Qualitative reading inventory: assessment of prior knowledge (2023)

A.Word identification in content: Oral reading
B.Unassisted recall
C.comprehension questions

What you need:
1. A student copy of two narrative oral reading passages and one explanatory reading passage in each predicted grade level (minimum set of three grade levels to be prepared for all types of students)
2. One examiner's copy of each graded oral reading passage, the retelling score sheet, and the comprehension questions that accompany each passage


  1. to determine a student's level of independence, instruction, and/or frustration for word identification in context
  2. to determine a student's level of independence, instruction, and/or frustration with understanding
  3. assess a student's ability to read different types of text (e.g. narrative, explanatory, familiar, unfamiliar, with and without pictures)
  4. to assess a student's ability to understand in different ways (e.g. orally or silently)
Qualitative reading inventory: assessment of prior knowledge (1)

A. Word identification in context: Oral reading


(Video) Guide to Administering the QRI (Qualitative Reading Inventory)

1. Selecting a passage: The examiner must select a passage for the student to read, using guidelines from the word lists, concept questions, and/or prediction tasks to ensure they are familiar with the topic of the selection. From the attached word list, select a level at which the student has achieved the independent level. When time is short, after achieving a level of instruction, you can often assess the level of independence and frustration.

  • If the student scores on passage 1 within the Autonomy or Instruction area, choose another familiar narrative passage at the next higher level. Keep moving up until the student reaches a level of frustration.
  • If the student reaches a level of frustration on the first pass, move down until the student reaches a level of instruction.
  • For unfamiliar text, the examiner should start one step lower than for familiar material.
  • (Optional) When the student reads the first passage orally at the lesson level, he/she should read the second passage silently at the same level to compare performance in two different reading modes. If the first is read silently, he/she should read the second orally.

2. Management of the oral reading passage

Oral Reading: The examiner says, “I have some passages for you to read. (Optional for Grades 3 and up: some will read you aloud and others will read you silently.) I'll record what you say, and because I can't remember everything you say, I'll record you too. I can't help you in any way. If you come across a word you don't know, just do your best and move on. After that I will ask you to tell me what you can remember about the passage, as if you were telling it to someone who has never heard it before. I will also ask you some questions about what you have read. Ready? The first passage is called _________. Remember to note the start and end times of reading to estimate words read per minute.

Optional: I sometimes ask an older, weak reader to read the passage silently first, and then read it out loud while I absorb errors. You can note this on the intake form and use this as a teaching strategy to compare to a passage just having the student read silently or just read aloud to improve overall understanding.

(Video) Psychometric Qualities of Informal Reading Inventories

Silent Reading: It is better to evaluate explanatory text through silent reading, especially for students from grade 3 and up. You can also evaluate the transition to silent reading with reading passages in grade 2 or 3. Use the same instructions to the student as for oral reading.

3. How to get results

1. Analysis of Oral Reading Error:

  • Count the number of oral reading errors to determine a level for word identification in context (determine one of two totals. Overall accuracy is faster to assess to determine if you should move up a level; however, overall acceptance is the best predictor for teaching level understanding, it is more efficient to judge this after the test situation)
    • A. Count all errors to get an overall accuracy score - use the chart for the fastest assessment (for a more accurate assessment: subtract the number of errors from the total number of words in the passage and then divide that number by the number of words in the passage) [Indep = 98%; Instruction = 90-97%; Frus = less than 90%)
      B. Count all errors that change or distort meaning or that are not grammatical to get a full acceptance score (inserts, omissions or substitutions that change meaning).
  • After the test situation, examine the types of errors (whole word substitutions, non-word substitutions, omissions, and insertions) in more detail.
    • Was the error semantically acceptable (was the meaning retained)?
    • Was the miscue graphically similar? (B,M,E)
Special instructions:
  • Each mispronunciation of the word is scored as a separate error. (Only an error if the mispronunciation doesn't change the meaning and is consistent throughout the passage)
  • An entire omitted line counts as one error
  • Comparing instruction-level errors to frustration-level errors can provide insight into how a student uses different strategies

  • Qualitative reading inventory: assessment of prior knowledge (2)

    (Video) Psychometric Qualities of Informal Reading Inventories

B. Unassisted Callback:

Proceedings: After the student has read the selection, the examiner should remove the passage and say, "Now I want you to repeat what you have just read as if it were being told to someone who has never read it before or heard." After the student has retold as much as possible, the examiner asks, "Is there anything else you would like to say about the passage? Do you remember anything the author wrote about?

Points: Place a tick next to each explicit idea listed on the evaluation sheet. As an option, you can indicate the order of each idea as retold by the student (after listening to a tape recording again). Write down any additional ideas remembered. This recall can be evaluated for completeness, accuracy, order, and use of narrative and explanatory structure. You can also compare the quality of this unaided recall to the student's ability to answer explicit and implicit questions about the passage in the next section of comprehension questions.

What does this test tell you?
This test can provide valuable information with implications for teaching.

  • Do the retellings of the narrative retain the basic structure of the narratives? Is the most important information included? (If not, the student may not have an understanding of the structure of the story.)
  • Do the retellings of the exhibit material maintain the main idea and supporting detail structure of the selection? When the most important information is included? (If not, the student may not understand the main ideas and details in the presentation.)
  • Has the student internalized enough of the structure of the passage to use it to remember?
  • Are the retellings sequential?
  • Is the recall correct?
Qualitative reading inventory: assessment of prior knowledge (3)

C. Understanding Questions:

(Video) Diagnostic Reading Assessment.RL.1.Billy

Procedure:After the student has retold to the best of their ability, the examiner should ask the comprehension questions. Write the student's answer in the space provided and mark it as corrector wrong. Students providing answers from background knowledge can be asked: But what do the clues in the passage tell you? Count the number of questions answered correctly to determine the level of understanding. Compare the number of explicit questions answered correctly. implicit questions. Use the table at the end of the examiner's score sheet to record these totals and quickly approach a level to know whether the student should continue reading or stop at the next level.

Points: Award one point for each correct answer. Use the table at the end of the comprehension questions to record these numbers. Answers to explicit questions are correct only if the answer is explicitly stated in the passage. Answers to follow-up questions are considered correct only if the answer relates to a clue in the passage; Answers based on background knowledge are not considered correct. There are no conclusion questions at the pre-level, but students can use information from the pictures to answer an explicit question. You must rate the questions over time. The scores tell you when to move on to higher passages and when to stop.

What does this test tell us?

  • The results of this test can help determine a student's reading level. The criteria for each level are as follows: [Independent = 90% or above, Tuition = 70% - 89%; Frustrated = under 70%]
  • When the scores for explicit questions are compared to the scores for implicit questions, a significant difference between these two scores may indicate that the student needs instructions to either remember what the author said explicitly in the text or hints in the Use text to draw conclusions, whichever score is higher.
Find lesson level: (see formulas and percentages on pages 49 and 50)

Using the miscue analysis worksheet



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