincaid most useful?

Flesch Kincaid is ideal for:

  • Writing copy for your website
  • Advertising your product
  • Producing terms and conditions that don’t confuse
  • Boosting your SEO performance
  • Choosing textbooks for a class or training program
  • Editing your novel
  • Communicating your research to a non-specialist audience

Readability scores can give you valuable insights into how easy your text is to understand. This has a direct impact on the extent people engage with and take on your message.

Content with a higher engagement rate has many benefits, including:

  • Decreasing bounce rate
  • Increasing time on site
  • Content delivers for the reader
  • Readers want to share your content
  • Readers go further into your site

They also:

  • Click on CTAs
  • Add products to their shopping carts
  • Spend money with you
  • Keep on coming back

Having a readable website with engaging content is a boost for any business or organization.

How do the Flesch tests compare to other readability formulas?

The Flesch tests are the most well-established in use cases ranging from marketing to government. 

Whereas some formulas are more specialist, Flesch Kincaid comes the most recommended for all sectors and disciplines. 

What Is Flesch-Kincaid Readability? | Free Readability Test Tool

What is Flesch-Kincaid readability?

Developed by Rudolf Flesch and J. Peter Kincaid, the Flesch-Kincaid readability scores are the most widely used measures of readability. And they are used by the United States military to evaluate the readability of their manuals.

The first number, Flesch-Kincaid reading ease, is based on a ranking scale of 0-100, and the higher your score, the better. Low scores indicate text that is complicated to understand. So if your website receives a low Flesch-Kincaid reading ease score, you will likely need to simplify your text.

For most business writing, a score of 65 is a good target, and scores between 60 and 80 should generally be understood by 12 to 15 year olds.

Flesch-Kincaid reading ease formula: 206.835 – 1.015 x (words/sentences) – 84.6 x (syllables/words).

The second number, Flesch-Kincaid grade level, tells you the American school grade you would need to be in to comprehend the material on the page.

As a measure, most of your writing should be able to be understood by students in seventh grade.

For example, The Huffington Post’s website has an average grade level of about 7, meaning that it should be easily understood by 12 to 13 year olds.

Flesch-Kincaid grade level formula: 0.39 x (words/sentences) + 11.8 x (syllables/words) – 15.59.

Both Flesch-Kincaid reading ease and grade level use the same core metrics: word length and sentence length. But they correlate inversely. If you receive a high score on the reading ease test, you should receive a lower grade level score.

Why does readability matter?

Did you know that the average American adult can only read at a 7th to 9th grade level?

If your text is too complicated and hard to understand, people will leave your page and return to the search results. On the other hand, if your text scores a very low grade level, users will likely assume that your content isn’t valuable. Both of these things can prevent site visitors from interacting with your content and contribute to a high bounce-rate.

In order to maximize your readership, it’s important for the content on your website to reflect the readability expectations of your audience.

Are you writing for a medical publication? You’re probably not going to want your content to reflect a 3rd grade reading level. At the same time, if you’re writing for elementary school students, you don’t want to write at a high school grade level.

Catering to the readability expectations of your audience will help keep people on your site, and ultimately increase conversions.

Want to find out your score?

Our free readability test tool is a quick and easy way to test the readability of your work. You can simply enter your website’s URL and receive a breakdown of your readability scores and text statistics.

Whether you’re a copywriter, developer, marketer, or SEO expert, the readability tool has the potential to streamline your work flow and make it easier for you to reach your target audience.

What are you waiting for? Check out the readability tool today and start improving your website to better reach your target audience.

scale of difficulty of educational subjects (grades 1-4) | Consultation on the topic:

Published on 29.08.2013 - 15:41 - Volosenko Bagdagul Uralbaevna

When drawing up the schedule for the new academic year

- for 6 days, the peak of difficulty is Tuesday, Thursday;

- for a 5-day peak of difficulty - Wednesday.



A new scale of difficulty of school subjects studied in grades 1-4

Ol000 language (national, foreign language)


Natural science, informatics


Russian (national) literature


History (4th grade)


9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000



Physical education


on the topic: Methodical development, presentations and notes of

Planning of school subjects Grade 4, program School 2100

Presented planning for grade 4 in the subjects of the program "School 2100": Russian language Buneevs, literary reading Buneevs, mathematics Peterson, the world around Vakhrushev, Danilov, technology . ..

