Assessment of reading rate in postsecondary students

Lawrence J. Lewandowski, Robin S. Codding, Ava E. Kleinmann, Kimberly L. Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


There has been a steady increase in students with disabilities attending college and making requests for test accommodations. Most requests are for extended time, presumably due to slow reading speed. Tests of reading rate for adults have been criticized for poor psychometric adequacy, and no current norms exist regarding the expected reading rate for college students. This study examined reading rate via two methods, as well as their relationship to other reading measures. Ninety typical college students (67% female) were administered the Nelson Denny Reading Test (Reading Rate [NDRR] and Comprehension [NDC] tests), the Woodcock Johnson-III Reading Fluency (RF) and Word Attack (WA) tests, and three oral reading probes used to obtain words read correctly per minute (WRCM). On average, college students read 189 words correctly per minute based on oral reading probes and 231 wpm based on NDRR. The WRCM measure was more strongly related to RF and WA than was NDRR and was a better predictor of reading comprehension (NDC). It would appear that WRCM may be a better measure of reading rate than the often used, much criticized, Nelson Denny Reading Rate. Additional research on WRCM with adults is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-144
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Psychoeducational Assessment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2003


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