What do the assessment sets contain?
YARC001 – Complete Set Primary contains: Early Reading test material, Early Reading manual, Early Reading record forms (x 10), Passage Reading Primary test material, Passage Reading Primary manual and Passage Reading Primary record forms (x 10)
YARC002 – Passage Reading Primary contains: test material, manual and record forms (x 10)
YARC003 – Complete Set Secondary contains: Passage Reading Secondary test material, Passage Reading Secondary manual and Passage Reading Secondary record forms (x 10)
What does each part of YARC assess?
Early Reading (age 4 –7): The early reading part comprises four short tests specifically designed for 4–7 year-olds or older students with reading difficulties. These tests assess a student’s phonological skills, alphabetic knowledge and word reading in a time-efficient and flexible way. They are among the most sensitive type of assessments for beginner readers and may be administered up to three times during a school year.
Passage Reading Primary (age 5–11): Comprising fiction and non-fiction texts, the passage reading primary suite has been developed to identify the reading (decoding) and comprehension skills of 5–11 year-olds. It assesses accuracy, reading rate and comprehension in a single test. A version of our Single Word Reading Test is also included as a benchmarking test.
Passage Reading Secondary (age 12-16): The passage reading secondary suite comprises a series of fiction and non-fiction passages for 11–16 year-olds. Designed to be read silently, the test assesses reading accuracy, fluency and comprehension. A version of our Single Word Reading Test is also included as a benchmarking test.
What set should I buy?
If you work in Primary schools, it’s best to buy the Complete Set. This includes the Early Reading Tests that covers beginning readers and the Passage Comprehension tests for those students able to read connected prose. Some schools may have a number of existing assessments they already use with beginning readers, such as tests of letter sound knowledge, phonemic awareness and sight word vocabularies. In this case they should buy the Passage Comprehension Test as a separate test.
The Passage Comprehension Test does not have a high ceiling as it was designed to be more sensitive to poorer readers. If those in Primary schools want a test that has a higher ceiling, then the NGRT is an excellent group test alternative as it is adaptive and so better readers experience much more difficult passages. If an individual test is preferred, then the WJ Tests of Achievement battery is highly recommended.
Secondary schools should buy the Secondary Passage Comprehension Test. This test has two passages form the Passage Comprehension Test – a Year 3 and a Year 4 passage. The Secondary test goes down to a Year 2 reading level – around Reading Age 7.5. If you need to test below this, then use a different test. The WJ IV Tests of Achievement Battery is highly recommended.
Where do I start/ Which passage should I start with?
Use the Single Word Reading Test (SWRT) score for deciding which passage to start students for the passage reading section. There’s a table in the Manual that shows which level for which SWRT score ranges.
How many passages should I administer?
You should always administer two passages. This is easy in the Secondary test as each level has two passages, but harder with Primary aged students. For them, you should:
* Only chose the second passages from the same form as the first (both from Form A or both from Form B)
* Chose the passage above if the student managed to read the first passage reasonably well (around 5 accuracy errors and at least 5 comprehension questions correct).
* If students struggled on the first passage, drop down to the passage below
* If the student read Level 7 (the highest level) as their first passage, they MUST read the Level 5 passage. There is no alternative.
* If the student read the Beginner passage and you believe they won’t be able to manage the Level 1 passage, then administer the Beginner passage from the alternate Form (A or B). This is the only time you can test across forms.
I am concerned that administering two passages from YARC might be too much testing for some students. Can I split the test session?
Yes, as long as the gap between the two sessions is not too long, administering passages over, say, a week would be fine.
When should I use the Early Reading assessments?
The four tests may be used in different combinations and for repeat testing, so you may want to screen your students early in the autumn term using the Sound Deletion and Sound Isolation assessments. This will give you a good idea about your students’ ability to manipulate and isolate sounds within words (real and made-up) – important precursors to successful decoding.
To tackle Early Word Recognition and Letter Sound assessments students will need to have undertaken some formal instruction using phonics. As such, depending on any pre-learning, you may want to delay using these until the end of the term or even the second half of the year.
The student record form allows each student to be tested up to three times and a gap of around 12 weeks should be left between testing.
When should I reassess my students?
It is recommended generally every 12 months. When retesting, the alternative form is preferred. YARC isn’t overly sensitive to change so testing more frequently than annually won’t show much of a difference.
How does the online scoring work?
You can access the scoring page via Scoring Conversion Tool buttons in the YARC product page. Save the URLs to your favourites for quick access later.