Calendar - thematic planning for academic subjects Grade 1

This calendar-thematic planning was compiled for the main academic subjects for Grade 1 according to the EMC "Perspective" ...

Calendar-thematic planning for academic subjects Grade 2

This calendar-thematic planning was compiled for the main academic subjects of the EMC "Perspektiva" for Grade 2...

Calendar-thematic planning for academic subjects: Russian language, mathematics, literary reading, music, fine arts, physical education, technology, the world around. Grade 2 Vinogradova "School of the 21st century" ...

Calendar and thematic planning of all academic subjects Grade 2 "School of the XXI century" Vinogradova

Calendar and thematic planning for academic subjects: Russian language, mathematics, literary reading, music, fine arts, physical education, technology, the world around. Grade 2 Vinogradova "School of the 21st century" ...

Work programs in academic subjects Grade 4 fgos

Work programs in the Russian language, literary reading, mathematics, the world around us, fine arts, technology and Orkse . ...

Work programs in academic subjects. Grade 1 UMK "Harmony".

The material contains work programs and their annotations on academic subjects for Grade 1 EMC "Harmony" ....


Technical parameters of reading for students in grades 1-3 with learning difficulties

Correctional pedagogy (deaf pedagogy and typhlopedagogy, oligophrenopedagogy and speech therapy) | World of Pedagogy and Psychology #05 (70) May 2022

UDC 376

Publication date 31.05.2022

Khakimullina Rimma Rafailevna
Master student of the Department of Speech Therapy, Moscow City Pedagogical University, Russian Federation, Moscow, [email protected]

Annotation: The article presents an experimental study of the technical parameters of reading students in grades 1-3 with learning difficulties. The results of the experiment illustrate the prevalence of the problem of mastering the skill of reading. The study analyzes the presence of speech disorders in students, reading speed indicators, reading errors. The results of a study of reading speed in children with learning difficulties are presented in comparison with population data. nine0012 Keywords: reading technique; learning difficulties; elementary School; dyslexia; reading skill.

Reading fluency of students in grades 1-3 with learning disabilities

Khakimullina Rimma Rafailevna
master student at the Department of speech therapy, Moscow City University, Russia, Moscow

Abstract: The article presents an experimental study of the reading fluency of students of grades 1-3 with learning disabilities. The results of the experiment illustrate the prevalence of the problem of mastering the reading skill. The study also analyzes the presence of oral speech disorders in students, reading speed indicators, reading errors. The results of a study of reading speed in children with learning disabilities in comparison with population data are presented. nine0012 Keywords: reading fluency, learning disabilities. primary education, dyslexia, reading skills.


Khakimullina R.R. Technical parameters of reading for students in grades 1-3 with learning difficulties // World of Pedagogy and Psychology: International Scientific and Practical Journal. 2022. No. 05 (70). Access mode: (Date of access: 05/31/2022)

Introduction. Currently, a large number of primary school students are facing difficulties in mastering the school curriculum. The category of school difficulties includes problems in mastering writing and / or reading, counting skills. Often, a student may not have one specific problem, but a combination of several disorders. Difficulties in mastering reading skills are quite common among this category of students [1, 2, 3]. A stable trend is emerging in the modern educational space: according to parents, all children entering school should already be able to read [4]. From the first grade, students independently try to read the tasks, understand them and complete them. But, far from all younger students can boast of great reading experience, the ability to understand the information contained in the text, and many do not know how to read at all, which significantly affects the success of learning. From the 2nd grade, such students begin to more clearly demonstrate the lag behind their peers, due to poor reading skills, they cannot understand the tasks and complete them. A child, learning to read, may encounter a number of different problems. Most often, children with difficulties in mastering reading have problems with mastering the image of a grapheme and its sound meaning, merging syllables and words, correct reading, etc. [1, 2, 3, 5, 6]. These difficulties are reflected primarily in the technical parameters of reading - speed and correctness. nine0003

