Accelerated Reader

Accelerated Reader and Star Testing  

We use Accelerated Reader to motivate, monitor and manage pupils’ independent reading practice. By using the Star Testing data we are able to create personalised goals around comprehension (average percentage correct), quantity (engaged reading time) and complexity (book level). Pupils can track their goals independently, which allows them to take control of their learning. This is monitored in class through an accuracy and progress towards target display, which enables the children to have a visual representation of where they are. The teachers’ knowledge of the books the children are reading allows them to promote a love for reading whilst being aware of where the children are in relation to their targets.

How it works in school

Star Testing

Each pupil competes a Star Test at the beginning or end of a half term. The questions are multiple choice and get harder the more they get correct. If the pupil gets questions wrong or does not answer them, they get easier. If a pupil does not know the answer, they must wait for the question to time out and not guess the answer.

Book choice

From the Star Test, the children are given a ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) which gives them a range of readability levels from which pupil selects books to read. Teachers will add their own judgement to this and may choose to start a pupil higher or lower than the suggested range.  The pupil does not have to read a book at every step in this range, but will need guiding and encouraging to move up throughout it whilst varying the length of book too. Pupils need to feel that they have an element of choice over which books they read in order to help develop their reading for pleasure. There is no need for them to read every book in the box for that level and teachers need to use their judgement and knowledge of the texts to help facilitate book choice to enable pupils to make progress.

Book Labels

Book level (ZPD): this considers the average sentence length, average word length, word difficulty level and the total number of words in the book. (Books with made-up words could have a higher level purely because of this.)

Points: this number of points a book is worth is based on word count and complexity of plot

Interest levels: it is important that the children are aware of these and read at the appropriate level.

LY – ages 5-8          MY – ages 9-13

MY+ - ages 12+      UY – ages 14+


Once the pupil has read the book, they then take a quiz – 5 or more multiple choice comprehension questions. These questions are there to check the pupils understanding of the text and are all retrieval questions. The expectation is that they get 85% at least correct. If a pupil gets below this, then an adult will discuss with them why and they will be able to do the test again if an adult feels it necessary. The pupils need reminding that this is not a memory test and they can use the book to find the answer. It might be suitable for some children to work with an adult and explain their answer before pressing the buttons. If a pupil is regularly getting 100%, then the teacher will need to check they are reading at an appropriate level and may prompt the child to read higher up their ZPD or a book with more points (complexity).

Accelerated Reader Targets

Each time they quiz they get the percentage of those points based on the percentage of questions they get correct. Eg 10/10 correct = 100% of the points, 8/10 correct = 80% of the points. If a child gets less than 60% of the questions correct, they will not get any points and will need to retake the quiz. The points target is recommended by the computer based on the pupils’ ZPD and amount of minutes reading each day. The teacher can change the targets using their knowledge of their children and progress towards previous targets. If a child reaches their target in 2 weeks, then it was too easy – they can be set another and given a higher target next time. If they do not reach their target in a half term, then this needs to be considered when setting the next one.

Children are encouraged to complete quizzes and earn stamps on their Terrific Tens cards. Once completed, children earn a stationery prize as a reward.