Administer a Level Screener or Prescreener

The Level Screener is a great way to figure out where to start when trying to evaluate a reader whose reading level is unfamiliar to you. It is designed to give a quick view of the student’s reading level and help you determine which leveled text to use first.

The Prescreener helps you determine fundamental literacy skills. If you’re unsure whether a new student has enough ability to even attempt a Level Screener, use the Prescreener to gauge their letter recognition and pronunciation.

To learn more about how to administer a Level Screener, watch the video or read the step-by-step guide below.


Select a Level Screener

Access the Level Screener or the Prescreener by selecting the Level Screener button on the Student Overview.

From this page, you can select from several leveled texts to determine a student’s reading level by following a few simple steps.

1. Choose a Level Screener

Select a level screener by choosing one of the leveled passage icons near the top of the screen. The Reading Level and Grade range for each screener is listed underneath the passage icon. Select a passage icon to preview the text.

When you’ve found the passage that you think best matches the student’s reading ability, select Select Text under the screener instructions to continue to the Assignment Selection screen.

If you think your student might be too early in their reading development to attempt one of the level screener passages shown, select the Prescreener.


2. Select a Method to Administer the Level Screener

The Assignment Selection screen appears after you’ve selected a passage icon and pressed the Select Text button on the Passage Preview page. The Assignment Selection screen offers teachers the choice of delivering the level screener to the student using a printed text or through their device (tablet, laptop, PC). Keep in mind that as soon as you complete the Administer Assessment steps (“a.” or “b.”, below), the record will open and prompt you to begin marking your students’ reading. If you’d like, you can always return to the newly created record to actually work with your student later.


a. Print the Passage for the Student

Select this option if you’d like to print the selected passage. Select the Printer tile, then press Next to continue to the following screen:

Select on the Printer icon at the top of the page to print the passage for the student. Once you’ve printed the passage, select Go to Reading Record to administer the level screener with your student.


b. Send to Student Device

Select this option if you’d like to send the passage to the student’s device. Select the Paper plane tile, then press Next to go to the Assign to Student page.

On the Assign to Student page, type any special instructions to the student in the Instructions box, then select a start date and end date using the calendar buttons at the bottom of the screen. By default, the start date is the day you’re assigning the assignment.

Press Assign and go to Reading Record to begin the session. Your student can open the level screener from their Assignments list in Benchmark Universe.


Administer a Level Screener

Follow the steps below when you are ready to begin a level screener.

  1. Begin the Level Screener.

The Level Screener is considered “in progress” when a student opens the assignment from their Assignment List or as a soon as a teacher marks a student’s reading behavior on their device.

  1. Annotate the student’s passage as they read.

As the student reads the text, listen carefully and annotate the passage by selecting on any word or diamond (space) in the text and using the Reading Behavior popup menu. (Find out more about annotating passages in Marking an Oral Reading Record Passage).

  1. Review the Metrics

The Metrics Section displays your student’s Error Rate and Accuracy performance on the level. As you mark errors, the metrics change. The metrics are:

  • Error Rate: the number of words in the passage divided by the number of errors your student made. If the rate is 1:10, it means your student made 1 error for every 10 words read.
  • Accuracy: (total words in the passage minus # of errors) divided by total words in the passage, multiplied by 100.

Click the “i” icon to read information Metrics.

  1. Select the Next button to continue to the Comprehension page.

Testing a student’s comprehension of a passage is an important step in determining their reading level. The Comprehension page will help you evaluate the student’s understanding of the text. All questions must be answered to determine which reading level is likely appropriate for a student.

  1. Select the Next button to continue to the Summary Page.

Use the Summary to review your student’s performance on their Level Screener. It gathers important information from the previous steps and shows it all in one place. There are two sections in the Level Screener Summary, Reading Behaviors and Error Analysis.

If you’d like to print the Summary, select the Print Summary button on the sidepanel under the “Reading Record” heading. In addition to all of the information provided on the Summary page, the printout includes the text of the Passage along with any reading behaviors or MSV cues you’ve marked.

Select the Next button to return to the Student Overview page.

A recommendation for the next reading level will appear on the Student Overview at the top of the Choose Next Reading section. The reading level is determined by how many questions they answered correctly on the Comprehension page as well as the number of mistakes recorded as they read.

Administering a Prescreener

To learn more about how to administer a Prescreener, watch the video or read the guide below.

When you are completely unfamiliar with a student’s reading level, use the Prescreener to determine a suggested reading level. Follow these steps to administer a Prescreener.

Access the Prescreener by selecting the Start Prescreener button on the Select Screener Level page.

Follow the onscreen prompts to evaluate fundamental reading skills, such as Letter Recognition and Basic Phonics Skills, and determine a baseline reading level.

On each screen/prompt select the Incorrect or Correct buttons to move to the next section. You can select Skip on any step to head to the next step.

Once you complete the Prescreener, you’ll receive a recommendation on whether to start with the first Level Screener passage or a Level A text.