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Scoring and Analyzing a Running Record

Scoring

After collecting information on a running record, you need to calculate the error, accuracy, and self-correction rates. The sections below provide detailed information on the formulas you will use. These results combined with the qualitative analysis and Comprehension Quick Check Quiz results will help provide information on the student's reading level.

Qualitative analysis comes from observations you make about the student's reading behavior as you administer the running record. This includes the meaning (M), structural (S), and visual (V) cues as well as fluency, intonation, and phrasing. If you need to prompt the reader, take note of how he or she responds. Use this additional information to better understand the student's reading abilities.

The formulas below are used with the sample running record on the Marking a Running Record page.

Error Rate

Error rate is expressed as a ratio and is calculated by using the following formula:
Total words / Total errors = Error rate

Example:

99 / 8 = 12.38, or 12 rounded to nearest whole number
The ratio is expressed as 1:12.

This means that for each error made, the student read approximately 12 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

Example:

(99 - 8) / 99 x 100 = Accuracy rate
91/99 x 100 = Accuracy rate
.919 x 100 = 91.9%, or 92% rounded to the nearest whole number

You can use accuracy rate to determine whether the text read is easy enough for independent reading, appropriate to use without frustration during reading instruction, or too difficult for the reader. The breakdown of these three categories is as follows:

Accuracy Rate Chart

Independent Easy enough for independent reading 95% -100%
Instructional Instructional level for use in leveled reading session 90% - 94%
Frustrational Too difficult and will frustrate the reader 89% and below

Self-Correction Rate

Self-correction rate is expressed as a ratio and is calculated by using the following formula:
(Number of errors + Number of self-corrections) / Number of self-corrections = Self-correction rate

Example:

(8 + 3) / 3 = Self-correction rate
11 / 3 = 3.666, or 4 rounded to the nearest whole number

The self-correction rate is expressed as 1:4. This means that the student corrects approximately 1 out of every 4 errors.

If a student is self-correcting at a rate of 1:4 or less, this indicates that he or she is self-monitoring his or her reading.