Accelerated Reader


Accelerated Reader (AR) is a comprehensive software package which aims to increase children’s motivation to read whilst also improving their ability to do so. At the outset, students sit a short, online diagnostic and assessment reading test (using STAR reading software) which reports a ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) ie a reading level. It also produces a more standard reading age and an approximation of the relevant National Curriculum reading level. This is merely a starting point for what is potentially a rewarding journey for children and indeed for teachers. This is the beginning of a time-saving, pain-free creation of a huge amount of personalised data.

The ZPD (reading level) is used as a benchmark to enable a child to choose an appropriately challenging book. So your librarian (if you’re lucky enough to have one…or even a library) needs to be on board with this. After reading, the student takes part in an online quiz. Accelerated Reader has online quizzes and levels relating to more than 18,000 books, all of which have their own points score. New titles are added on a regular basis, so there is a huge choice across genres and subject matter. The quizzes then feed into the reporting system, helping to build a more fully developed picture of a child’s progress.

To work really effectively, this scheme needs to be embedded into a school’s day to day practice. Indeed, the publishers recommend that children are given 20-30 minutes of quiet reading time every day to see the best results; I doubt many reading this would argue that this is a bad thing.

It isn’t cheap but then there has obviously been huge investment in this scheme and the publisher has some academic studies which support its introduction. As aforementioned, it would need to become part of a school’s routine – but if approached this way both the school and individuals could find the results rewarding.

Formats available

Software | Activity Resource


suitable for SEN/reluctant readers but not specifically designed for them