An abbreviated reading speed test

Melissa L. Rice, Eileen E. Birch, Jonathan M. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose. The Minnesota Low-Vision Reading Test (MNREAD) has been developed to measure reading speed. An abbreviated version of the MNREAD test was developed that presented only three large paragraphs and would be easier for children to complete. Methods. Fifty children ages 8 to 18 years, with normal eye examinations or refractive error alone, underwent testing of reading speed using the MNREAD test. All the children read the standard MNREAD paragraphs starting at the 1.0 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (logMAR) level until they could no longer read the subsequent paragraph. Each eye was tested separately, using the second MNREAD card for the left eye. The standard MNREAD reading speed was calculated by plotting the speed for each paragraph, determining the critical print size, then taking the median value of all the paragraphs above the cutoff paragraph. The proposed abbreviated test reading speed was calculated from the median of three large paragraphs (logMAR, 1.0, 0.9, and 0.8). At a second site, 25 children with a variety of ocular conditions were similarly tested using an alternative abbreviated test (logMAR, 1.3, 1.2, and 1.1). The standard and abbreviated reading speeds were then compared between tests and between eyes using generalized estimating equation and intraclass correlation coefficients. Results. The mean reading method speeds with the standard and abbreviated tests were almost identical [177 words per minute (wpm) ± 46 wpm vs. 178 ± 46 wpm, p = 0.43 for normal children and 140 ± 29 wpm vs. 141 ± 33 wpm, p = 0.35 in children with a variety of ocular conditions]. Conclusion. The new abbreviated version of the MNREAD reading speed test yields similar results to the standard MNREAD test in children. The new abbreviated MNREAD test is faster to administer and appears to be particularly useful for children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-133
Number of pages6
JournalOptometry and Vision Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Amblyopia
  • Children
  • Low vision
  • Reading speed
  • Visual acuity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Optometry

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