It is important to note that when reading different texts, you can get different speed values. In this regard, when assessing the technical parameters of reading, it becomes necessary to use standardized examination procedures. One of the first standardized methods for studying reading skills (SMINCH) for Russian-speaking children was published by A.N. Kornev in 1997 and restandardized in 2010 [7]. In 2018, S.V. Dorofeeva presented the current results of a survey of typically developing children and children with dyslexia according to SMINC, allowing to improve its application [8]. Also, diagnostic criteria for dyslexia were determined by M.N. Rusetskaya in the course of a population study of reading skills among schoolchildren. It should be noted that the results of the study differ from the program requirements; they were obtained in a live experiment in which children demonstrated the presence of reading experience before school [3]. nine0003

Parents and teachers often find that children lack technical reading parameters, however, their complaints are not always due to the presence of dyslexia - a specific reading disorder, the diagnosis of which requires speech therapy and psychological examination. In this regard, the aim of our study was to study the technical parameters of reading in children with various learning difficulties.

The novelty of the study lies in the description of the range of technical parameters of reading in students with learning difficulties in comparison with population data and program requirements. We also made an attempt to compare the presence and nature of technical difficulties in reading with the peculiarities of writing and the state of oral speech of the examined schoolchildren. nine0003

Organization of the study. To conduct a ascertaining experiment, data from speech therapy surveys of the Online Center for Helping Children with Learning Difficulties of the Association of Parents of Children with Dyslexia from September 2020 to April 2022 were studied. The study involved children whose parents applied for speech therapy online diagnostics at the Center. When registering for the initial consultation, all parents indicated in the questionnaire complaints about problems in children's mastery of writing and / or reading, counting skills. nine0003

The online consultation took place in two stages. At the first stage, after filling out the questionnaire, the parents went to the initial appointment, at which the request was clarified, anamnestic data were collected. At the second stage, a diagnostic reception was carried out. Online diagnostics included a long (55 minutes) speech therapy or neuropsychological examination of the child in the presence of parents or legal representatives. Based on the results of the diagnostics, parents received a conclusion regarding the speech or neuropsychological status of the child, as well as recommendations for organizing an educational route and materials for self-study. nine0003

In the procedure of logopedic diagnostics, various tests were used to assess the degree of formation of the components of the speech system: the pronunciation side of speech, phonemic perception, syllabic structure of the word, vocabulary and grammatical structure of speech. In addition, various versions of written work (dictations, copying, presentations, compositions) and workbooks in school subjects were analyzed. The number of errors, frequency and their type were recorded.

Reading analysis was carried out on the basis of the text “How I caught crayfish” from SMINCH A.N. Kornev [7] (for students in grades 2-4) and the text “Igor” from the “Primer” by V.V. Voronkova [9] (for pupils of the 1st grade). The specialist measured the speed of reading (the number of words read in 1 minute), determined the method of reading (letter by letter, syllabic, syllabic with elements of synthetic, synthetic), noted the number and nature of reading errors. In accordance with the procedure, the children had to read the texts aloud from the monitor screen and, immediately after reading, answer questions about the content of what was read. In this article, we will not disclose the problem of reading comprehension. However, this parameter should be mentioned, as it was assessed by the experimenter in the course of a comprehensive study of reading skill. nine0003

Results and discussion. First of all, we will present data on the speech status of students based on the results of speech therapy online diagnostics (Table 2).

Among children with learning difficulties (N=158), several groups can be distinguished depending on the state of oral speech:

  1. Children whose oral speech was formed within the age norm (n=32).
  2. Children with general speech underdevelopment (ONR) (n=64), mild speech underdevelopment (n=13). The total number is 77.
  3. Children with systemic speech underdevelopment (or signs of systemic speech underdevelopment) (n=17).
  4. Children with lexico-grammatical speech underdevelopment (LGR) (n=13).
  5. Children with phonetic-phonemic speech underdevelopment (PPS) and phonetic speech underdevelopment (PNS) (n=15).
  6. Bilingual children with nonspecific speech underdevelopment (n=4).

