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Drumcondra Post-Primary Reading Test (Paper)

The DPPT-Read was developed in response to a need for such a test identified by the DES in the ‘National Strategy to Improve Literacy and Numeracy 2011-2020’. The DPPT-Read is based on the pre-2014 Junior Certificate English syllabus and draws on international best practice in reading ‎assessment to provide a test that is suitable for an Irish context. The test aims to complement a teacher’s observations and assessments of a student’s performance. It gives guidance on strengths, and on the types of difficulties experienced by students. This information can feed into effective planning and learning.

Test Features

  • 76 multiple choice questions

  • Four comprehension texts

  • 36 vocabulary questions

  • Informational and literary texts featured

  • Focus on real-life, relevant contexts

  • Each question linked to a reading process


The DPPT-Read is available at two levels in order to appropriately challenge students of differing ability levels.  Form A of each test is designed for students who are likely to take the Junior Certificate English examination at Ordinary or Foundation levels. Form B is designed for students who are likely to take the English exam at Higher level. In practice, either form of the test can be used, except for very low achievers (who should complete Form A) and very high achievers (who should complete Form B).


The DPPT- Read can be administered to class or year groups, and takes approximately 70 minutes to administer. This includes time to distribute and collect materials and complete identification information, as well as actual testing time. Forms A and B can be administered together. 


All Questions on the DPPT-Read follow a multiple-choice format.

​Domain                                       Reading Literacy

Based on                                   JC English Syllabi

Format                                       Multiple Choice

Forms                                         A (easier) and B (more difficult)

Administration Time              70 minutes

Administration Format          Large or small groups

Scoring                                      Electronic

Reporting                                  Electronic

Subscales Reported              Continuous, Non-continuous, Access & Retrieve, Integrate & Evaluate

Content of DPPT-Read

Each form of the DPPT-Read comprises 36 reading vocabulary items, and 40 reading comprehension items. Hence, students are asked to respond to 76 items in all. The comprehension items are based on four texts, each of which is followed by 10 items. The overall reading scale is made up of a number of overlapping subscales including ‘‘Reading Vocabulary’, ‘Reading Comprehension’, ‘Continuous Texts’, ‘Non-Continuous Texts’, ‘ Access & Retrieve’ and ‘Integrate & Evaluate’.

Scoring and Reporting

The DPPT-Read is completed on a machine-scorable answer sheet that is available from the Educational Research Centre.  The same answer sheet is used for the DPPT-Read and the DPPT-Maths and hence a student needs just one answer sheet for both tests. Answer sheets can be returned to the ERC for scoring. The ERC will then forward reports to schools that include overall scores and subscale scores.

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