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How do I interpret the score if a student reverses to an earlier item set of the Reading Comprehension or Oral Reading Fluency subtest?

The raw scores are converted to weighted raw scores before they are converted to standard scores, to ensure that the student’s performance on the lower item set is compared to his/her peers. In this way, the student’s scores accurately reflect reading ability relative to his/her same age/grade peers.

When reporting results in which the student reversed to a preceding (lower) item set on the Reading Comprehension or Oral Reading Fluency subtest, it is important to specify that the results reflect the student’s performance on material below the grade level of the student.. This information should be communicated in score reports and in oral discussions with parents, teachers, and other relevant school team members. As with any other assessment instrument, it is important to clearly explain and report the task demands and skills measured by each subtest to fully utilize its informative diagnostic characteristics and prevent readers from misinterpreting the test results.

When explaining and interpreting scores from a preceding (lower) item set on the Reading Comprehension subtest, the following information should be considered. A similar logic also applies to the Oral Reading Fluency subtest. When a student performs poorly on reading comprehension items with grade-level passages, it must be determined whether the student has a weakness in word identification skills, reading vocabulary, language comprehension skills, or some combination of these. The first step is to allow the student to reverse to an item set with skill coverage that is comparable to the grade-appropriate item set, but with passages at a lower readability level, placing fewer demands on word identification and vocabulary skills. If the student performs poorly on the preceding (lower) item set, then it is likely that the student has a weakness in the area of language comprehension, and further assessment, error analysis, and intervention in this area should be pursued to determine which components of comprehension need further instruction. On the other hand, if the student performs well on the preceding (lower) item set, language comprehension may be ruled out as the area of weakness. It is important for the examiner to evaluate how word identification and vocabulary difficulties may have affected the student’s ability to comprehend written material at the grade appropriate start point. The student’s performance on the Word Reading, Pseudoword Decoding, and Listening Comprehension subtests may also be evaluated in conjunction with the skills analysis results for Reading Comprehension to determine which areas should be included in a plan for intervention.