Knowledgebase

Search by Keyword

Search by Product

Fluency Assessment

Benchmark Assessment

  1. When should I conduct benchmark assessments?
  2. If I tested outside the recommended testing windows, can I use benchmark assessment results to evaluate student reading?
  3. Should I use the actual grade level passages when doing fluency assessment or should I use the instructional level?
  4. Can I use benchmark assessment scores to select the placement level for a student in Read Naturally?

1. When should I conduct benchmark assessments?

In a benchmark assessment, students can be assessed three times per year:  fall, winter, and spring. Testing sessions should be approximately 16 weeks apart. Each benchmark assessment has recommended testing periods (when you should test) and the testing season boundaries (when you can test). The further outside the recommended dates that you test, the less accurate your results will be.

2. If I tested outside the recommended testing windows, can I use benchmark assessment results to evaluate student reading?

Testing dates matter!
Benchmark assessments are used to screen students for reading problems and to monitor their progress at specific times of the school year:  fall, winter and spring. Assessments should be given approximately 16 weeks apart. 

So, if you administer a benchmark assessment to a student outside the recommended testing windows, be aware that the percentiles and competency levels are less accurate.  

Using Scores from Outside the Recommended Testing Window to Identify Students Who Need Intervention
You can still use the student's words correct per minute (wcpm) score to determine if the student may need intervention in reading. Compare the student's score to the scores on the table below and note the percentile of the student's wcpm score. Consider carefully how close the student's testing date was to the recommended testing windows to analyze how accurate the percentage may be. If you estimate that the score is below the 40th percentile, the student may need intervention in reading.

Using the Average Weekly Improvement (AWI) Table to Analyze Growth
If you have a student's wcpm scores from two benchmark assessment testing seasons, you can evaluate that student's growth (wcpm) no matter when you assessed the student by comparing the student's average weekly improvement (AWI) to the average weekly improvement listed in the table below. (AWI represents the number of words gained per week between the student’s first assessment wcpm score and the most recent score.)

To compare the student's average words gained per week with the AWI table, find the number closest to the student's first wcpm score in the table below. (Be careful to use the student's grade level and the correct season.) Then compare the student's AWI to the AWI in that row. If the student's AWI is greater than the AWI listed in the table, the student's scores indicate the student has improved relative to his or her peers.

Grade Percentile Fall WCPM Winter WCPM Spring WCPM Avg. Weekly Improvement
1 80
60
40
10



55
29
18
6
90
64
43
15
2.2
2.2
1.6
0.6
2 80
60
40
10
86
62
41
11
107
84
61
18
124
100
79
31
1.2
1.2
1.2
0.6
3 80
60
40
10
107
82
61
21
127
102
82
36
143
118
96
48
1.1
1.1
1.1
0.8
4 80
60
40
10
126
103
84
45
146
122
103
61
160
134
113
72
1.1
1.0
0.9
0.8
5 80
60
40
10
147
121
101
61
163
137
116
74
175
150
127
83
0.9
0.9
0.8
0.7
6 80
60
40
10
160
137
115
68
175
150
130
82
185
161
140
93
0.8
0.8
0.8
0.8
7 80
60
40
10
162
138
118
79
173
147
127
88
184
160
140
98
0.7
0.7
0.7
0.6
8 80
60
40
10
168
145
124
77
180
155
135
84
183
161
142
97
0.5
0.5
0.6
0.6

This table is based on data collected in a study by Jan Hasbrouck and Gerald Tindal (2006. Oral reading fluency norms: A valuable assessment tool for reading teachers. The Reading Teacher. 59 (7), 636-644.)

3. Should I use the actual grade level passages when doing fluency assessment or should I use the instructional level?

For benchmark assessment, you must assess the student on passages at the student’s actual grade level.  Benchmark assessments provide a baseline score to see how a student scores compared to his peers—based on national norms for the student’s grade level. 

4. Can I use benchmark assessment scores to select the placement level for a student in Read Naturally?

See: Read Naturally Strategy Programs/Placing Students FAQs.

Have a Question ?
Contact

Please let us know what questions you have so we can assist. For Technical Support, please call us or submit a software support request.

 
Click to refresh image