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Nelson-Denny Reading Test, Forms I & J

Vivian Vick Fischo

Measures reading vocabulary, comprehension, and rate
Paper and pencil, Online
Age range:
14 years to 24 years
35–56 minutes to administer
Qualification level:
A degree, certificate, or license to practice in a health care profession or occupation, including (but not limited to) the following: medicine, neurology, nursing, occupational therapy and other allied health care professions, physician's assistants, psychiatry, social work; plus appropriate training and experience in the ethical administration, scoring, and interpretation of clinical behavioral assessment instruments. Certain health care providers may be eligible to purchase selected "B" and "C" level instruments within their area of expertise. Specifically, relevant supervised clinical experience using tests (i.e., internship, residency, etc.) in combination with formal coursework ( i.e., Tests and Measurement, Individual Assessment, or equivalent) qualifies a health care provider to purchase certain restricted products. Any PAR Customer already qualified to purchase a "B" or "C" level product, is also qualified to purchase an "S" level product. If you are not already qualified to purchase a "B"or "C" level product from PAR, please download and complete the special Qualification Form for Medical and Allied Health Professionals. (You will need Adobe Acrobat to view.) Close

The revised NDRT measures reading vocabulary, comprehension, and rate and includes two parallel forms that can be used interchangeably. 

Features and benefits

  • Aids in accurate placement of high school and college students at all reading levels.
  • Uses all-new vocabulary items and comprehension passages drawn from current high school and college texts.
  • Includes self-scorable answer sheets and secure online scoring.

Test structure

  • Core subtests include Vocabulary and Comprehension. 
    • In the Vocabulary subtest, students are presented with an opening statement and five answer choices; for example, "A chef works with: A. bricks B. music C. clothes D. food E. statues." Students select the option that best completes the opening statement. 
    • The Comprehension subtest consists of seven reading passages and 36 comprehension questions, each with five answer choices. The reading passages are drawn from current textbooks in humanities, science, and social science. Students are instructed to read as many passages and answer as many comprehension questions as they can. An optional subtest, Reading Rate, is obtained by requesting that students record in the margin the number that corresponds to the last sentence they were reading in Passage 1 of the Comprehension subtest after exactly 1 minute. Students are instructed to read at their normal rate, neither faster nor slower than usual.
  • Provides a General Reading Ability composite score that indicates overall reading ability.

Technical information

  • Based on all-new age-based (N = 4,010) and grade-based (N = 3,487) normative data stratified to match 2017 US population estimates.
  • Yields scores as grade and age equivalents, percentile ranks, and index scores (mean of 100, standard deviation of 15).
  • Based on all-new reliability and validity studies, including new studies of differential item functioning and diagnostic accuracy.
  • Average internal consistency coefficients range from .85 to .95. Average alternate-form reliability ranges from .88 to .94.
  • Test-retest reliability ranges from .89 to .98.
  • Diagnostic accuracy studies indicate that the NDRT is able to accurately identify students with reading difficulties (sensitivity= .73; specificity = .80; ROC/AUC = .88) with few false positives.

Online administration, scoring, and report system

The NDRT Online Administration, Scoring, and Report system can be purchased without the NDRT Complete Kit as a stand-alone product, or online administrations can be purchased separately as an add-on to the complimentary online scoring and reporting system included with the complete kit.

The software allows for computer administration as well as item-level and subtest-level raw score data entry. It quickly calculates and reports all scores and generates a Summary Report that can be edited, printed, or saved. A complete NDRT Examiner's Manual is accessible through the Help menu.