Like all measures on easyCBM®, alternate forms of each reading test were designed to be of equivalent difficulty, so teachers can progress monitor students from the initial screening assessments, through their progress monitoring tests every month throughout the year, comparing progress to subsequent screening assessments (winter and spring).
Our reading measures are grouped by skill sets. Each skill set progresses in difficulty with Phoneme Segmenting, Letter Names, and Letter Sounds being the easiest, Word Reading Fluency, Passage Reading Fluency being the more difficult, and Proficient Reading measure being the hardest to complete. So if you have a student who is performing below their grade level then you can give them measures that are a lower grade and if they are unable to do the Proficient Reading measure, don’t administer it. The idea is to find what grade and what skill sets the student can do, build on them and then move up to a higher grade and skill set until the student (if possible) is able to be at their grade level. If their IEP states they need any accommodations for any of the testing, employ them.
All of our measures are designed to be appropriate for students in the middle of the year at their particular grade level. Because of this, the measures may seem too difficult for students taking tests at the beginning of the school year. As the year progresses, that will level out for the students and you should see progress in their knowledge and skill base.
Each measure in a given skill set (skill sets are: Letter Names, Phoneme Segmenting, Letter Sounds, Word Reading Fluency, Passage Reading Fluency, Proficient Reading, and each of the three math sections) are designed to be of equivalent difficulty, so if a student does poorly on one test, and then you provide targeted instruction to help him/her improve their skills, you can have them take a different form of the same test type and use that score to see if there has been improvement.
The first number of a measure indicates the grade. The second number is an arbitrary number and indicates nothing more than a way to distinguish one measure from another. The numbering of the assessments does not represent the order in which to administer them or their degree of difficulty, it’s just a way to keep track of the tests.
The Proficient Reading measures vary from twelve items (grade 2) to twenty items (grades 3–8) and target literal, inferential, and (grade 3 and above) evaluative comprehension. The Proficient Reading measures are, by design, the most challenging of the easyCBM Reading measures. The Proficient Reading measures are most appropriate for use as screening assessments.
The Basic Reading measures are 25-item tests focusing primarily on literal comprehension and covering key reading skills of informational text, short literary text, and texts that require students to read to perform a task. The Basic Reading measures are more appropriate for progress monitoring, particularly for students with low comprehension skills.
There are 10 questions on literary text, 10 relate to informational text, and the last five relate to read to perform a task activities in which students must interpret graphs, charts, and other graphics to answer the questions.
You can determine which of the test questions assess which type of text by reviewing the Groups report after students have taken the measure. Click on Groups tab and select the group(s) that took the measure. Scroll down the page to the CBMs section and select Basic Reading. Continue scrolling down the page past the Summary section to Item Analysis. Here you’ll find the break-down of Read to Perform a Task, Informational Text, and Short Literary Text Items.
The Literary Text sub-tests assess students’ ability to understand key ideas and details and identify elements related to craft and structure that contribute to their ability to discern the meaning of a wide range of text types varying in complexity. The texts include stories, short dramas, and poetry. The Informational Text and Read to Perform a Task sub-tests present students with a wide range of non-fiction text, varying in complexity, and require students to demonstrate their ability to understand key ideas and details and identify elements of the writing craft and structure that contribute to the meaning of the text. Texts for these sub-tests are drawn from a variety of content areas, and include biographies and autobiographies, history, social studies, science, and the arts; as well as technical texts, including directions, forms, and information displayed in graphs, charts, or maps on a range of topics.