What is the Purpose?
The purpose of any testing procedure should be threefold
1. To identify an instructional reading age so that text at an appropriate level of difficulty can be selected.
2. As a diagnostic process to identify the needs of the reader.
3. To establish a benchmark for future learning.
Our Informal Prose Inventory testing procedure meets all three purposes for students who are approaching decoding fluency (around the reading age of 7-8 years - around the top end of our SharpReading Stage 2) and provides a decoding check as well as very important information about the processing of the information they are reading (comprehension).
If your readers are still in their first two years of instruction and are still developing decoding skills, then a simple Running Record is a more suitable assessment tool to use and will inform your teaching of decoding strategies.
What IPI level do I start on?
If you have no idea of your student's instructional reading age, then download a copy of the BURT Reading test. This is quick way to screen your students. While it only measures one skill (word recognition) the Burt Reading Age that the test will give you is usually a reliable starting point for testing using the IPI levels.
You can order a copy from NZCER (cost around $14.50 NZD).
ADMINISTRATION - Learn to use Informal Prose Inventories
Watch Hilton analyse the clips as many times as you need, for as long as you need, to understand the routine and pick up the skills and knowledge being demonstrated. None of the clips are longer than 10 minutes.
Practice material and downloads
Print out the test sheets - Animal Territories, The Black Death, Killer Plants
VIDEO 1: An Initial Explanation
VIDEO 2: An Actual Test
This shows you the test in action.
VIDEO 3: Recording explained
An explanation of how to record the Retell and Question Sections of the test.