The Developmental Reading Assessment® (DRA) is a standardized, individually administered reading test used to determine a student’s instructional level in reading.

The DRA is typically administered to students in grades 1-3 twice throughout the school year in September and May. Testing students, both at the start of the school year and at the end, helps teachers track progress and ensure that students have improved over the course of the school year. The DRA is administered by teachers or reading specialists and involves the student reading selections of texts. The student will then recall what they have just read to an examiner to determine how well he or she has comprehended the text.

After taking the DRA, a student’s score or level will likely show up on his or her report card. The Developmental Reading Continuum can be used to interpret the guided reading level assigned to the student. A student’s DRA level is monitored by teachers to determine if they are reading at grade level.


Developmental Reading Continuum

DRA LevelGuided Reading LevelGrade Level Expectation
A-3Early Emergent ReaderKindergarten
4-16Upper Emergent Reader1st grade
18-28Early Fluent2nd grade
30-38Fluent Reader3rd grade