Reading level assessments free

FREE Reading Assessment Tools for Teachers for Easier Testing

When it comes to completing reading assessments, there is always so much to do! Teachers have to gather their materials, prepare both students and parents, find testing checklists, and keep track of important data. I know you are already doing so much to serve your students, so I wanted to help make reading assessments easier for you!

I decided to put together The Reading Assessment Teacher Toolkit – a free downloadable pdf that has tons of resources and tools for you! This toolkit is packed with checklists, parent notes, and testing signs to make testing a little lot more efficient! Let’s jump right into what all is included!

Phonemic Awareness Checklist

Building phonemic awareness is the foundation of reading, and young readers need strong phonemic awareness for success in reading. I included a checklist of the skills students should be working on mastering to help you get a picture of where each child is.

Phonics Skills Assessment

Next in the reading assessments toolkit you’ll find a phonics skills assessment. This list will help you understand and get a solid picture of how your readers decode words. You’ll be able to see if there is a certain skill (digraphs, vowel teams, etc.) that they struggle with.

Dictation Assessment

The dictation assessment will help you see how your students take the knowledge and skills they have and write what they know. Reading is input, and writing is output.

Running Record Cheat Sheet

A huge piece of guided reading assessments is running records. Instead of having to flip around in different books to find coding symbols and percentages, I put everything you’ll need in one handy cheat sheet. Just print it off and stick it in your guided reading binder!

Comprehension Questions for Reading Assessments

Part of gathering a picture of the whole reader is to ask comprehension questions after reading a text. Some books may include specific questions to ask, but most do not. I compiled a list of comprehension questions to ask for both fiction and nonfiction texts that will work with any book!

Reading Strategies and Skills Checklist

Next, to help you keep track of skills and strategies students use for your reading assessments, there is a checklist that you can use throughout the year. This makes data tracking easy. Plus, you can use it to help write effective lesson plans to address areas of need.

Dolch and Fry Sight Word Lists

Help students get warmed up for assessments and find out how many sight words students know. In the reading assessments toolkit, you’ll see both the Dolch and Fry sight word lists for kindergarten, first, and second grade.

3 Parent Conference Forms for Reading Assessments

Another big piece of reading assessments is keeping parents informed of what their child can do, what their child is working on now, and where you want them to go next.

For each grade in kinder through second grade, there is a parent conference form you can fill out. This will help guide you through the conference and give parents a great picture of their student as a reader. You can also use these with progress reports, too!

Table Top Testing Tents

To help minimize distractions during testing, use the table tents to remind students not to interrupt unless it is important. I teach my students about the 3 Bs – blood, barf, bathroom. I recently adding bullying to my list, too! Just set up the tent on your table and assess away!

Testing Door Signs

Remind students (and staff) that you’re doing reading assessments with your students by hanging one of the cute door signs out on your door. If we can minimize distractions, we can provide a great testing environment for students.

The Reading Assessment Teacher Toolkit was carefully designed with kindergarten, first, and second grade teachers in mind. Be sure to download it today for your beginning, middle, or end of year reading assessments.

If you want to dive deeper into reading assessments for guided reading, sign up for the waiting list for Rethinking Guided Reading. This online course is self-paced and has tons of resources for you like printables, teaching videos, and helpful forms.

I’ll coach you through everything you need to know about guided reading – assessments, writing and implementing effective lessons, meeting with groups while distance learning, and how to complete and read running records. The doors will open this summer for a short time. You won’t want to miss out!

Click HERE to get on the waitlist.

Want to use the latest research to boost your readers during small groups? This FREE guide is packed with engaging ideas to help them grow!

Assess Your Child's Reading ~ Learning Abled Kids®

Using a Free Reading Test Can Help You Help Your Child!

Do you need to know your child’s reading level, his decoding skills level, reading fluency and reading comprehension?

 Using these free online reading tests for kids can help you assess your child’s current reading level.  Below, I’ll break down the types of reading test types you may want to use.

