How are the texts produced?

The production of the texts.

The texts read by the pupils in the assessment were developed by our researchers and educational experts. They had to fulfill several requirements to give a true and fair result and have been compared with other teaching materials used by each year group.

  • The texts should be similar to other texts the pupils read in their specific year group.
  • They have the same complexity in terms of the number of sentences, words, and the proportion of long words as other texts pupils read in each year group.
  • The texts should not be longer than necessary so pupils can easily maintain concentration.
  • Texts for each year group should have the same appearance in terms of, for example, line length and line number.
  • They have been composed so all pupils in a year group can access the text, even if some pupils find them more difficult than others.
  • The texts should have a coherent narrative and content so that we can easily measure pupils’ understanding.

With the Lexplore test, a pupil will never read the same text twice. There are several texts available for each year group and these are randomly generated during the assessment.

The reason why we produced several texts is to minimize the recognition factor and for a pupil to be able to sit the test several times in a year, without reading the same text each time.

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Text design guidelines
When developing the texts used in Lexplore we used the following criteria:
1. The text should concern matters the students are familiar with and be like other texts the
students are exposed to at the grade level
2. The text should have equal complexity within the grade levels (number sentences, words,
long words, etc.)
3. The texts should have the same geometric properties when presented on the screen
(number of lines, line length, etc.)
4. The texts should be readable by close to all students in each grade, even if some need to
struggle a bit with it
5. The texts should have connected narrative so that it is possible to read the from
The original texts were developed in Swedish. To ensure that the texts concerned matters the
students were familiar we looked in text books that were used at the different grade levels to see
how they were designed. Next, we drafted a set of texts at the grade levels. To ensure similar
complexity we edited texts within the grade levels to contain the same number of words and
sentences, in some case we changed the narrative to get the comparable. At the same time, we
ensured that the texts had the same geometric properties, i.e. texts were also revised to ensure that
they fit within the same geometric space. Finally, the texts were piloted with students from different
grades to ensure that they could be read by all and that they recalled what they had read about.
When translating texts to English we adhered to the same criteria’s and the translations were piloted
with students and adjusted to be comparable within grades. Most adjustments had to do with proper
names and in some cases grammatical changes. When adding new texts, we have strived to keep the
new texts as like the original texts as possible. Texts in grade 5-6 and 7-8 were designed to be longer
and have a more detailed story. For texts at level 7-8 in Swedish we have moreover used shortened
versions of the International Reading Speed Texts (IReST). These could possibly also be used for
English and other languages in the future to ensure that they are similar.