​Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA)

What is the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA)?

The DRA is an individually administered assessment of student reading proficiency. The DRA allows teachers to determine each student's instructional level for reading and provides a method for evaluating their individual reading growth over time. Teachers can also identify a student's strengths and determine if any reading challenges are present. 

Who takes the DRA?

  • Fall: Grades 1 & 2
  • Winter: K-Grade 2
  • Spring: K-Grade 2

Students in Grades 3-5 who do not meet the benchmark on the i-Ready Assessment also take the DRA during these windows, as needed.

How is the DRA administered?

Teachers meet with their students in one-on-one sessions to listen to them read a short book or passage, and then retell what was read. The teacher uses this information to identify the DRA level at which the student can read without assistance. DRA levels span from A1-80, with multiple levels existing within many grades (K-8th grade). 

Note: Students must pass both the accuracy and comprehension parts of the DRA to be assigned a DRA level. For example, a student who can decode words easily but cannot comprehend a book will be assigned a lower DRA level until they can both decode and comprehend the book.

What does the DRA measure?

  • How accurately a student can read the words in the selected book/passage
  • How fluently the student reads (using phrasing and punctuation to sound smooth, similar to talking)
  • Whether a student can understand what they have read

Once a student's DRA level and reading strengths/challenges are identified, a teacher can combine this information with data gathered from other classroom-based assessments to form reading groups and individualize reading instruction.​

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