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Quick Reading Assessment

Condensed from The Teaching of Reading: a Continuum from Kindergarten through College.

Directions:  Tell your student or client that you are going to give him the AVKO Quick & Painless Reading Test.  Show him the list of words that comprise the test over Type #1 Words.

 Type 1 Words (The Simple)

These words contain normal everyday phonic patterns.  If a student can read five or more of these words, the chances are the student applies the phonic rules whether he knows them formally or not.  In which case, the chances are the student may not profit from further instruction in the simple phonic patterns that are generally taught in basal or remedial textbooks.  

Word

Level

Notations

scratches A  
strolling B  
faithfully C  
misleading D  
coastline E  
disapproval F  

Ask him if he can read any of the words.  If he can't the test is over.  No point in continuing.  He really can't read.  We recommend that you start teaching him the most basic word families and phonic patterns that can be found in AVKO's Suggested Order for Diagnosis and Remediation of Type #1 Words that can be found in The Patterns of English Spelling.

If he can read the words scratches, strolling, and faithfully but not the word misleading, you should start him at level B, one level below the last word he correctly read (or spelled) if you're using these tests for spelling remediation.

Only if a student gets at least 4 of the words on Test #1 correct should you give the test on Type #2.

Type #2 Words (The Fancy)

These words can be called "FANCY" words because they follow "fancy" patterns that generally are NOT taught in school books.  So if a student scored 5 or all 6 correctly on Test 1, congratulate him for knowing what he has been taught.  Now tell him that this test will be over words that have patterns that he has NOT been formally taught.  Again, just ask him if he can read any of the words.  If he can't the test is over.  No point in continuing.  He really can't read words that contain patterns that he hasn't been taught.  We recommend that you start teaching him these phonic patterns that can be found in AVKO's Suggested Order for Diagnosis and Remediation of Type #2 Words that can be found in The Patterns of English Spelling.  A list of these can also be found on this website.

Word

Level

Notations

malicious A  
initialed B  
emphatically C  
fatigue D  
decoupage E  
entrepreneur F  

If he does poorly, praise him for learning what he has been taught and excuse him for not learning that which he was NOT taught earlier.  Tell him you will begin teaching him these "FANCY" patterns.

Type #3 Words (The Insane)

Word

Level

Notations

     
  shouldn't A  
  beautifully B  
  thoroughly C  
  ancient D  
  usually E  
  aisles F  
  salve G  
  cache H  
  hors d'oeuvres I  
  victuals K  
  gaoler L  

Note that many students will misread salve as slave.  Very, very few college students will correctly read victuals as "vittles" and gaoler as "jailer."  Some might not even know that cache is pronounced "cash."

As we strongly recommend that tests on Type #4  ("Tricky") and Type #5  ("Scrunched Up") Words not be given in a remedial situation below that of college, we are not listing these tests here.  Those who are interested can find these tests in the book The Teaching of Reading and Spelling: a Continuum from Kindergarten through College with the others.  From experience we know that any student who had perfect scores on the first two tests and seven correct out of the eleven on the third test will score highly on the test on Type #4 words.   These are the "Tricky" words, homophones such as new, knew and gnu, almost homophones such as accept and except, heteronyms such as lead and lead, produce and produce, etc.


Preliminary findings that we request university researchers to replicate or disprove:

  1. A raw score of 0 or 1 on Test #1 indicates that the student is reading below 5.0 and would be found qualified for special help by other tests that not only take much longer to give but also may be considered torture by those taking the test.
     

  2. A raw score of 0 or 1 on Test #2 indicates that the student is reading below 7.8.
     

  3. Scores of 5 & 6 (Perfect) on Test #1 and sores of 0 & 1 on Test #2 are common among students reading from 4.0 to 6.0.  Our preliminary conclusion is that those students who are systematically taught these phonic patterns do indeed increase their reading ability rapidly up to the point that their vocabularies and life experience can bring them. 
     

  4. Scores of 0 or 1 on Test #3 indicate the student is reading below 5.0.
     

  5. Combined scores on Tests #1, #2, and #3 of 20 or more will correlate highly with other tests that predict the ability to do college work.

    If you would like to take part in the validation process of this instrument, contact Don McCabe.

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