Families need to understand the value and importance of letting a student participate in Pre-ETS. Consider sending home easy-to-understand, family-friendly materials explaining the benefits of Pre-ETS. We’ve included some helpful resources on making reading levels accessible for all families. Many online tools can provide info on the readability of a document or website.

What is readability?

Readability is a measure of how easy a piece of text is to read and comprehend. Readability tests are usually based on the complexity and familiarity of a text. Many of them use the number of syllables and words in a text to determine the readability score. Most scores come in the form of a grade level or from a designated scale depending on the test. Check a few different tests for a document to get a true sense of readability. The generally accepted reading level is at a 5th grade level.

Free Places to Check Readability of Documents

Readability Test Tool: https://www.webfx.com/tools/read-able/

On this website, you can copy and paste a website URL to test the readability, or check readability as you type. When you open the page, the tab to check readability of a website is already chosen. If you click the tab to the right you will be able to type your own text into the textbox or copy and paste your own text to see your readability score.

What does this measure?

Measures Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease, Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, Gunning Fog Score, SMOG Index, Coleman Liau Index and Automated Readability Index.

Microsoft Office Outlook and Word

Microsoft Office Outlook and Word will check your document’s readability for you. To enable this option, on your toolbar click the Review button. Next select Spelling & Grammar. On the window, select the Options button. Under the Grammar options, check the box for “Show readability statistics” Now when you use your spell check you will be able to see your Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease and Grade Level score!

What does this measure?

Measures Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level

ReadabilityFormulas.com: http://www.readabilityformulas.com/free-readability-formula-tests.php

This website provides a text box for you to type or copy your text into. It will test between 150-3000 words.

What does this measure?

Measures Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease, Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, Gunning Fog Score, Coleman-Liau Index, SMOG Index and Automated Readability Index.

OnlineUtility.org: https://www.online-utility.org/english/readability_test_and_improve.jsp

This website provides a text box for you to type or copy your text into. Simply enter your text into the box and press the “Process text” button for your score. There is an option to test the readability of a website underneath the textbox.

What does this measure?

Measures Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease, Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, Gunning Fog Score, Coleman- Liau Index, SMOG Index and Automated Readability Index.

Types of Readability Tests and Descriptions

Cloze Test

A Cloze test removes selected words from a sample of your text and asks readers to fill in the missing words. Aim for 25-50 blanks. Score answers by counting the number of correct answers and dividing that by the total number of words removed. Ideally you want your score to be at a 60% or higher. Anything less means your readers might have trouble reading and comprehending.

Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease

This is one of the oldest readability scores, commonly used in academics and government and incorporated into most word processing software. The Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease score is the result of a mathematical formula that incorporates the average number of syllables per word and the average number of words per sentence for a 100-word block of text. Results are measured on a scale of 1-100 (1 is the hardest and 100 is the easiest.)

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level

Like the Flesch- Kincaid Reading Ease score, this is a mathematical formula that measures syllables and sentence length. However, the results are given as an academic grade level, from 0-12. Usually your goal is 7th-8th grade as that encompasses about 80% of US adults.

Gunning Fog Index

The Gunning Fog Index takes into account “complex” words, those with three or more syllables, as part of its mathematical formula for readability. It gives a grade-level score from 1-unlimited. Ideal score is between 7-8.

Coleman Liau Index

Unlike most other readability tests, the Coleman Liau Index relies on number of characters instead of syllables per word for its calculation. It returns a U.S. grade-level score from 1-12.

SMOG Index

Takes 30 sentences (10 from the beginning, middle and end of text), then counts every word with three or more syllables in each group of sentences, then calculates the square root of that number, rounds it to the nearest 10, and then adds 3 to that number.

Automated Readability Index

The Automated Readability Index (ARI) mathematical formula has two variables: characters per word (instead of syllables, similar to the Coleman Liau Index) and words per sentence. Aim for 7-8.

Fry Readability Graph

First, pick three random 100-word passages from a book or article. Next, find the average number of syllables and average number of sentences per 100 words. Finally, plot them on the Fry Readability Graph to find the grade level of the text.