Always Learning

Developmental Reading Assessment®, 3rd Edition


Overview: DRA offers educators the tools they need to observe and document student reading abilities and helps inform instructional practice.

Age Range: Grades K–8

Administration: Paper-and-pencil or Online

Scoring Options: Manual, Online

Publication Date: 2019


Product Details

Reading opens up a world of possibilities

DRA helps you give them the keys!

While reading is arguably the most important skill needed in order to achieve any level of academic success, its value doesn’t end outside of the schoolhouse doors. Reading expands our minds in many ways, including increasing our vocabulary, improving our concentration, and enhancing our analytical thinking skills. It allows us to “travel” to places we might otherwise never experience, and “travel” in time to meet the people who live only in memories and books.

The Developmental Reading Assessment®, Third Edition (DRA3) combines decades of teacher acumen with Pearson’s test development strength to provide the premier assessment of good reading behaviors in the classroom. With engaging fiction and nonfiction stories at every level, streamlined scoring rubrics, improved teacher observation forms, a brand new online platform and updated field research, the DRA3 is an assessment that meets the high standards of quality and rigor that reading teachers deserve.

Features and benefits

DRA3 offers:

  • The addition of nonfiction at each level

  • New word list screener to help estimate the best starting levels for younger students or new students entering a school or district

  • Redesigned Teacher Observation Guides (record forms) to facilitate easier recording, and efficient assigning of scores

  • Reorganized Teacher Guides ensuring important administration procedures, decision points, and other information are all easier to find, understand, and implemented with fidelity

  • Updated comprehension scoring criteria

  • Reading Engagement as an optional component of Benchmark Assessment

DRA’s new consolidated digital offering:

  • Provides educators data entry and administration in a new browser-based solution that can be used on any compatible device (e.g., laptop, desktop or tablet such as iOS or Android)

  • Offers expanded reporting options beyond those available from a paper-only assessment

  • Easily captures, stores, and reports DRA3 student data at the student, class, school, district, or even state level

DRA3’s instructional guidance helps reading teachers interpret DRA3 scores and use them to improve classroom instruction, by providing:

  • Comparisons to other familiar leveling systems (e.g., Fountas & Pinnell)Strategies teachers can use to build customized lesson plans based on DRA3 student and classroom scores

  • Time-tested ideas introduced in DRA2’s “Focus for Instruction” and “Moving into Instruction” components

  • Clearer guidance decision points for efficient and appropriate use of DRA3 Benchmark Assessment with Word Analysis and/or Progress Monitoring

Users & Applications

Developed for teachers

  • The assessment approach used in DRA3 is based on what reading research and experienced educators have identified as the key behaviors and characteristics of good readers. The specific tasks and prompts used at different levels of DRA3 assessment are developmentally appropriate for the student's current stage in the process of learning to read.

  • Internal consistency and inter rater research studies were conducted to demonstrate the reliability of DRA3 scores

  • Research studies were conducted that establish the validity of test scores, bases on the test content and the relationship of the scores to other measures of reading

What does DRA do?

DRA offers educators the tools they need to observe and document student reading abilities as well as inform instructional practice.

With DRA3, teachers can:

  • Determine each student's independent or instructional reading level with an evaluation of three components of reading: reading engagement, oral reading fluency, and comprehension.

  • Quickly determine students’ instructional needs to create a plan documenting what each student needs to learn next with the Focus for Instruction. Once the assessment is complete, teachers can use this information to differentiate instruction and create instructional groups.

  • As appropriate, a teacher can obtain more in-depth information for an individual student with DRA Word Analysis. This diagnostic assessment provides educators with a systematic means to observe how struggling and emerging readers attend to and work with various components of spoken and written words.

Content & Administration

Print Kit

Print Kit plus online administration


Score Reports

  • On-screen interactive

  • PDF

  • Exportable data

Pricing & Ordering

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