Educationalists need to be able to assess the minimum reading age of certain books so that they can be appropriately catalogued, particularly for use with young children.
You are probably aware that, for example, it is much easier and quicker to read one of the tabloids (e.g. 'The Sun') than one of the quality 'heavies' (e.g. ' The Guardian'). What factors influence the reading age of a book, newspaper or pamphlet?
Of course, the whole concept of a designated reading age for a particular book is perhaps rather dubious. Nevertheless, the problem is a real one, and teachers and publishers do need to know the appropriate order for their reading books.
There have been many attempts at designing a formula for finding the reading age of a text. Three such formulae are given below.
1. FORECAST formula
where N is the number of one-syllable words in a passage of 150 words.
2. FOG index
where A = no. of words in passage
n = no. of sentences
L = no. of words containing 3 or more syllables (exluding the'-ing' and 'ed' endings).
3. FLESCH formula
where S = total number of syllables in 100 words
W = average number of words in a sentence.
This score is not a reading age but can be converted to one by using the table below.
Work out the answers to the questions below and fill in the boxes. Click on the
button to find out whether you have answered correctly. If you are right
then will appear and you should move on to the next
question. If appears then your answer is wrong. Click
on to clear your original answer and have another go.
If you can't work out the right answer then click on
Just for Fun
Choose one of your favourite books and decide what reading age it is intended for. Pick any passage from the book and determine the reading age using the three formulae you have been using. Which one do you think gives the most accurate indication of the reading of age the book?