How Can Preschoolers Take a Reading Assessment Test?

April 14, 2023

Reading Assessment Test

In order to prepare for kindergarten, preschoolers learn the alphabet and the sounds of letters to help them build a foundation for literacy. However, some preschoolers might exhibit precocious reading ability and know how to decode easy text and read text fluently. Their comprehension might match their decoding ability.

Not only are these children prepared for kindergarten, but they might be reading at a kindergarten reading level or even beyond. Parents might want to test their child’s reading ability to determine their exact level. How can preschoolers take a reading assessment test?

Informal Methods for Testing Reading Levels

If a preschooler reads books without help and understands what they read, parents can (and should) encourage them to keep reading regularly. Instead of reading books aloud to a precocious reader, parents can ask their preschooler to read aloud during story time. However, some young children might enjoy having their parents read to them, too. Parents might take turns reading a book and encouraging their child to take the lead on reading.

Parents could be thrilled that their preschooler has learned to read. They might be curious about their child’s reading level. Should parents test a preschooler’s reading ability?

Parents don’t have to use a formal reading test to gauge their child’s proficiency. Libraries and bookstores offer books leveled for early readers. These books can help parents gauge their child’s reading level. Many books include a Lexile number; this number correlates to reading levels (according to grade level). To understand book levels using Lexile, parents can review the Lexile Grade Level Charts.

Parents could gradually choose more difficult books to determine their child’s level. Eventually parents will discover the level where decoding becomes too difficult or comprehension drops off.

Choosing books at different early Lexile levels can help parents assess their preschooler’s reading ability. Once they determine the best book level for their child, they can encourage their child to choose books at this level.

It’s important for parents not to treat reading like a rigid assignment, though. If children want to read an easy book, let them enjoy the easy book. They might love the story or the character. Just because a child reads at a higher level doesn’t mean that they don’t still love stories written for their age group.

All reading can help children love reading. Let them choose books that interest them and hold their attention.

Reading Assessment Test

Formal Reading Tests

Some parents might want their child formally tested in different areas; they might suspect that their child is gifted or parents might just want to gauge their child’s abilities. To access formal testing related to IQ, parents might reach out to their child’s pediatrician.

Testing a child’s reading level might not be easily accessible for parents, as formal reading testing for school districts might not begin until kindergarten. However, it’s possible that a preschool could test a child’s reading ability.

In addition, precocious reading might not elicit the need for testing. Schools and school districts might only test a child if they suspect the child has learning concerns. Again, though, if giftedness is suspected, parents might seek out IQ testing.

Reading Assessment Test

Using a Reading Assessment Test Online

Parents might wonder if they can find a reading test online that helps them gauge their child’s reading level. Readability offers a free reading assessment test, but it’s designed for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. The test is not designed to test the reading ability of younger children.

While parents might try to test their child with this assessment, they could receive inaccurate results. In order to begin the test, parents need to select the child’s grade level. Preschool isn’t an option, and this means that parents need to guess their child’s reading ability and choose a correlating grade.

Parents could choose ‘kindergarten,’ but if the child isn’t reading proficiently at a kindergarten level then the report will show that the child is reading below grade level. If the child is reading at a kindergarten level, though, parents might receive a report that shows their child is right on target—although they are actually reading above their expected ability.

Parents might be curious to see if their child can read at a higher grade level. They could test their child at different grade levels; for a child who is reading far beyond expectations in preschool, testing might be helpful to parents. Unfortunately, though, test results also might be inaccurate as the child is so young.

While Readability’s reading assessment is quick and simple, it’s up to parents to decide if their child should take this test. Again, the assessment isn’t designed for children in preschool.

If parents select a higher grade level and are determined to move forward with the test, how will the test assess the child’s reading level? Children need to use a device with a microphone; they will be asked to read a short passage. Readability will review their reading for fluency and comprehension; parents will receive a report that explains their child’s reading level.

If children aren’t reading at the reading level correlating to the grade level selected by parents, the report will detail tips to help children. Again, a preschooler might not be reading at a level that correlates to kindergarten proficiency or beyond. Readability’s assessment is meant to be used by children in the recommended grade levels.

Parents Can Focus on the Fun of Reading

It’s natural for parents to be curious about their child’s abilities. Some parents might be focused on trying to determine the advanced reading level of their child. Does the reading level in preschool really matter, though?

Some children might be ahead when they are younger but they might later even out with their peers in later grades. Even if children consistently read at an advanced level, enjoying books might be the most important factor to ensure that they remain avid readers.

If children love books and read proficiently in preschool, start a reading habit with them. Make reading a routine part of the day; choose a designated time to enjoy books with children. Parents also can take them to the library and let them have their own library card.

When visiting the library with children, let them choose the books they want. If a book is too difficult for children to read independently, parents can take the lead in reading. Talk to children about the book, too.

Before visiting the library, parents also can encourage children to make a list of topics that interest them. Parents can write this list as children dictate it aloud. Making a list can help the library visit more focused. Children can hunt for the books related to their interest list; parents can help them locate these books.

Don’t Stop Reading Aloud

A study revealed that children who heard five books read aloud each day went to kindergarten knowing more than one million more words than children whose parents never read to them. Reading aloud helps children learn more words and grow their vocabulary knowledge. Encourage precocious readers to read books independently, but parents also shouldn’t stop reading aloud to their children.

Ultimately, testing a child’s reading ability before kindergarten might not be accurate. Readability’s free assessment is designed to be used from kindergarten through sixth grade, and children might not be reading at a level that correlates to kindergarten proficiency or beyond. If parents suspect a learning disorder or even giftedness, though, they might reach out to their child’s pediatrician or school district to consider evaluations or testing.