You can use these reading tests for kids as a screening for the possible presence of dyslexia in your child, a reading grade-level placement test, or to assess your child’s current level of reading fluency. Just pick the free reading test(s) that will provide with the information you are seeking.

Assessing your child’s reading level may provide you with information to determine the type of reading help your child may need and determine how far behind your child may be.

If you find your child is far behind, you will want to seek a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation to determine the root cause of your child’s reading difficulties. Having an evaluation will help you provide the best reading program to meet your child’s needs.

Reading skill involves reading decoding, fluency, and comprehension. You’ll need to decide which aspect of reading concerns you. Select an appropriate reading test based upon your child’s individual needs.

Reading decoding is the ability to understand or decipher the sounds represented by each letter or combination of letters in a word. This is the first, and most basic, skill required for a child to be able to read. It is the core problem area for children with dyslexia.

For an overall snapshot of your child’s reading abilities, there is a Free Reading Test at K5 Learning (includes a math assessment too). This test will provide you with your child’s current  grade level in the following areas:

  • Phonemic Awareness – individual sounds within the spoken language
  • Phonics – understanding letters and sounds in the written word
  • Sight Words – high frequency words
  • Vocabulary – the meanings of words in context
  • Reading Comprehension – understanding what is read
  • Math Numbers and Operations – adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, fractions
  • Measurement Concepts – time, money, measuring
  • Geometry – characteristics and properties of geometric shapes.

I like the K5 Reading and Math Assessment because it gives you a visual bar with your child’s performance level. It also gives the “Mastery Range,” so you can easily see what level of performance your child has within his or her current performance level.

Additionally, this assessment also gives you your child’s “Placement Level,” which is ideal for knowing exactly where to START working with your child.

The K5 Reading assessment is free, but you do have to sign up for an account to use the assessment. At the time I’m writing this, NO credit card info is required and there are no obligations for the free trial.  Your first 14 days are free, so you can even try out their lessons to see if your child likes them.

The first area of reading test you may need to use is a reading decoding test

If you suspect your child has dyslexia, you may want to begin with a free online reading test for dyslexia available through the **Reading Success Lab. “The Reading Success Lab’s tool is a quick assessment that indicates whether a basic reading decoding problem might be present. ” Since an inability to decode words is at the heart of true dyslexia, it is very important to understand issues which may be involved in poor reading abilities if your child shows signs of dyslexia.

The Sound Reading program is backed by research showing it to be an effective instructional program for reading.  They offer a free reading test that your child can take to determine his current reading skill level.  Given this free test is related to the Sound Reading program, of course they’d love it if you’d buy their program, but you’ll want to check out a variety of program options prior to choosing a program.

If you would like an informal, free, online reading test without having to register (like is required for the Reading Success Lab), you may find the **”Red Flag Reading Screening” to be helpful. This test is only a screening test. It is best used to gauge how well, or if, your child is progressing in reading. You can also use it to determine if your child is indeed reading at or near grade-level. The Red Flag Reading Screening is “not designed to be a comprehensive evaluation or placement tool. It is merely a ‘snapshot’ indicator, and poor performance indicates the need for further investigation of a student’s academic skills and deficiencies.”

Another free online reading test for kids is called “Abecedarian” and it’s available through Balanced Reading’s Assessments page. Written by two reading researchers, Sebastian Wren and Jennifer Watts, the Abecedarian is available for you to download and use for free.  This is a comprehensive and thorough evaluation of several different important skills for reading which will give you a solid indication of your child’s short-comings when it comes to reading.  By using this reading test, you’ll know which skills require direct instruction and which ones your child has already mastered.  This is an excellent reading test to use at any time to get a solid snapshot of your child’s reading abilities.

