TPRI is part of the Children's Learning Institute at UTHealth


Administration & Scoring

Is training necessary to administer the TPRI?

Yes, TPRI training is highly recommended to ensure appropriate administration and accurate results when using the TPRI. See Training for more information regarding available training options.

Who should test students on the TPRI?

The TPRI is designed to be administered by the classroom teacher. This allows the teacher to gather additional information about the student that may not be reflected solely in the student's score. The data collected is also usually more useful to the teacher if s/he gathers it. Additionally, administration by the teacher to all students in a classroom helps to ensure that the assessment is administered consistently each time.

When should the TPRI be administered?

The TPRI provides testing windows for each administration period, but schools and districts set the actual dates they assess. A school or district may choose to adjust their testing window a bit earlier or later based on their particular needs and schedules. TPRI administration should be completed within a two week window with all students in the classroom. Recommendations for when to begin administration are as follows:

  • BOY: Kindergarten at six weeks from the start of the school year, grades 1-3 two weeks from the start of the school year
  • MOY: All grades mid-January
  • EOY: All grades mid-April

When students enter my class after the BOY administration when should I assess them and where should I start the assessment?

The TPRI should be administered to new students soon after they enter your class. 
For students entering your class within one to two weeks after completing BOY, MOY or EOY administration, assess the student using the same procedures used with all students at these time points.

For students entering your class more than two weeks after administration is complete, the TPRI can be a helpful tool.  It can provide the teacher with important information about the instructional needs of the new student.  Use of this data beyond the classroom would be determined by your campus or district.  Follow these guidelines during the different time points:

  • After BOY and after EOY, do not administer the tasks on the Screening Section because screening results are reliable only during the specified administration window.  Instead, begin with the first task of the Inventory Section (PA-1 at kindergarten and first grade, GK-1 at second and third grades) and then follow the Branching Rules. 
  • After MOY, assess the student using the same procedure used with all students.

How long will it take to administer the TPRI to a student?

There is no set answer to this question. Time needed to assess is dependent mainly upon the grade level being administered and the skill level of the student. The Branching Rules on the TPRI were developed to maximize administration efficiency and minimize student frustration. In many areas, the tasks are ordered by difficulty and the Branching Rules allow the teacher to skip sections that the student will not be likely to complete based on their performance on easier tasks. Furthermore, the spelling (Grades 2-3) task can be administered to the entire class at one time. On average, a teacher can expect the assessment to take approximately 20 minutes per student.

Are there any ways the TPRI can be administered more quickly?

The creators of the TPRI are sensitive to the issue of how much time it takes to administer; any time teachers spend giving the TPRI is time that they are not teaching. Remembering the following two points may help to reduce assessment time.

In kindergarten and first grade, the PA and GK portions are only required for students who score SD on the screening. Particularly at first grade, and particularly with more developed students, administering the PA and GK portions adds very significantly to the time it takes to assess. If students in kindergarten and first grade score D on the screenings, teachers should only give the PA and GK portions to students who perform especially poorly on the word reading and story reading tasks.

  1. Another way that teachers can sometimes reduce their administration time is by being careful about the "3-second hesitation" rule on the word list and stories. As long as teachers follow this rule the word list should take about a minute or so to administer (20 words times 3 seconds per word). On the stories, the same practice can help, particularly with students who really struggle to decode quickly, but who do eventually sound out words correctly. With these students, teachers are often inclined to wait for students to sound out each word, but this significantly increases administration time, can lead to student frustration and gives a less stable fluency score.

What does it mean to score “D” or “SD?”

“D” stands for “Developed” and “SD” stands for “Still Developing.” The TPRI early reading assessment contains two sections: a Screening Section and an Inventory Section. Scores of D and SD on the Screening Section have a different meaning than scores of D and SD on tasks within the Inventory Section of the assessment.

The Screening Section of the TPRI is a brief assessment for identification of students who may be at risk for reading difficulties. Its primary purpose is to predict for teachers which of their students may need additional or intensive reading instruction in order to meet their grade level goals. If a student scores SD overall on the screening, it indicates a need for further evaluation to determine if the student requires additional instruction.

The Inventory Section of the TPRI gives teachers an opportunity to acquire more data to help match reading instruction with specific student needs. This additional information can assist teachers and administrators as they assemble educational resources and plan the most effective instruction possible for students. All portions of the inventory are administered with students who score SD on the Screening Section. The Inventory Section of the assessment is a diagnostic tool which provides teachers with specific information about a student’s strengths and weakness in the following areas:

When a student scores D on a task on the Inventory Section, this indicates that the student was successful with the task.  When a student scores SD on a task within the Inventory Section of the assessment, then the teacher uses the tools and resources provided by TPRI to analyze student errors and plan targeted instruction.

Can a teacher give feedback during the assessment?

Not usually. Giving feedback during the assessment is generally allowed only on the practice items in the manner described in the Teacher's Guide. There are certain tasks where specific feedback is allowed during the task as outlined in the Teacher's Guide. For most tasks, best practice is to avoid giving any feedback on individual task items. Wait until the end of the task to provide feedback, and then with all students attempt to be equally positive regardless of how well the student has performed. In general, praise effort, not correct responses.

Can TPRI be used with Special Needs students? Are any accommodations allowed?

The TPRI can be used with Special Needs students. Accommodations for students with special needs can be used. Decisions on accommodations should be made on an individual basis, taking into consideration the needs of the student and whether the student routinely receives the accommodation during classroom instruction. If the student has an Individualized Educational Plan or an instructional plan developed by a Section 504 committee, it may assist you in deciding which accommodations are appropriate. The following accommodations are acceptable:

  • Instructions can be signed to a student with a hearing impairment.
  • A student can place a colored transparency over any material presented.
  • A student can use a place marker.
  • A student can spell words aloud in place of writing them. A scribe or the teacher should record the student's responses.
  • A student can use any other accommodation that is a routine part of their reading, writing or spelling instruction.

May teachers repeat items for students?

Assessment items may be repeated if requested by the student. There is an exception to this guideline for the phonemic awareness (PA) tasks. Repeat PA items only in case of noisy interferences.

Are reversals considered wrong on the spelling test?

Letter reversals (backwards letters) on the spelling test are considered errors. Writing compound words with a space between them is also an error (for example, "playground" would be correct and "play ground" would be an error).

What should I do if I am not sure how to score a response a student gives?

The TPRI is an instrument developed to help the teacher plan instruction so that all students' needs are met. If you are unsure how to score an item, it is better to score the item wrong. This will allow the teacher to consider the possible problem further and decide whether to continue to work on teaching the skill or not. If teachers score a questionable answer as correct they may then fail to provide instruction the student needs.


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