Description of Assessment Tools


In order to diagnose a studentís needs, s/he is assessed using two different tools, the Reading Placement Appraisalô (RPA) and VISAGRAPHô.


A student independently completes the RPA on a computer, usually done at Deanís Learning Center. The RPA, consisting of 5 sections, takes approximately twenty minutes to complete.


Section:      1.  Read several short paragraphs that end with a few multiple-                         choice questions.

          2.  Read 1-2 longer stories that end with comprehension questions.

3.     Identify the meaning of various vocabulary words on different levels.

The last two sections are only administered to beginning readers.

4.     Perceptual Memory Appraisal (PMA) is administered to determine a studentís word recognition.

5.     Tests a studentís decoding ability in the Decoding Appraisal section.

The RPA results indicate inde­pendent reading level, usual reading rate(s), comprehension competence, vocabulary study level, perceptual memory readi­ness and decoding competence.


After a short break, students are assessed using the VISAGRAPHô, a pair of goggles that use infrared sensors to track eye-movement.  


The student wears the goggles, which are hooked up to a computer, as s/he silently reads a short paragraph. Next, students answer ten true/false comprehension questions to assess reading efficiency, detect visual/functional difficulties and prescribe fluency development. This procedure takes approximately ten minutes.

Once the assessment is completed, taking approximately half an hour, the results will be discussed with the student and their guardian, if present. Tutors will describe how the studentís reading needs will be met by each assigned Reading Plusģ program.