If your child can decode words fairly well, you may want to determine what grade-level your child currently reads at, whether he reads fluently, or whether his comprehension is good. You can check these higher-level reading skills of your child’s by picking a free reading test from the list below. These Free Reading Test options are primarily used for grade-level placement or screening for reading disabilities, so they may or may not provide you the specific information you are seeking.

  • Sonlight Curriculum’s Reading Assessments
  • K12’s Reading Placement Tests
  • National Right to Read Reading Competency Test

The second component of reading skill is called “Reading Fluency”

Reading fluency is a demonstrated ability to read smoothly in a rhythmic, and expressive manner. If your child is reading fluently, he will be able to read through a passage without stopping for more than a second or two to figure out words. Your child will generally read the passage as if he were a smooth talker. A child may falter briefly every few paragraphs and still read fluently. It is the degree and frequency of hesitations that determine if a child reads fluently.

For children with reading decoding difficulties, reading smoothly with understanding can be a significant issue. When you have your child practice Reading Fluently, it will be helpful to measure your child’s fluency level.

A great free Reading Test to use is DIBELS. The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) is a set of standardized, individually administered measures of early literacy development. They Reading Test is designed to provide short (one minute) fluency measures used to regularly monitor the development of pre-reading and early reading skills. You can use the DIBELS Reading Test when you begin working on fluency and at regular intervals to measure progress. DIBELS is offered by the University of Oregon Center on Teaching and Learning.

The third component of successful reading is “Reading Comprehension”.

There is a comprehension Reading Test available for free at:**Pearson Longman, which is a textbook publisher. There are Reading Tests for grades 1-8, and each grade level has multiple reading tests to choose from.

If you used a Reading Test to determine your child’s reading level and found your child has significant issues with reading decoding, reading fluency, or reading comprehension, I HIGHLY recommend seeking a comprehensive evaluation for learning disabilities, like dyslexia.  If your child has dyslexia, he will need special help to learn how to read well.

You may also wish to check out our information on Reading Fluency, Reading Comprehension, and Vocabulary since these aspects of reading skill can have a significant influence on Reading ability as well. Our information on Speed Reading may be of interest once your child reads fluently beyond a third grade level.

Best Wishes in helping your child learn to read well!

Table of Contents

  • 1 Using a Free Reading Test Can Help You Help Your Child!
  • 2 The first area of reading test you may need to use is a reading decoding test
  • 3 The second component of reading skill is called “Reading Fluency”
  • 4 The third component of successful reading is “Reading Comprehension”.

Read speed test. Online simulator for developing reading speed and awareness skills in 2021!

Reading speed is an important indicator not only for schoolchildren, who regularly check it. It is very important for an adult in the modern world to be able to navigate in huge flows of information. A reading speed test will help you determine your current level and see if you need to work on improving this skill or if you are reading fluently enough.


1. How to check reading speed?
2. How can I check my reading speed myself?
3. How to test a child's reading speed?
4. What reading speed is considered normal for adults and children?
5. How to choose the right text to test reading speed?
6. The book "Everything you wanted to know about speed reading, but were afraid to ask"

How to check reading speed? nine0029

The easiest way is to take a stopwatch (you can use the application on your phone), a text to check your reading speed and read it at a normal pace for one minute. It is important that the text is non-technical, does not contain highly specialized terms and concepts, and is not familiar to the reader. The text should not be too primitive. The testee must see the text for the first time so that the results are not artificially inflated.

But what do you care about speed, if you don't understand with what awareness you absorb the text? :) nine0003

A much better way to find out your reading speed is to take a free online test. To do this, sit back, enter your name in the form above, press the button and you will immediately see the text that you need to read, slowly, trying to understand everything that is written.

When the entire text is read - click on the button at the very bottom. The program will automatically determine the reading speed and prompt you to answer a few questions to understand the degree of assimilation of the material. As a result of testing, you will receive not only the result of your reading speed and awareness, but also recommendations for improving your reading technique in the format of the book "Everything you wanted to know about speed reading, but were afraid to ask. " Enter a name. Click the button and find out your real reading speed. Have a good day. nine0003

How can I test my reading speed myself?

