Types of Reading Inventory Assessments
A method by which you systematically delete
words from a passage and evaluate students' ability to correctly supply
the deleted words.
Constructing a CLOZE:
- Select a representative sample from the text
of approximately 275 to 300 words from material students have
not yet read.
- Leave the first and last sentences intact.
- Beginning with the second sentence, delete
every fifth word until fifty words are deleted.
- Where the word has been deleted, leave a length
of approximately twelve spaces ____________.
- For younger elementary children, delete every
tenth word instead of fifth.
- Inform students they are to work individually
and without their textbooks to complete the CLOZE passage.
- Explain to the students that one word has been
deleted for each blank and they are to discover the missing
word. They should look over the entire passage before
beginning and try to think of the exact word the author used.
Spelling is not a factor.
- Students should have unlimited time to complete
Scoring the CLOZE:
Interpreting the CLOZE:
- Every word the student matches exactly is considered
correct. Synonyms do not count. Each blank
is worth two points. Those scores falling within the instructional
level are approximately 75 percent on a multiple-choice test.
- A score of 58 percent or higher indicates student
will read the passage with competence. Reading individually
will not be difficult for these students.
- A score between 44 and 57 percent indicates
the passage can be read with some competence by the student;
however, reading with some guidance would be beneficial.
- A score below 43 percent will probably be too
difficult for these students. A great deal of guidance
will be needed, or other material should be substituted.
Website to visit:
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DIEGO QUICK (SDQ): A reading level
screening tool which requires students to accurately pronounce words.
- Print the vocabulary word list. Cut lists
by groups and paste them onto individual cards.
- Place the reading level on the back of the
card where the student can not see it.
Administering the SDQ:
- Begin with a card at least two years below
the grade level of the student.
- Have the student read the words orally.
If words are mispronounced, drop to an easier list until there
are no mistakes. This is the base level of the student.
- Students read the individual lists until they
miss three words on one list.
Scoring and Interpreting the SDQ:
- The highest list where the student misses no
more than one word is their independent reading level.
Two mistakes on the list indicates the instructional level of
the student; three or more mistakes represents their frustrational
Word List available from Integrated
Content Literacy, by Marian Tonjes, Ray Wolpow, Miles Zintz,
**Other forms of SDQ tests are available in college bookstores.
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Area Reading Inventory (CARI): An informal
measure of performance on reading materials actually used in a course.
General Information about the CARI:
- Explain to your students that this test will
be used for instructional planning; grades will not be assigned.
- If you want to know how the class uses the
textbook use an open book evaluation.
- To determine students' ability to retain information,
have them answer test questions without referring back to the
- Discuss results individually and with entire
Constructing and Administering the CARI
- Select a representative sample between 250-350
words from the beginning of the text.
- Students will read directly from the text (unless
the passage has been typed for them).
- Begin with a title and an introductory paragraph
which contains a general statement about the topic which is
to be read. This should contain the motivation and purpose
for reading the passage.
- Prepare nine comprehension questions as follows:
three vocabulary questions; three stated facts; three inferential
questions (make sure the students have to think hard for these).
Part I should take between 15 - 20 minutes for students
to complete and it will indicate as to whether the students will
be able to master the text.
This section will help you assess skills needed for
your students to achieve success.
- From the following list choose at least three
skills to assess:
- Taking notes, outlining. Can
students take notes or outline information from lectures or
- Following directions. Are directions
- Locating reference material. Do
students have the ability to locate and use almanacs, dictionaries,
encyclopedias, and computer information?
- Using textbook. Can students
locate glossary, index, appendices, table of contents, and
- Understanding graphics. Are
students able to interpret maps, tables, charts, and graphs?
- Defining content-specific vocabulary.
Do students recognize and understand key vocabulary words
related to your content area?
- Exhibiting comprehension skills:
Can students locate main ideas, sequence events, cause
and effect, analysis, and conclusion?
- Reading rate. Do students know
when and how to adjust their reading rate as they conform
to content difficulty?
- Applying study strategies. Do
students know when to use specific study strategies?
Having selected the areas you are most interested
in checking, prepare a 5-10 question test for each category.
Scoring the CARI:
- Remind the class that even though this will
show strengths and weaknesses, it will only be used for instructional
- Score the CARI following your own criteria.
You may want to compose a class chart and mark an X by the students
strengths or weakness.
- Use the information as an indication of how
the students will understand the text. Create lesson plans
in areas the students have most difficulty.
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IRI (Informal Reading Inventory): A way
to measure individual students in an entire classroom setting.
All students can be individually tested during one class period.
This is especially helpful on the secondary level where teachers
have many students.
Constructing the Group IRI:
- Select a passage from an article or text which
students have not previously read. You should have a long
enough passage that you will be able to hear all students read
- Each student is given a 3x5 card. Have
students print their name on the card.
- Decide beforehand how you want to evaluate
the reader. For example, a check mark in the upper left-hand
corner might mean the student is a competent reader; the lower
left-hand an average reader; the upper right-hand corner means
student struggles somewhat; lower right-hand corner means student
is quite a bit below grade level.
Administering the Group II:
- Explain to the students that the entire class
will be reading orally, but they will be doing it at their own
- Tell them you are coming around to listen to
them individually. You will be checking their volume level,
and you will be checking their card when the level is acceptable.
- Rotate around the room until you have listened
to all students read orally. You should take approximately
with each student.
Scoring the Group II:
- Score individual students as noted above.
- Gather cards and transfer information into
a record log. This will inform you of students who might
have difficulty and need extra help. It will also inform
you of your strong readers.
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Student Response Form:
This is a way of measuring a student's
silent reading rate and their ability to understand and comprehend
the specific test.
- Choose a sample from the text you are currently
using. Use a passage the students have not yet read.
- Write questions pertaining to the chosen selection.
In Part II of the Response Form include a literal, interpretive,
and applied question.
- Purchase or make a timed reading chart, or
simply change the time on the board every 10 seconds.
Administering the Student Response Form:
- Have students read the selection.
- After completion of reading, have students
mark how long it took them in the designated place on the form.
- Have students answer Part I on the test.
- Students may use their books to answer the
Scoring the Student Response Form:
- The number of complete responses will indicate
how difficult the text will be for the students and how well
they will comprehend it.
- The length of time will indicate how quickly
the students will progress through the material.