English Reading (2018)

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The New Drumcondra Primary Reading Test (New DPRT)

The New DPRT is a set of standardised reading tests developed specifically for group administration in Irish primary schools.  The tests are divided into six Levels, each with parallel forms, and are designed for pupils at the end of First class through to the end of Sixth class. (Teachers who want to assess younger pupils’ reading skills should use the DTEL.)  All material in the New DPRT was developed between 2016 and 2018, and the tests were standardised on a representative sample of primary school pupils in Ireland in spring 2018. The tests address the objectives of the 1999 Primary School English Curriculum, while also reflecting the anticipated learning outcomes and spirit of the new Primary Language Curriculum. The New DPRT is designed to increase engagement during testing by appealing to children at the target grade levels, and to reflect the diverse population of primary schools in Ireland today.

Summary Features of DPRT

The New DPRT for Level 1 (First class) is a screening test, but provides a standard score as well as a criterion-referenced report. (STen scores and percentile ranks are not reported for this grade level.) It is recommended that this test be administered to small groups of pupils (~ 8) where possible. As well as an overall reading report, results are broken down by Word Analysis, Vocabulary, and Comprehension (each of which is assessed by a variety of item types).


Levels 2 – 6 (Second to Sixth classes) of the New DPRT are designed to be administered to full class groups. Raw scores, standard scores, STen scores and percentile ranks can be computed for Overall Reading, and for Reading Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension at all these levels.


At Level 2, Comprehension can be further broken down into Sentence Comprehension and Passage Comprehension.


At Levels 3 – 6, Comprehension can be broken down by text type (Literary vs Information) and by process type (Retrieve & Infer vs Interpret & Evaluate).


While pupils at Levels 1 and 2 mark their answers directly into their test booklets, pupils at Levels 3 – 6 use answer sheets, meaning that test booklets are reusable at these levels.  Levels 3 to 6 can be administered simultaneously to multi-grade classes, and teachers have the option of hand-scoring the answer sheets, or using our machine-scoring service (which provides reports that include the full subscale breakdown).


Total testing time is approximately 90-100 minutes for each level of the New DPRT (this includes a break of 5 minutes, which can be longer if desired).


Currently, the norms for the New DPRT are spring norms only, but the tests may be used the following autumn if schools wish to do so e.g. for pupils at the start of 4th class, Level 3 tests can be used. However, please note that this does not constitute an exact comparison of like with like, since, in this example, Level 3 norms reflect national performance at the end of 3rd class. That said, differences between spring and autumn are likely to be minor. Currently, the New DPRT does not have a test-wide scale.