Table 2. Groups of children depending on the state of oral speech











Thus, the majority of children in the sample (80%) had speech impairments of varying severity, and only 20% of oral speech corresponded to age. nine0003

Consider the results of reading. Table 3 presents the average reading speed of children with learning difficulties from 1st to 3rd grade. It is worth noting that the technical parameters of reading improve significantly with age. Compared with first-graders, students of the 2nd grade have an average reading speed that almost doubles. The difference in the reading speed of 2nd and 3rd grade students is not so significant: third graders read 1.4 times faster than second graders. There is also an increase not only in the average reading speed, but also in the minimum and maximum readings. nine0003

Table 3. Reading speed indicators in students of grades 1-3 with difficulties in learning (n = 158)

mean (M)







2. 5








based on diagnostic criteria for dyspiration, described in the study of M.N. Several groups of schoolchildren with varying degrees of reading skills were identified. nine0003

  • Children with dyslexia (n=42). It is worth emphasizing that this group of children included only students in grades 2 and 3.
  • Children with reading difficulties (risk group) (n=68).
  • Children with non-specific reading disorder with systemic speech underdevelopment (n=11).
  • Children whose reading is formed within the age norm (n=37).

Thus, according to our study, among children with learning difficulties there are 76.6% of children with reading disorders or risks of its occurrence. The most numerous group was the risk group for dyslexia. It is worth noting that children whose reading meets the program requirements could have other school difficulties, for example, those associated with the formation of writing skills. nine0003

Table 4 compares the technical parameters of schoolchildren's reading both with program requirements and with average population data obtained in the study by M.N.Rusetskaya [3]. The average value of the speed of the entire sample as a whole meets the program requirements. But it is worth noting that the minimum reading speed according to program requirements corresponds to the diagnostic thresholds for dyslexia. And if we compare the average reading speed of the subjects with the average population data, we can find that it does not correspond to the norm. This difference is most significant in the first and second grades. We also observe that in first-graders and third-graders, the average speed value is quite close in value to the diagnostic thresholds for dyslexia. By the third grade, the average value of reading speed in our sample is moving away from the value of speed in dyslexia. nine0113

When considering the number of errors in reading, the following is revealed: the highest average value of this indicator is observed in students of the 2nd grade. Compared to the average population data, first-graders in our sample made fewer mistakes. It should be noted that mostly children with dyslexia, children at risk, children with non-specific reading disorders made reading mistakes. Children with normative reading were characterized by single reading errors. The data obtained for third-graders in our experiment are approximately on the same level with the data of the population study. nine0024












Conclusions. A significant proportion of schoolchildren with learning difficulties are characterized by reading disorders of varying severity. The study also revealed the prevalence of underdevelopment of oral speech in children with learning difficulties. However, the study of the relationship between underdevelopment of oral speech and reading disorders in children with learning difficulties is a direction for further research. The conducted research allows us to speak about the need for timely diagnosis and correction of reading disorders in children with learning difficulties in order to more successfully master the educational program for children. nine0003


1. Disorders of writing and reading in children: study and correction: scientific monograph / AR Agris [and others]; under the general editorship of O. A. Velichenkova. M. : Logomag LLC, 2018. 372 p.
2. Kornev AN Reading and writing disorders in children: a teaching aid. SPb. : Rech, 2003. 336 p.
3. Rusetskaya MN Reading disorders in younger schoolchildren: analysis of speech and visual causes: monograph. SPb. : KARO, 2007. 192 p.
4. Velichenkova OA, Lagutina AV Teaching reading to children with special educational needs: why, when and how // Russian Language Abroad. 2018. No. 6 (271). pp. 37-42. nine0012 5. Velichenkova OA On the non-variable technology of developing reading skills in first-graders with a predisposition to dyslexia // The world of special pedagogy and psychology: a scientific and practical almanac. M. : Logomag LLC, 2015. S. 43-53.
6. Khotyleva T. Yu., Galaktionova OG, Akhutina TV Prevention and overcoming of learning difficulties at an early stage. M. : V. Sekachev, 2013. 108 p.
7. Kornev AN, Ishimova OA Methods for diagnosing dyslexia in children: a manual. St. Petersburg: Publishing House of the Polytechnic University, 2010. 70 p. nine0012 8. Evaluation of diagnostic validity of the Standardized methodology for studying reading skills in Russian and checking the relevance of existing normative data / SV Dorofeeva [et al.

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