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Analyzing and Scoring a Running Record
  • Qualitative Analysis--The qualitative analysis is based on observations that you make during the running record. It involves observing how the child uses the meaning (M), structural (S), and visual (V) cues to help her or him read. It also involves paying attention to fluency, intonation, and phrasing. Think back to the prompts you offered and how the child responded to the prompts. All of these things help you to form a picture of the child’s reading development.
  • Scoring--The information gathered while doing a running record is used to determine error, accuracy, and self-correction rates. Directions for calculating these rates are given below. The calculated rates, along with qualitative information and the child’s comprehension of the text, are used to determine a child’s reading level.

Self Correction

Error Rate
Error rate is expressed as a ratio and is calculated by dividing the total number of words read by the total number of errors made.
Total words / total errors = Error rate
TW / E = ER
120 / 6 = 20
The ratio is expressed as 1:20. This means that for each error made, the child read 20 words correctly.

Accuracy Rate
Accuracy rate is expressed as a percentage. You can calculate the accuracy rate using the following formula:
(Total words read – total errors) / total words read x 100 = Accuracy rate
(TW - E) / TW x 100 = AR
(120 – 6) / 120 x 100 = Accuracy rate
114/120 x 100 = Accuracy rate
.95 x 100 = 95%
You can use accuracy rate to determine whether the text read is easy enough for independent reading, difficult enough to warrant instruction yet avoid frustration, or too difficult for the reader. The breakdown of these three categories is as follows:

Category description Accuracy rate range
Easy enough for independent reading 95 – 100%
Instructional level for use in leveled reading session. 90 – 94%
Too difficult and will frustrate the reader 89% and below

Self-Correction Rate
Self-correction is expressed as a ratio and is calculated by using the following formula:
(Errors + self-correction) / self-correction = Self-correction rate
(E + SC) / SC = SC rate
(10 + 5) / 5 = SC
15 / 5 = SC
3 = SC
The SC is expressed as 1:3. This means that the child corrects 1 out of every 3 errors.
If a child is self-correcting at a rate of 1:3 or less, this indicates that she or he is self-monitoring her or his reading.