Placement Tests for Reading for Success Novel Studies
research has been done showing that reading rate and accuracy
are key determiners for a student's potential to comprehend written
text. Many studies have examined the predictive validity of oral
reading fluency measures and have determined that oral reading
is a reliable predictor of student success on standardized and
state tests in the area of reading comprehension. Each novel study
carefully develops a wide range of comprehension and literary
analysis skills from simple to complex. Therefore, we have used
fluency and accuracy as predictors of appropriate placement. Placement
testing only indicates the student has sufficient skills to be
successful in a particular novel study. It does not mean the student
is at mastery with the skills that are taught in that novel study.The
recommendations for placement are based on the student's instructional
level and a faithful implementation of the explicitly taught materials
and lessons found in the Series Launchers and Reading for Success
Teacher Presentation materials. Administration of the End of Unit
test for each novel study will determine specific skill mastery
in that particular novel study unit.
placement tests will provide you with baseline date for reading
rate and accuracy. This is an un-practiced or "cold"
read. Students should not be allowed to practice the passage before
the test is administered. It is best if each student is tested
outside the hearing range of other students. Many students have
been taught to read to get the “general idea” of a story or passage
and that accuracy is not important. Because accuracy is a factor
being evaluated in these placement tests, it is important to explain
to the student being tested that there are many forms of reading
where accuracy is not that important. However, for this placement
test, the reading must be accurate. We encourage students to track
under the words as they read, to help them be more focused on
the words and thus, increasing their chances of reading more accurately.
Students are to be instructed to read exactly what is on the page.
administration and scoring instructions are included for each
test. The test passages are excerpts from the actual novel the
students will read. They generally contain a balance of narrative
and dialogue. Narrative is at the highest readability and dialogue
at the lowest.
student's reading rate (wrpm) on these placement tests is defined
as the number of words read aloud in one minute. Errors are not
used as a factor until the accuracy percentage is calculated.
The placement tests evaluate only a student's ability to read
fluently and accurately. They do not test comprehension.
you have any questions about these placement tests, please feel
free to contact Terry Dodds at
652-9704. One of the services offered to users of our
novel studies is custom prepared literature
plans for your school. These plans can be developed in consultation
with Terry Dodds, by phone or by email.
the Placement Tests
Click on the name of the novel study for the placement test you
wish to administer to your students. Print out the copy from this
website. You have permission to make as many copies of the tests
as you need for testing your students.
Students should read from the novel for which they are being tested,
not from the recording sheet. To prepare the novel, underline
the difficult or unusual words and phrases that are underlined
on the scoring sheet. Mark with an asterisk the beginning and
end of the passage the student will be reading during the test.
Setting the Scene
Each placement test provides a short script that introduces the
student to the novel and sets the scene for reading the short
passage. This part of the test provides the student with the context
to help him or her better attach meaning to what is happening
in the passage. This part of the testing can be done individually,
with a small group of students, or with a whole class. Students
with special needs should do this part of the test individually.
Reviewing the Hard Words
This part of the placement test should be administered individually.
Students are given a copy of the prepared novel open to the designated
page. A scripted review is provided for familiarizing students
with difficult or unusual words, names, phrases, and words divided
at the end of a line. Students are told the meanings of important
words in the passage that may be unfamiliar to them.
Administering and Scoring the Placement Test
You will record student information on the scoring sheet. Have
the student read the passage aloud as you record errors as described
in the Instructions for Recording Student Responses and Scoring.
The student should read aloud for one minute and should be timed
with a timer. If a student reads the entire passage in less than
one minute, record on the scoring sheet the time the passage was
completed (E.g., completed in 47 seconds). This data may be used
to determine higher or lower performing students and for forming
groups. Even though a student may have a fast reading rate, he
or she may not have the comprehension and literary analysis skills
taught in a particular novel study. Some students are avid readers,
but have difficulty formulating extended written responses. These
factors need to be taken into consideration when scoring and placing