Reading Assessments for Children and Teens

Teachers use reading assessments at all grade levels to determine where students need to improve. To help your child advance, provide at-home reading assignments and assessments to make sure he or she is up to speed. Read on for examples you can use today.

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When Will My Child Begin Taking Reading Assessments?

Children may be given reading assessment tests as early as kindergarten because teachers often use these tests to determine the skill level of their students. This information can be used to design customized lessons and reading interventions if necessary. As students progress through school, reading assessments can be used to help them prepare for more advanced courses and standardized tests. To get started, create your own assessments for after-school practice using the ideas below.

Reading Assessments by Age


To assess a child's reading ability in kindergarten or first grade, you can ask him to identify letters of the alphabet and make the sound that the letter represents. You may also ask your child to identify rhyming words, the number of syllables and sight words. Additionally, teachers often assess students' phonemic awareness, which is the ability to hear and recognize sounds within words. To test your child at home, say a word aloud and ask her to name the sounds she hears.


Most standardized reading tests use passages and comprehension questions to evaluate a student's skill level. While your son or daughter has likely completed tests like these in class at every grade level, you can select free texts and printable worksheets on the Internet that better fit your child's needs and interests. For example, younger students typically read short narratives and answer simple multiple-choice questions on a topic selected by the teacher, but your preteen will be more likely to excel if the subject is relevant and interests him. Additionally, your student should be able to make predictions and draw conclusions about a text and express those ideas in short answer or essay format.


Writing and reading go hand-in-hand, and this exercise gives teenage students practice with both. If you really want to understand your teen's reading comprehension level, assessments must focus on more than multiple-choice questions. Ask your teen to choose a story, read it and then write a short reflection analyzing a character or proposing an alternate ending.

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