A student’s reading potential is the level the student could be reading at if he or she had no reading difficulty It is possible for a student to read at a level higher than his or her calculated potential. More often than not, the student reads at a level around or slightly below his or her potential.

I.Q. exams are quite often used in the assessment of a student’s reading potential. A person’s Intelligence Quotient (I.Q.) has been shown to be directly correlated with reading potential.

A recognized method to calculate a child’s reading potential is to take how many years of instruction they have had (kindergarten does NOT count) and multiply that number by the student’s I.Q. Divide the number by 100. Add 1 to that number.

(years of instruction*) (I.Q.) 
---------------------------------   + 1 = Reading Potential

* Years of instruction is usually the grade and month the student is in, subtracted by one. Thus, at the first month of third grade, a student’s years of instruction is 2.0. The student attended all of first grade (1) and all of second grade (2) and none of third grade. In October of third grade, the student will have had 2.1 years of instruction. In November of third grade, 2.2, and so on...

The exception to this rule is if a student has been retained for a year. Each year of retention counts as a year of instruction. Therefore a student in December fourth grade, who was retained for a year in second grade, would have had 4.3 years of instruction. ( I think this is utterly ridiculous, but none the less, it is the accepted theory. )

Let me give an example so that you see how this works. I teach at a reading clinic. One of my student’s I.Q. is 93. He is in seventh grade. He has never been retained. It is currently April.

(6.7) (93)
---------------   + 1 = Reading Potential

---------------   + 1 = Reading Potential

6.231  + 1 = Reading Potential

7.231 (rounded to 7.2) = Reading Potential

This student’s reading potential is that of a student in November of seventh grade.

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