Tip of the Week: How to Identify Your Child’s Reading Accuracy

Once you’ve identified your child’s words-per-minute reading rate, identifying your child’s reading accuracy is a pretty simple process.

Here it is:

  1. Identify the number of words your child read in the oneminute test.
  2. Total the number of errors your child made. Subtract this number from the total number of words read. This the correct words
  3. Divide the number of correct words by the total words and multiply the result by 100. This is your child’s reading accuracy by percent.

Here’s an example for a student testing out of third grade and into fourth grade. The parent chose a third-grade reader to “prove” their child’s readiness.

Total number of words read (words per minute):               112

Number of errors:                                                                        7

Number of correct words:                                                       112-7=105

Accuracy by percent:                                                                105/112= .94 (rounded up)

.94 X 100 = 94%

You may be thinking, “OK, so now what. What does this mean?”

Students reading with virtually no errors (100%) are said to be reading at an independent level.

Students reading at less than 90% are reading at a frustration level.

Students reading at between 90% and 95% are reading at their instructional level.

In our example, this student, an ending third grader, was reading the number of words typically read per minute by third graders. His reading accuracy at 94% suggested he was reading at his instructional level. Based on these two considerations, I’d say going with a fourth grade reading series is a good choice.

However, there is one more factor to consider: reading comprehension.

In the next tip of the week I’ll explain what I mean.

Thanks for reading!

Curt Bumcrot, MRE

High school level classes are available here at Basic Skills in Oregon City for families seeking to supplement their home school education. A variety of qualified teachers offer classes in English, Science, Social Studies, and Math. Click here to sign up today!

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