We have prepared for you a tool with which you can independently check the speed of reading. Our tool include a certain amount of text that you need to read as quickly as possible. You will then have the opportunity to answer a series of questions about the text, allowing the program to determine your level of understanding. Based on the data received, a result and a certificate are issued. This certificate can be shared with your friends on social networks and challenge them to a battle to test the speed and awareness of reading :). nine0003

If you want to do it yourself, you can do it according to the following scenario. A text of medium complexity is taken, located on one sheet. You will need an assistant who will keep track of the time and will be able to test the level of your understanding of the information. Check algorithm:

Simultaneously with the start command and the start of the stopwatch, you begin to silently read the text.

When the text is finished, you say stop - time stops.

Then you need to answer a few questions regarding the content (reading speed implies a full reading comprehension). nine0003

The last step is to count the words in the text and determine the average number of words per minute (words in the text can be counted before reading).

This is the certificate you can get based on the results of passing the test

How to check the reading speed of a child?

A child's reading speed can be tested in a similar way. The child should read aloud, at least in elementary school. Then you can switch to the usual way of checking for adults. nine0003

Schools often test reading skills by counting the number of words read per minute. This gives a small error, since words come in different sizes, but a similar verification method can also be used.

What reading speed is considered normal for adults and children?

The average reading speed for an adult is 200-230 words per minute. Below average, but an acceptable rate is 150-200 words per minute. Adults who read more than 230 words per minute are considered fast readers. For the speed reading technique, the optimal speed is 350-400 words per minute. nine0003

In children, the indicators are dynamic and change depending on age. Approximate norms used in elementary school:

20-30 words per minute for first grade;
45-60 words per minute for second grade;
70-85 words per minute for third grade;
90-125 words per minute for fourth grade.

How to choose the right text to test reading speed?

The criteria for selecting text to test reading speed are identical for adults and children. The only difference is the volume and complexity of the information. The text must match the following parameters: nine0003

medium difficulty appropriate for age;
the absence of specific unfamiliar words or their minimum number;
no dialogs;
location on one page;
large, comfortable to read font;
lack of pictures and other distracting elements.

In our tool for testing reading speed and comprehension, we tried to take into account all these factors so that the resulting tool would be convenient for both adults and children. At the same time, he gave a fairly clear answer to the question about the real reading speed. nine0003

It should be remembered that reading speed is a variable parameter, which decreases if a person rarely sits down at a book, and increases with constant reading. There are many special techniques aimed at significantly increasing the speed of reading text information.

Everything you wanted to know about speed reading but were afraid to ask test. So don't waste a second,

go back to the very top of the page and go take the test!

Reading speed test online is simple, convenient and fast

We have already written so much here about how to correctly measure your reading speed, achieve awareness and interpret the results, that every second of delay before you pass the online reading speed test and receive a personal certificate is just like death. Return to the very beginning of the page, enter your name in the field under the video and go to the enchanting world of unfamiliar texts and tricky questions :). nine0003

📖 Reading speed Q&A section

📕 What formula is used to calculate reading speed?

If it’s very short, then the formula for calculating the reading speed is as follows: V = (Q / T) x K. This formula allows you to get a real figure for reading speed with a correlation to the coefficient of meaningfulness. You can read more about the formula here in this article .

📗 What books do you recommend reading to develop speed reading? nine0006

We have compiled a list of the most useful books for the development of speed reading and posted it in a separate post on the blog. The list is constantly updated and gives an idea of ​​the main books with which you can develop speed reading skills.

📘 What if I want to increase my reading speed?

You can start by learning the theory, or you can download our workbooks , which we have created especially for those who who wants to start learning speed reading. There are two of them: one notebook for adults, the second for children. Contains some theory and practical exercises designed for several weeks of regular classes. nine0003

📙 How to check a child's reading speed?

