What is a RAN test?

The first part of the Lexplore assessment is the RAN test. RAN stands for Rapid Automatic Naming or the ability to quickly name aloud a series of familiar items -- in this case, letters

The RAN section of Lexplore’s assessment is scored on how quickly and accurately a child can name, in order, all the letters on the screen, compared to other children the same age. Slow performance on the RAN test could be an indicator that a child is at risk of experiencing reading and/or memory difficulties and therefore may require more comprehensive assessment.  

When a pupil identifies the correct letter, they are using long-term memory to retrieve phonological information stored there. If a pupil has difficulty performing this task, it can affect the ability to learn to read.  If a pupil’s RAN score does not improve when reassessed, it may be appropriate to administer additional phonological and/or memory assessments. 

RAN alone is not a definitive indicator of reading difficulties, but combined with weak phonological skills, reveals severely delayed reading development or dyslexia (Norton & Wolf, 2012) and a strong incentive for further assessment.  

Please Note: The letter choices for the RAN test have been carefully chosen to assess the skills of automatic naming and retrieval. Whilst similar-sounding letters are used (such as /c/,/s/ and /k/), visually similar and easily confused letters (such as /b/,/d/ and /p/), are not used. 


The RAN test is available for all year groups in the U.K. However, this does differ per country.  

*Norton, E. S., & Wolf, M. (2012). Rapid Automated Naming (RAN) and Reading Fluency: Implications for Understanding and Treatment of Reading Disabilities. Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts: Center for Reading and Language Research, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development. 

You can read more on: How to perform the RAN

🛎️Here at Lexplore, we love to help our users with their questions and provide self-help guides for quicker service. Please vote below on the Question of whether or not this article was helpful. 😊