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Many writers struggle to get their point across and captivate their audience. They provide too much description to the point that a reader loses interest.In contrast, some writers do not provide enough information for the reader to follow along.
Either way, writers fail to impress the audience and lose readership because of poor readability. Defining readability is easy, but achieving the right readability score is complex and quite possibly an art form.
Readability is essentially how easy your content is to scan through and understand. When the stakes are this high and the balance is hard to strike, readability tests can do wonders to evaluate your content writing skills and enhance them.
There are many readability tests that you can use for this purpose and below are 6 that can help you get started.You can also test your content for readability by using a free readability checker online.
1. Flesch Kincaid Grade Level
Writers, editors, teachers, and even children have been told that they are “reading at the 10th-grade level” or “writing at the 4th-grade level” by many.
This readability formula gives the score or grade level of your writing using average syllables per word and sentence length. The Flesch Kincaid readability test is one of the most popular tests out there.
2. Linsear Write Grade
The Linsear Write test is a little different from the ones on this list as it calculates a score based on a sample of the writing instead of analyzing the entire article.
The main principle behind this test is easily understood by many, essentially surrounding the general idea that the shorter a word or sentence is, the easier it is to read and understand.
This test also assigns numerical values to the factors it considers instead of using a formula like many other tests on this list. This is why it is frequently used in computer programs as well.
3. Spache Readability Grade
The Spache readability test is geared toward younger audiences and determines the readability of texts written for this target audience.
It focuses on a list of words that children in this audience will be unfamiliar with and then cross-checks that list with the writing to determine a score. It also takes into account the average sentence length to further refine this score.
4. Dale-Chall Readability Grade
The Dale-Chall readability test is a bit similar to the Spache test in the sense that it references an existing list of words to figure out how hard it is to read a piece of content. However, this list is a lot longer and sets a baseline for what words are considered general knowledge.
This test also factors in the average sentence length and adds it to the number obtained using the existing list of basic words that middle-school readers would know.
5. Coleman Liau Index
The Coleman Liau index is one of the few tests that rely on the average number of characters and relates them to the number of sentences. In contrast, most scales and tests use syllables which makes more sense as the more syllables a word has, the harder it is to read.
It is, however similar to the Linsear writing grade since it relies only on numbers instead of sounds thus, making it another popular test for computer programs.
6. Readability Tests with Powers Sumner-Kearl
This test also uses a sample to assess the readability of a text. It uses a combined formula of average sentence length and syllables to determine a score.
Finally, understanding readability is an essential part of being an effective writer. If your writing is not easy to read and scan through, your point of view will make no impact regardless of how sound your arguments are.