I grab a lot of texts online to use with students. I often wonder, “How challenging is this text? Will my students have trouble reading this text?” In the past, I’d rely on Google’s Advanced Search option that allowed me to search by reading level. Unfortunately, Google dumped this feature, so I’ve been on the hunt for a new way to assess online texts.
The Readability Test Tool is one option for educators. It allows you to test the readability of an entire web page or a chunk of text to see how challenging it is for readers.
In the image below, I copied a chunk of text from a History.com web page on the Great Depression.
Below is the readability score for this chunk of text. It estimates the grade level and age of the reader who should be able to “easily” understand this text. It provides a range of scores for various tests and presents statistics about the text.
I was unfamiliar with many of these scoring tools, so it was helpful to read the explanation below the text statistics to better understand what the Flesch-Kincaid readability score, for example, actually meant.
If other educators have found tools they use to assess how challenging an online text is, please post a comment!