FAQs for Secondary Schools

What do the assessment sets contain?

  • Complete Set Secondary contains: Passage Reading Secondary test material, Passage Reading Secondary manual and Passage Reading Secondary record forms (x 15)

Why do students read the passages silently?

It was decided that it would be more natural for secondary students to read silently rather than aloud to the teacher, which is something associated with primary school. If students need to be assessed using the Supplementary Passages (either as indicated by their Single Word Reading Test score or because they have clear reading difficulty), these are read aloud and therefore the error analysis can be carried out.

As the student reads silently, how can I be sure that scores for rate are reliable?

YARC Secondary includes a test of reading fluency where students do read aloud, are timed and errors are counted. During the standardisation of the passages a high correlation was found between scores for reading fluency and those for rate of reading calculated from the silent passage reading (see tables below).

Correlation Reading Fluency Level 1
Reading rate Level 1A 0.67
Reading rate Level 1B 0.68
Reading rate Supplementary Passages 0.72


Correlation Reading Fluency Level 2
Reading rate Level 2A 0.57
Reading rate Level 2B 0.59


If a student reads very quickly or very slowly, it is advisable to administer the fluency test as a second line check.

Why does YARC Secondary include summarisation?

The inclusion of a summarisation task in YARC Secondary is unique. Summarisation is a skill that students at secondary school will need to hone as they progress towards important public examinations at 16, 18 and at University. The ability to read a text and extract the key information regardless of genre is vital to understanding successfully a whole range of material as well as to the correct interpretation of questions and tasks which will, increasingly, require students to deal with a range of sources.

During standardisation it became apparent that summarisation as a task could be challenging for even those students with average and above average comprehension skills. Summarisation is reported separately from comprehension so that teachers can examine profiles of strength and weakness.

I need to assess students aged 12 to 15 whose reading age, in some cases, is between six and seven years. Can I use YARC Secondary with these students?

YARC Secondary includes a fully standardised version of GL Assessment’s Single Word Reading Test which may be used to pinpoint which level of passage should be administered. Students with a reading age of six to ten years (SWRT raw score 11-42) should be given the Supplementary Passages 1 and 2 which have been standardised on the secondary sample. This will give standard scores for accuracy, rate and comprehension, the latter based on an extended set of questions, including summarisation.

If it is necessary to re-test these students, the Teacher Guide includes photocopy masters of Supplementary Passages 3 and 4. These are equivalent forms to Supplementary Passages 1 and 2 but have not been standardised on the secondary sample but will yield an age equivalent score for accuracy, rate and comprehension. This is often enough to check that progress is being made.

As students progress they can move to Level 1 of the secondary passages which is accessible to older students with a reading age of 10 years and above.

Can I use YARC to assess students with English as an additional language?

Great care needs to be taken when assessing students with English as an additional language. As YARC is an individual assessment it is very suitable to this purpose. Generally, EAL students will experience difficulty with vocabulary and comprehension, particularly inference. The profile produced by YARC will enable strengths and weaknesses to be examined and progress tracked over time. The Single Word Reading Test will give a measure of word level reading and indicate the level of entry to YARC.

EAL students were included in the standardisation sample (N = 89). Analysis of their results in the light of the first language English speakers offers some guidance on what to expect from YARC. Single word reading standard scores are on average 3 points lower; reading comprehension standard scores are between 6 and 10 points lower; reading rate standard scores are between 3 and 7 points lower; and reading fluency standard scores are on average 6 points lower.