FREE Informal Prose Inventory ONLiNE

Welcome to IPI ONLiNE

We are now offering this training module FREE for those of you who are interested in our assessment procedure.

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.

VIDEO 4: Miscue Analysis - the recording

VIDEO 5: An Explanation of the Miscue Analysis.

​INTERPRETATION - What do you do with the data?

Administering the testing procedure is one thing. Analysing the data you have collected will help you to identify your next teaching steps.

Some Suggestions for Interpreting IPI Results

The IPI testing procedure provides valuable information about the learning needs of the reader. To pass a reading level a student should meet the 3 criteria at that level. The instructional reading age is defined as a level where one of the criteria has not been met.

Here are some examples which will help you determine the next steps for the readers you have tested.

EXAMPLES: Student tested on Level 5:  Reading age 10-11 years.

Accuracy 99%  Retell 80%  Comp 95% - Passed all 3 criteria well. Retest at level 6 - may pass that as well.

Accuracy 98%  Retell 52%  Comp  78% - Passed all 3 criteria.
As some of the passes are marginal the Instructional Level could be taken as Level 6, but be careful with this as some students may continue to pass at the next levels.
Retest at Level 6 if time allows to confirm.

Accuracy 98%  Retell 47%  Comp  75% - Failed the retell.
Instructional Level is Level 5 

Accuracy 98%  Retell 55%  Comp  68% - Failed the comp.
Instructional level is Level 5

Accuracy 98%  Retell 40%  Comp  68% - Failed the retell and comp (but not badly).
Instructional level is Level 5

Accuracy 98%  Retell 18%  Comp  68% - Failed the retell (below 20%) and comp.
Instructional level is Level 5

Accuracy 98%  Retell 45%  Comp  25% - Failed the retell and comp (below 30%).
Instructional level is Level 5
No need to retest. Just need to strengthen comprehension at level 5.

Accuracy 98%  Retell 18%  Comp 29% - Where both the Retell is below 20% and the Comp below 30%.
Instructional level should drop down to Level 4. No need to retest. The decoding is strong enough. Slightly easier text (lesser concept loading) will take the pressure off while comprehension strategies are strengthened.


Accuracy 96%  Retell 75%  Comp  85% - Failed the decoding.
Instructional Level is Level 5 with a focus on identified decoding issues. Where accuracy drops below 97% there usually is enough data to identify something to work on. 

Accuracy 96%  Retell 55%  Comp 75% - Failed Accuracy
Instructional Level 5

Accuracy 93%  Retell 55%  Comp 75% - Failed Accuracy
Instructional Level 4
As soon as the Accuracy drops below 94% regardless of the comprehension scores, the instructional level moves down and the decoding issues become the focus of instruction.

The value of the IPI testing procedure is that it clearly identifies the good decoders who are weak comprehenders. The issue for many of these students is that fluent decoding (once the code has been mastered) can become a very mechanical process with very little engagement of the brain. They therefore need to be taught and given the opportunity to habitualise mental strategies that force them to process text. 

(See what the ONLiNE training actually looks like)

CLICK HERE for more information about Stage 3

​Informal Prose Inventories

3-in-1 Bundle

  • A combined total of 54 test passages
  • Covers reading ages 6-15 years
  • Divided into 9 age levels - 6 tests at each age level
  • Measures reading accuracy, retelling, and comprehension 

Genre: Fiction and Non Fiction

ebook 1 User Licence
NZ $79.00
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ebook School Licence
NZ $179.00 
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Hard Copy
NZ $149.00 
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