How Is Reading Measured?

Published April 1, 1999

The 1998 Reading Report Card for the Nation assesses student performance on three types of reading material that represent reading for different purposes:

  • Reading for literary experience (e.g., What is the plot? Describe the main characters.).
  • Reading to gain information (e.g., What does this article tell you about? What could be added to improve the author’s argument?)
  • Reading to perform a task (e.g. What is this supposed to help you do? What should you do next?).

During the course of the test, students must read and answer questions on materials as diverse as poems and the 1040EZ income tax return.