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