Enter raw scores from the test into the template provided. There are drop down menus to help you. You must enter scores for each of the error types (mispronunciations, substitutions, omissions etc.). It is recommended that you  enter the scores for each of the  comprehension questions too as you will get more detail in the reports.
When you have finished, click on the “create report” button at the bottom of the page (you may have to scroll down). Your report will display on your screen as both a pdf and CSV icon. You can right click these and save them to a folder on your PC or server. You can also click these icons and open them to read. The pdf report is a single page summary, the CSV contains data that can be copied to an Excel file which is useful for tracking change over time. If you open the pdf report to read it on screen, don’t forget to save it before closing. If not, you will have to re-enter the student data and generate a new report if you want to look at the results again, as data is held on the scoring servers once you log out.
What is the rationale behind the core test in the Letter Sound Knowledge and Word Recognition assessments in Early Reading?
The core test is based on the phonic learning that represents the introduction to reading for many young children. It is a shortened version, not including all letter sounds, for quick administration and provides an overview rather than the comprehensive assessment of the extended test.
Word Recognition is built up from simple, easily decodable words to irregular and ‘tricky’ words. All students start with ‘cat’ and keep going until they make 10 errors – this prevents stress from too many incorrect attempts. A child with minimal word reading ability will register a score on this test.
My students are used to reading stories with pictures. Why are there no pictures to go with the passages in the Passage Reading assessments?
Children develop their skills in reading in various ways and illustrations can help this development by giving clues to what is in the text. To gain the most accurate assessment of a student’s reading of a text, it is now recognised that such clues should not be available.
Why do secondary students read the passages in the assessments silently?
It was decided that it would be more natural for secondary students to read silently rather than aloud to the teacher, which is something more associated with primary school.
If students need to be assessed using the Supplementary Passages (either as indicated by their Single Word Reading Test score or because they have clear reading difficulty), these are read aloud, so that the error analysis can be carried out.
YARC Secondary includes a test of reading fluency where students do read aloud, are timed and errors are counted. During the standardisation of the passages a high correlation was found between scores for reading fluency and those for rate of reading calculated from the silent passage reading. If a student reads very quickly or very slowly, it is advisable to administer the fluency test as a second line check.
Why does YARC Secondary include summarisation?
The inclusion of a summarisation task in YARC Secondary is unique. Summarisation is a skill that students at secondary school will need to hone as they progress towards public examinations. The ability to read a text and extract the key information regardless of genre is vital to successful understanding of a whole range of material, as well as to the correct interpretation of questions and tasks which require students to deal with a range of sources.
During standardisation, it became apparent that summarisation as a task could be challenging even for those with average and above average comprehension skills. Summarisation is reported separately from comprehension so that you can examine profiles of strength and weakness.
Can I use YARC Secondary with students aged 12–15 who have a reading age between six and seven years?
YARC Secondary includes a fully standardised version of our Single Word Reading Test, which you can use to pinpoint which level of passage should be administered.
Students with a reading age of six to ten years (SWRT raw score 11–42) should be given the Supplementary Passages 1 and 2 which have been standardised on the secondary sample. This will give standard scores for accuracy, rate and comprehension, the latter based on an extended set of questions, including summarisation.
If it is necessary to re-test these students, the Teacher Guide includes photocopy masters of Supplementary Passages 3 and 4. These are equivalent forms to Supplementary Passages 1 and 2. Although they have not been standardised on the secondary sample, they will yield an age equivalent score for accuracy, rate and comprehension. This is often enough to check that progress is being made.
As students progress, they can move to Level 1 of the secondary passages, accessible to older students with a reading age of 10 years and above.
Can I use YARC to assess EAL students?
Great care needs to be taken when assessing students with English as an additional language but, as an individual assessment, YARC is very suitable for this purpose.
Generally, EAL students will experience difficulty with vocabulary and comprehension, particularly inference. The profile produced by YARC will enable you to examine strengths and weaknesses and track progress over time. The Single Word Reading Test will give a measure of word level reading and indicate the level of entry to YARC.
EAL students were included in the standardisation sample (N = 89). Analysis of their results in light of the first language English speakers offers some guidance on what to expect from YARC. Single word reading standard scores are on average 3 points lower; reading comprehension standard scores are between 6 and 10 points lower; reading rate standard scores are between 3 and 7 points lower; and reading fluency standard scores are on average 6 points lower.