The reading speed test, which is located on our website, is suitable for both adults, as well as for children. We specifically tried to choose mostly literary texts that will be easy to read. to understand the child. Just go to the reading speed test page from the link above, enter child's name and start reading. Then the program will do everything for you.

📔 I want to check my reading speed online for free. How to do it? nine0006

Easier nowhere. The tool, which is located at , was created just for this. You just enter your name, read the text and answer the questions. The program monitors the speed of your reading and its meaningfulness. After answering the questions, you will receive a certificate with your result. The certificate can be shared with friends in social networks :).

📓 What is the "Read Fast" project?

Read Fast is a project dedicated to the problem of fast and conscious reading. We believe that you can read 3-4 times faster. However, the quality of memory reading material will only increase. Let's try together :). nine0003

Online text complexity analysis - Textometer

Textometer helps to determine the level of complexity and readability of the text for free, count the number of words and characters, find the average length of a word and sentence, keywords of the text, calculate the coefficient of lexical diversity of the text, get a list of words in the text and calculate the time his reading.

Russian as a foreign language

Russian as a native language


Insert demo text

About the project

Textometer helps to determine the level of complexity of the text in Russian for free, calculate readability indices, find out the level of text on the CEFR scale, calculate the number of words and characters, find the key words of the text, calculate the coefficient of lexical diversity of the text, get a list of words from the text and calculate the time of reading it, as well as determine the statistics on the occurrence of words in lexical minima.


Determining the level of complexity of the text on the CEFR scale from A1 to C2 occurs automatically, using a regression model trained on a corpus of 800 texts from manuals on Russian as a foreign language. In the Publications section, you can find articles with more detailed information about how the automatic detection of text complexity works in our service [2], about the corpus of texts from RuFoLa textbooks [3], and about how to use the Textometer in a Russian language lesson [1 ].

ACTFL level

The ACTFL text difficulty level is suggested using the CEFR and ACTFL correspondence table in the receptive skills section. Read more about matches here. nine0003

Could she be wrong? Experiments show that the model tends to slightly overestimate the level of complexity of the text, since it makes calculations based on given lexical minimums. Practice shows that students usually know (or guess from the context) more words than in the minimums. This is especially true for internationalisms and words that sound similar in the student's native language. This should be taken into account when preparing texts for Slavic or English-speaking students. You can read more about the experiment with comparing the work of the program, the opinions of expert teachers and the students themselves here [4]. nine0003

Evaluation of the difficulty level of the text for schoolchildren

The difficulty levels of the text for foreigners are well standardized and documented. In texts for native speakers, the concept of text complexity is more multifaceted: the text is written in short words and phrases, which allows standard readability formulas to classify it as simple, but it is difficult to “break through” unfamiliar words or stylistic features.

Therefore, our system evaluates text for readability by native speakers according to two criteria: structural complexity and lexical complexity. Structural complexity takes into account the classic Flesh readability formula adapted for the Russian language, as well as the presence of parts of speech and turns that make reading difficult (participles, passive forms, etc.) Lexical complexity is calculated based on the occurrence of text words in specialized frequency lists. The average score for these two complexity vectors allows us to assess the level of the text by age and grade. You can read more about this technology here [5]. nine0003

Length of text in words, characters and sentences

Length of text in words, characters and sentences are basic characteristics of a text, especially useful for calculating the time it will take to master it, or when preparing test materials, where the length of the text is usually strictly defined state standard for RCT. For example, the recommended text length for reading A1 is 250-300 words, A2 is 600-700 words, and so on.

Average word and sentence length

Calculation of the average length of a word and a sentence is used to determine the complexity of a text or its individual fragments. Thus, a large number of readability formulas use these indicators as the main ones (DuBay, 2004).

