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Reading Success Test

Virtual Knowledge

Ages 5 to 9

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
Kid Appeal
Ease of Use

Reading Success Test Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

Reading Success Test is an easy to use multimedia program that assesses, through a series of directed tests, a childís mastery of the fundamentals required for reading success.

It is not only imperative to expose the developing student to the skills needed to become a successful reader, it is also valuable to evaluate his or her progress on a regular basis. This crucial measurement is, most often, conducted in the classroom setting -- through oral participation, homework assignments and review tests, in annual standardized tests administered by the schools, and at home -- through parental observation.

Reading Success Test can help in this latter evaluation. In addition to administering tests that appraise a variety of critical reading skills, it helps parents interpret the results in a meaningful way, share test results with their children, and decide if further testing and/or intervention are called for.

The programís main screen features an animated desert island filled with tropical delights. Clicking on certain objects initiates test sessions. In addition to the series of tests, the program includes kid-friendly word puzzles and games to keep children interested and help them relax between tests.

Educational Value
This program assesses reading skills at multiple grade levels, ranging from kindergarten to fourth grade. It includes 10 tests that examine a variety of reading skills, and uses a technique called computer-adaptive branching, which routes children to differing subsets of questions based on their answers to each sectionís initial questions. In this way, the program can examine the childís skills and make conclusions about the levels of mastery achieved for each reading skill.

The tests themselves measure such necessary basics as oral language skills, visual recognition, listening comprehension, letter sound identification, vocabulary, word attack strategies (does the child know his or her contractions, verb tenses and compound word meanings?), silent reading comprehension, spelling, and capitalization and punctuation. Users are introduced to a particular test by the programís friendly monkey host, and led through an introductory problem to ascertain whether the directions have been understood. At any time the child can choose to stop the test, and return for later completion.

Parentís can view results on virtual index cards displaying an overview for each test, the childís performance (including the number of correct and incorrect answers and level of skill mastery), a written analysis of the skill and what it means to the childís overall reading success, and a graph tracking the childís progress in subsequent test trials.

Kid Appeal
As tests go, this one is not too overwhelming or dull. Each section includes a series of identical questions that terminate just before the point where the child begins to nod off. Large, colorful graphics and an attractive host kept SuperKidsí younger reviewers interested, while many reviewers of all ages actually enjoyed the idea of taking a test -- noting that they liked the challenge and that doing the test on the computer made it much more fun than those taken in school.

Ease of Use / Install
This program installed without a problem on our Windows 95 test machines. It also installs Autodeskís Animator Player. With the player it then installs Video for Windows 1.1e plus enhancements to allow loading of quick-time movies and editing of Flic files.

An error message initially prompts users to set screen resolution at 640 x 480 for optimal quality, but our users with settings at 800 x 600 commented that the quality seemed fine.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
This program provides a helpful, non-threatening way for concerned parents to assess their childís reading progress. It not only helps parents to understand their studentsí academic performance levels, but it also helps them identify strengths and weaknesses, and, in particular, significant gaps that may require intervention. The program creators stress that the tests are tools to be used in conjunction with other assessment methods. This program can also be of value to home-schooling families, to assess their studentsí progress in comparison to other students of the same age and grade-level.

See SuperKids' comparisons with other reading software titles, and the Buyers Guide for current market prices of this PC-only title.

System Requirements
PC: Windows 3.1 or higher, 486DX or faster cpu, 5 MB free hard drive space, 8 MB RAM, 640x480 256-color display, Double-speed or faster CD-ROM, A sound card

Reviewed on:

  • Pentium166 with 24MB and 12XCD
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