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Reading Assessment: The Key to Science-Based Reading Instruction

Reading Assessments are a critical component to ensure equitable, evidence-based literacy instruction. Our reading measures provide quick, reliable insights into student literacy that accelerate student growth.

Help All Students Become Better Readers

Help All Students Become Strong Readers with Effective Reading Assessment Tools

Reading experts and cognitive scientists agree on five core principles of instruction that help all students learn to read—including those with reading difficulties like dyslexia.

Our diagnostic reading assessments help teachers pinpoint the specific reading skills that students are struggling with so that they can target interventions to the five components of effective reading instruction.

Phonemic Awareness

Ability to identify language sounds



Ability to connect speech sounds to letters and make them accessible by sight



Ability to read text



Ability to build, store, and retrieve words and background knowledge



Ability to deduct meaning from text

Act on Reading Asssessment Data

FastBridge's Reading Assessments Provide Trusted Literacy and Dyslexia Screening

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Learn how FastBridge helps students become proficient readers.
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Learn More About Our Reading Assessments and the Researchers Who Created Them


Assesses broad reading ability and predicts overall reading achievement in concepts of print, phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension, orthography, and morphology. aReading is aligned to the Lexile® Framework for Reading.

Universal Screening

Grades K-12


Assesses accuracy and automaticity with phonics, spelling, and vocabulary skills.

Universal Screening & Progress Monitoring

Grades K-12


Assesses oral reading fluency with connected text.

Available in both English and Spanish

Universal Screening & Progress Monitoring

Grades 1-8


An optional extension of CBMreading that assesses the students' ability to recall and retell information from passages of connected text.

Universal Screening & Progress Monitoring

Grades 1-8


Assesses the quality and efficiency of a student's reading comprehension.

Universal Screening & Progress Monitoring

Grades 2-8


Assesses early literacy skills through reading assessment subtests that measure accuracy and automaticity.

Available in both English and Spanish

Universal Screening & Progress Monitoring

Grades PreK-1

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The Researchers


Dr. Ted Christ & Colleagues

FastBridge Reading Suite

Co-Founder of FastBridge, Professor of School Psychology,
University of Minnesota


Dr. Zoheb Borbora


Co-Founder of FastBridge


Dr. Scott Ardoin

earlyReading & CBMreading English

Professor of School Psychology,
University of Georgia


Dr. Tanya Eckert


Associate Professor of School Psychology,
Syracuse University


Dr. Lori Helman

earlyReading & CBMreading Spanish

Professor of Literacy Education,
University of Minnesota


Dr. Mary Jane White

FastBridge Reading Suite

Research Associate,
University of Minnesota

Act on Reading Asssessment Data

Act on Reading Assessment Data with Skills-Based Interventions


Concepts of Print

Proficiency includes an understanding that English words are composed of letters, and sentences are composed of words.


Phonemic Awareness

Proficiency includes an understanding that there are individual sounds in words, and words can be split apart into their individual sounds.



Proficiency includes an ability to connect speech sounds to letters and make them accessible by sight.



Proficiency includes reading text accurately, automatically, and at a rate that allows comprehension.



Proficiency includes an ability to build, store, and retrieve words and background knowledge.



Proficiency includes using phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and vocabulary to understand written words and making sense of what one reads.

Interested in learning more?
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Reading Assessment Resources


The Principles of Effective Reading Instruction

Do you know what it takes for all students to become strong readers? Learn the essentials of effective, science-based reading instruction and structured literacy instruction.


Putting the Science of Reading into Practice

Read expert advice on why reading assessment tools that identify the five critical components of reading and instruction grounded in the science of reading are crucial to addressing inequities and ensuring all students become strong readers.


Profile in Reading Success: How SPPS Uses Reading Assessment Tools to Guide Instruction

See how educators in Saint Paul Public Schools (MN) use diagnostic reading assessment data to implement Tier 1 evidence-based instructional practices and interventions for struggling readers.


Reading Assessments FAQs

The best way to assess a student’s reading level is to conduct universal screening three times a year (e.g., fall, winter, spring) for the purpose of identifying students who may benefit from additional instructional support. The earlier a reading difficulty is identified, the easier and more effective it is to provide intervention. After identifying students not on track to meet reading benchmark goals, the screening data can be compared with other sources of information to plan instruction. As needed, additional screeners can be used to provide more specific information about student reading skills, or to get starting scores for progress monitoring.

A quality reading assessment should be grounded in the science of reading research to identify the specific literacy skills a student is struggling with and offer evidence-based recommendations on how to close skill gaps. Quality reading assessments should also be proven valid, reliable, and have multiple sources of high quality research indicating that they help teachers identify and solve reading problems that students have in schools.

Diagnostic: Diagnostic reading assessments pinpoint specific areas of need. FastBridge’s unique combination of CBMs and CATs of reading provide a comprehensive view of who is at risk and information about which literacy skills to focus on.

Formative: Formative reading assessments are conducted regularly during the school year. Two types of formative assessment are universal screening and progress monitoring. Screening helps teachers know each student’s current reading skills; progress monitoring shows whether reading intervention is working. Both screening and progress monitoring provide data to inform instruction that follows. FastBridge’s reading CBMs can be used for screening and progress monitoring.

Summative: Summative reading assessments certify that learning at the end of a specific period of instruction has occurred. Learn more about Illuminate Education’s summative assessments and reporting platform, DnA.

FastBridge’s reading assessments offer educators the most efficient way to assess reading skill gaps because our solution offers both CBMs and CATs. With FastBridge, teachers conduct screening with recommended reading assessments for each grade level. These include:

  • Specific assessments students complete for universal screening.
  • Pre-selected assessments that have the capacity to predict future student reading performance and indicate what type of reading instruction is needed
  • User-friendly reports that allow teachers to view student scores and see recommended reading instruction plans.
  • User-friendly reporting that allows teachers to view student scores and see recommended reading instruction plans.