Lexical diversity coefficient

The lexical diversity coefficient is calculated as the ratio of the number of unique words in the text to the number of all words in the text and is denoted by a value close to 0 to 1 (when all words in the text are unique and met only once). This measure is useful for assessing the repetition, reproducibility of the vocabulary of the text and is also able to signal its difficulty. For example, the coefficient of lexical diversity of a fragment of an authentic journalistic text is on average 0.8, and of an educational text of level B1 - 0.5. However, this coefficient should be used with caution on short educational texts: in one paragraph, most likely, almost all significant words will be unique, while in the whole text, the main names, locations, concepts and actions are more likely to be repeated. nine0003

Search for text keywords

Search for text keywords is calculated as the ratio of the number of times a word occurs in the analyzed text to the frequency of the word according to the Russian National Corpus (TF/IDF measure with a correction factor). The highest rating is given to words that are often found in this text, but rarely in all other texts of the corpus, that is, the most typical for this particular text. For example, in the text of an interview with a musician, the words music and rap appear three times each. But at the same time, music occurs in the National Corpus 45,000 times, and rap - 270. From this point of view, the word rap is more characteristic and necessary for understanding this text. At the same time, the appearance of a word in the list of keywords does not mean at all that it should remain in the text during adaptation: the word can be replaced with a synonym or provided with an interpretation. Its presence in the list only indicates that it plays an important role in the understanding of this text and should be given special attention when rewriting the text. nine0003

Difficulty level of text words according to the CEFR scale

Statistics on lexical minimums includes information on how many percent of the text is covered by lexical minimums of one or another level, and below is a list of words that are not included in the official lexical minimum of the TORFL standards of this level. The amount of unfamiliar vocabulary is the most important indicator of the language accessibility of a text: numerous studies show the closest relationship between the familiarity of the vocabulary of a text and the success of its understanding (Nation, 2006; Qian, 2002). The state standard for Russian as a foreign language also contains information on the recommended amount of unfamiliar vocabulary, which gradually increases from 2–3% for the A1 level to 10% for the C1 level. nine0003

Frequency analysis of text

Frequency analysis of text allows, firstly, to obtain a complete frequency list of words in the text, and secondly, statistics on the proportion of words in the text from the list of 5,000 most frequent words in the Russian language. To calculate the statistics on the frequency of words, we used the New Frequency Dictionary of the Modern Russian Language.

Estimated text reading time

The calculation of text reading time is based on information from the state standard on Russian as a foreign language and offers an estimated reading time for a text by a foreign student depending on the task of reading - studying or viewing. Such information appears in RFL standards starting from level B1 and amounts to 50 words per minute for learning reading and 100 words per minute for viewing for this level. For levels below B1, we have taken the liberty of continuing this scale of estimated reading speed based on pedagogical experience. nine0003

Viktoria Maksimova

Russian as a foreign language teacher, founder of the FB community “Storytelling in Russian as a Foreign Language”

Now that the Textometer has appeared, it’s hard for me to imagine how I would prepare texts without it. It is an indispensable tool for my work: strict objective evaluation parameters, simple and intuitive design. Thanks to the developers of the project!

Anna Golubeva

editor-in-chief of the Zlatoust publishing house

The service helps a lot in working and communicating with authors! The frequency list is especially useful, it objectifies what is expedient to leave in the text, and what to adapt or train. Thanks to colleagues from the Pushkin Institute! nine0003

Yulia Nekrasova

Lecturer of Russian as a Foreign Language University of Salerno

A very valuable methodological find! Huge potential for preparing assignments for levels B1 - C1, dictations, assignments for exams, etc. I apologize for the slang, but huge respect to the developers!


When referring to the resource, we ask you to cite this work:

[1] Laposhina A. N., Lebedeva M. Yu. 2021. Vol. 19. No. 3. C. 331-345

More publications about the program:

[2] Laposhina A. N., Veselovskaya T. S., Lebedeva M. U., Kupreshchenko O. F. Automated Text Readability Assessment For Russian Second Language Learners // Komp'juternaja Lingvistika i Intellektual'nye Tehnologii Ser.

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