Reading assessments evaluate the student's ability to comprehend text, understand language, discriminate between words, recognize syntax or identify sounds and letters. Teachers, administrators and other educational professionals use these types of tests to determine the student's strengths, look for areas that need improvements and rate the curriculum or instructional methods. The area of reading that the test measures depends on the specific standardized test that you use.
The GRADE Assessment
The Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation -- or GRADE -- is a standardized test that measures the reader's phonological awareness, comprehension, listening skills and vocabulary. You can use this research-based evaluation with students in preschool through grade 12. The reports provide data that rank the student against grade-level equivalents, standard scores and percentiles. Using the test over multiple years allows you to track the student's reading progress in comparison to local and national grade-level peers.
Using the SRI-2 Inventory
The Standardized Reading Inventory -- Second Edition is an evaluation for students ages 6 through 14. The test assesses the student's oral and silent reading skills as well as comprehension. it also includes a subtest that measures grade-level vocabulary knowledge. This standardized test was evaluated on 1,099 students to test for accuracy. One advantage to this assessment is the ability to use part of the inventory to identify further needs for testing instead of starting with the entire test.
DIBELS Fluency Testing
The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills -- DIBELS -- is a test for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. The DIBELS measures the young student's phonological awareness, knowledge of alphabetic principles, comprehension and oral language abilities. It also works alongside of the Common Core State Standards for reading. You can use the test regularly to watch the student's reading progress during the grade school years.
The Iowa Assessments
The Iowa Assessments reading test measures the student's abilities at different development levels. The beginning levels evaluate word reading and basic comprehension using pictures. As the student progresses, the test assesses the ability to comprehend literary and informational texts. The latest version of the test was evaluated in 2010. The standardization process used data from more than 70,000 students in 600 schools from around the U.S. This process ensures that the test results are valid for students in each age group.