Analysing the reading test data

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The results from our Reading Test provide several different metrics to give you a holistic understanding of your learner’s ability that can influence your classroom teaching and intervention strategies. Click here to find a glossary of all of the different metrics.

Using Reading Test data to influence intervention decisions:

We recommend using Standard Age Score (SAS) to identify learners whose reading ability is not what you would expect for their age. Any learner that has a SAS of below 100 has a lower reading ability than expected for their age.

You can use this data to identify learners who are furthest away from the expected standard and in need of urgent support.Understanding the Reading Test results.png

While we recommend using SAS, you can also compare reading age data to the learner’s actual age once you have downloaded the report.

You can also use the data to identify your lowest and highest performing learners. Using the group rank may help you to identify your bottom 20% as it tells you how the learner has performed against the other learners in the test.

Using Reading Test data to influence classroom/intervention strategies:

The subskill group data is particularly useful to help to identify the strengths and weaknesses in reading. For each learner, you can explore the number of below-level, at-level and above-level questions they were served in the test. For example, a learner who has answered several below-level questions incorrectly may need additional help with that subskill group. Alternatively, a learner who has answered many above-level questions correctly may have a clear strength in that specific subskill of reading ability.

For learners performing below level, we recommend several strategies to target the different elements of reading. The EEF writes that while we can teach these skills in isolation for learners who need specific support, learners ‘should also be taught how to integrate combinations of strategies to develop effective comprehension of different texts.’ (Improving literacy at KS2)

Direct meaning

This covers explicit retrieval and the ability to understand meaning in context.

  • Explicit retrieval: consistent low-stakes quizzes and assessments for learning strategies, explicitly teach strategies such as skimming and scanning.
  • Meaning: explicitly teach prefixes and suffixes, model metacognitive processes, such as clarifying the purpose of reading, adjust reading speed to suit the complexity of the text, employ oracy strategies to encourage learners to recast text in their own words, look backwards or forwards in a text for clues.

Indirect meaning

This covers implicit retrieval and how authorial choice of language influences meaning.

  • Implicit retrieval: practice inference through exploration of images and short statements, model asking questions of texts such as ‘what isn’t here?’ ‘what isn’t said?’
  • Evidencing ideas: provide learners with statements that they have to find the evidence to support, match activities of statements to evidence, ‘prove it’ games and questioning, read persuasive texts and balanced arguments to find evidence for different viewpoints, practice highlighting texts based on particular questions or themes.

Understanding overall meaning

This covers summary, intra- and intertextuality, and prediction.

    • Summary: regularly encourage learners to complete 7-word summaries, explicitly teach a summary process, using graphic organisers that illustrate concepts or sections of text, and recall the main points or ideas in a text through questioning.
    • Intra/intertextuality: complete Venn diagrams to help learners visualise comparisons and keep note of their findings as they read, use reworks of familiar texts (you could even get learners to write their own!) and then make comparisons, regularly use agree/disagree statements to engage learners with comparisons.
    • Prediction: provide regular opportunities for learners to make predictions based on an image/title/diagram/illustration/book cover, predict future events, predict why a specific text feature was used, and provide learners with prediction sentence stems and regular opportunities to use them.


You can use the below-level data to target your teaching specifically on the areas of weakness and you can use the at-level and above-level to stretch and challenge your learners.

We have several webinars that provide much more detailed information about strategies for the classroom.

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