The Rapid Online Assessment of Reading (ROAR) is a measure of automaticity of word recognition that runs right in your browser. Under active development as a tool for schools, clinics, and researchers, it is fast, automated, and provides a highly reliable index of ability consistent with scores on other standardized reading assessments down to first grade.

Read more about its development and validation in Nature Scientific Reports:
Yeatman, Jason D., Kenny An Tang, Patrick M. Donnelly, Maya Yablonski, Mahalakshmi Ramamurthy, Iliana I. Karipidis, Sendy Caffarra, et al. 2021. “Rapid Online Assessment of Reading Ability.” Scientific Reports 11 (1): 6396.

A Research-Based Tool

ROAR Scores are highly correlated with other standardized reading scores. Click to learn more about the multi-study validation process.

Rapid. Automated. Online.

Designed to be administered in the classroom or at home, students can take the ROAR on any computer or Chromebook connected to the internet.

Active R&D

Together with our partners, we are developing subtests and co-designing the platform to meet the needs of educators, clinicians, and other researchers.

How does it work?

The ROAR is a Javascript web app that runs on any personal computer through a browser. It measures word recognition by rapidly presenting real and made-up words and asking participants to indicate whether each word is real or made-up by pressing a response key. The words span a wide difficulty range, providing an accurate index of ability for 1st through 12th grade in just 5-10 minutes. Animated characters guide participants through a colorful voiceover narrative, ensuring task understanding through brief practice and feedback. In our validation studies, children as young as 2nd grade were able to complete the ROAR without a proctor, and children in 1st grade could complete it with minimal assistance.

Interpreting a ROAR score report

The ROAR is a measure of word recognition. Word recognition is at the foundation of reading and is a prerequisite for reading fluency and comprehension.

The ROAR Raw Score is the number of real/made-up words that the participant accurately identified. There are 252 items in total (84 per test form) and random guessing will result in roughly 50% correct. ROAR Raw Scores range from 126 (chance) to 252 (perfect). High scores mean that the participant is able to rapidly recognize difficult and complex words.

ROAR Standard Scores are created by converting the raw scores to a Woodcock-Johnson Basic Reading Skills Index equivalent score, since this is a widely used assessment. These standard scores are normalized by age, meaning that each participant’s score is comparable to others of the same age. Standard scores have a population mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15 based on a normative national sample.

ROAR Percentile Scores give each participants percentile rank relative to a normative national sample. Thus percentile scores can be used to interpret where a student’s word recognition skills are relative to others of their age.

ROAR Risk Scores classify each participant into one of three categories: At Risk, Some Risk, or Doing Well. These categories are created by applying cut scores to the percentile rank scores. More specifically, participants performing below the 25th percentile are flagged as At Risk. Students performing between the 25th and 50th percentile are flagged as being at Some Risk. Finally, participants performing above the 50th percentile are classified as Doing Well. The participants within the first two categories performed below average, according to their percentile scores, and may benefit from additional reading support and intervention.

We are currently researching how to best refine the thresholds for identifying students who may benefit from additional support. It is important to interpret these classifications in the context of existing knowledge of each participant’s reading ability.