Find your child's reading level

Check out how well your children can read.

By using the San Diego Quick Assessment found on the next three pages, you will quickly be able to gauge your children’s reading ability.

Download now to print this assessment.

What you need to know:

  1. Research has confirmed that the San Diego Quick Assessment provides a fairly accurate estimate of children’s ability to read grade-level material.
  2. It is a first-step screening procedure – not a substitute for a comprehensive reading assessment.
  3. At the high school level, the assessment is most effective for students with poor decoding skills.
  4. Bright children often read several levels above their grade level.

What you will learn from the assessment:

  1. You will learn how well your child is reading words at each grade level.
  2. A reading category can be determined for each grade level:
    • independent – the child can read with no help from his or her teachers
    • instructional – the grade level where your child is actually reading
    • frustration – the grade level where material is too difficult for your child

Reading Level Assessment – Record Form

Directions: Begin with the children’s reading list that is at least two years below a child’s grade level or at the preprimer level. Cover the words not being read with a paper. Ask the child to read the list words aloud to you. Give no longer than five seconds before asking the child to move to the next word. Indicate the child’s errors on this record form. Continue until the child makes three or more errors in a list.

Reading Level: When testing is completed, record the highest reading level in each of the categories below.

___INDEPENDENT (1 error) ____INSTRUCTIONAL (2 errors) ___FRUSTRATION (3 errors)

Preprimer Primer Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3 see   you   road   our   city   play   come   live   please   middle   me   not   thank   myself   moment   at   with   when   town   frightened   run   jump   bigger   early   exclaimed   go   help   how   send   several   and   is   always   wide   lonely   look   work   night   believe   drew   can   are   spring   quietly   since   here   this   today   carefully   straight   Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 6 Grade 7 decided   scanty   bridge   amber   served   business   commercial   dominion   amazed   develop   abolish   sundry   silent   considered   trucker   capillary   wrecked   discussed   apparatus   impetuous   improved   behaved   elementary   blight   certainly   splendid   comment   wrest   entered   acquainted   necessity   enumerate   realized   escaped   gallery   daunted   interrupted   grim   relativity   condescend   Grade 8 Grade 9 Grade 10 Grade 11 capacious   conscientious   zany   galore   limitation   isolation   jerkin   rotunda   pretext   molecule   nausea   capitalism   intrigue   ritual   gratuitous   prevaricate   delusion   momentous   linear   visible   immaculate   vulnerable   inept   exonerate   ascent   kinship   legality   superannuate   acrid   conservatism   aspen   luxuriate   binocular   jaunty   amnesty   piebald   embankment   inventive   barometer   crunch  

Reprinted with Permission of the International Reading Association, 2011. LaPay, M. and Ross, R. (1969). The graded word list: Quick gauge of reading ability. Journal of Reading, 12(4), 305-307.

Children’s Reading Lists

see you road our city play come live please middle me not thank myself moment at with when town frightened run jump bigger early exclaimed go help how send several and is always wide lonely look work night believe drew can are spring quietly since here this today carefully straight decided scanty bridge amber served business commercial dominion amazed develop abolish sundry silent considered trucker capillary wrecked discussed apparatus impetuous improved behaved elementary blight certainly splendid comment wrest entered acquainted necessity enumerate realized escaped gallery daunted interrupted grim relativity condescend capacious conscientious zany galore limitation isolation jerkin rotunda pretext molecule nausea capitalism intrigue ritual gratuitous prevaricate delusion momentous linear visible immaculate vulnerable inept exonerate ascent kinship legality superannuate acrid conservatism aspen luxuriate binocular jaunty amnesty piebald embankment inventive barometer crunch