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Reading assessments......NARA, YARC or both?

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by doonessy, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. doonessy

    doonessy New commenter

    Just that really.

    Currently using NARA and Benchmarking.

    A friend on a course was singing the praises of the YARC (York assessment of reading test) for identifying comprehension needs and reading difficulties. I have just looked up the YARC and it seems very similar to NARA and produced by the same company.

    I know the YARC can be used to assess those who may require extra time in examinations which would be useful. The web page for the NARA suggests that it is more suitable for choosing appropriate level books than for identifying specific gaps.

    My questions are...would having both be a good idea? (Nara for reading levels and YARC for identifying specific difficulties.)
    Does one test give more recommendations for support and identify particular struggles more than the other?

    (I have also posted this on the primary page as I know that one has more traffic).

    Thanks everyone.
  2. Flanks

    Flanks Established commenter

    For me YARC is far and away the best for primary years. It is quite well researched and standardised, and continues to be so by Margaret Snowling who is one of the authors of the test and also a leading researcher in to reading difficulties.

    It is very easy to administer, has an online scoring tool if you wish to use it instead of the manual. It also comes with alternative testing forms, which allows you to re-test after an intervention period and see what progress (if any) has been made as a consequence of the intervention.
  3. never_expect_anything

    never_expect_anything Occasional commenter

    I've used York quite a bit and find it easy to administer and provides useful information to target intervention as well as, like you say, evidencing the need for extra time in assessments, etc. I've only fairly recently come across NARA and am less familiar with it. It's taken a bit of getting my head around all of the different possible types of assessment/analysis. Personally I'd choose York over NARA, but I guess it does really depend on your circumstances and what you want to use it for.
    I'd say York is more useful for obtaining quantitative data ('reading age' etc. and, as Flanks says, demonstrating progress). NARA is really more for analysis of difficulties and determining appropriate intervention, although York can be used for that purpose too. NARA covers various additional aspects (like attitudes/approaches to text/reading), but it doesn't really give any specific assessments for those aspects, just a space to record observations that I don't think York does (not used recently and not got copies of either to hand).
    York also has a secondary level version; I'm not sure that NARA does.
    I think York is a newer assessment, NARA seems a bit dated (but not sure whether I just have an old copy; it might have been republished).

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