Running Record Calculator

This online tool can help you produce quick and accurate scores for your reading assessments. All you have to do is enter running words, error numbers, and self-correction numbers, and this calculator will provide you with error/self-correction rates and an accuracy percentage.

Reading Assessment Calculator

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Words Per Minute =
Error Ratio =
Self-Correction Rate =
Accuracy =
Reading Level =

Running Records

Running records are formative assessments undertaken in person with students as they read texts aloud. They are a swift and accurate method of checking reader progress as they are reading. Running records are the brainchild of Marie Clay, a developmental psychologist and one of the earliest literacy experts, who developed Reading Recovery.

Scoring a Running Record

You can score a child's reading performance for assessment in the following manner:

1. Do not count anything but the running words within a text. This means you don't count captions, subtitles, titles, etc.

2. Each of these should be counted as one error:

  • Substitutions
  • Permissions
  • Incorrect attempts
  • Unsuccessful appeals
  • Told words
  • Insertions

These should not be counted as errors:

  • Self-correction
  • Repetition
  • Accurate attempts
  • Successful appeals
  • Words that the child pronounces in a different way owing to their accent/dialect

3. If a child skips a line, count every word as one error.

4. If a child skips a whole page, count that as one error and take off that page's word count from the total.

5. If a child reads a proper noun incorrectly, only count mistakes as one error. With all other words, count all repeated mistakes as one error per mistake.

6. To produce a record, make a calculation of the Error Ratio that can then be reduced to the simplest expression.

We can calculate the Error Ratio with this formula:

Error Ratio = Errors ÷ Running Words

For meaning to be conveyed, the reader should have an Error Rate of 1:10 or less.

7. The Accuracy Percentage in a record can be calculated by subtracting all errors from the total of running words within the text, dividing the answer by the running word number and multiplying by a hundred:

(Running Words − Total Errors) ÷ Running Words ×100 = Accuracy %

8. Calculate the record's Self-Correction Rate. This Rate shows us the extent to which a child is monitoring his/her reading.

This rate can be calculated by adding together number of errors and number of self corrections, and dividing it by the number of self corrections:

(Total Errors + Total Self-Corrections) ÷ Total Self-Corrections = Self-Correction Rate

Self-Correction Rates of 1:5 or less indicate that a student is monitoring their reading and employing decoding is introduced.

9. Having made a calculation for accuracy percentage and self-correction rate, it is possible to assess whether for a specific student a book classified as being hard, instructional, or easy. These categories can be assessed thus:

  • Independent Level: Reasonably easy reading for the student (95 – 100% word accuracy)
  • Instructional Level: A challenge but one the reader can cope with (90 – 94% word accuracy)
  • Frustration Level: A problematic text for the student (less than 90% word accuracy)

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