What’s your score on this 100-point scale?
The Flesch Reading Ease index computes readability based on the average number of syllables per word and the average number of words per sentence.
How to run the test
To test your copy, use Microsoft Word’s readability statistics. It will automatically:
- Calculate the average number of words per sentence.
- Calculate the average number of syllables per word.
- Multiply the average number of syllables per word by 84.6 to get A.
- Multiply the average number of words by 1.015 to get B.
- Subtract A from B to get C.
- Subtract C from 206.835.
Goal: Aim for 60 or higher
Scores range from 0 to 100. The higher the score, the easier your copy is to read.
To raise your score, reduce the length of your sentences and words.
Flesch Reading Ease
|Score||Level||Average number of words / sentence||Average number of syllables / word||Estimated school grade completed||Percentage of adults who can read at this level|
|90-100||Very easy||8 or fewer||1.23 or fewer||4th||93|
|60-70||Standard||17||1.47||7th or 8th||83|
|50-60||Fairly hard||21||1.55||Some high school||54|
|30-50||Hard||25||1.67||High school or some college||33|
|0-30||Very hard||29 or more||1.92 or more||College||4.5|
Source: Rudolph Flesch, The Art of Readable Writing, Harper (New York), 1949
About the Flesch test
Lawyer, author and writing consultant Rudolph Flesch “started a revolution in journalism and business communication,” writes William Dubay, readability consultant for Plain Language Services. Flesch’s best-selling books included Why Johnny Can’t Read.
In 1946, Flesch published his first readability formula in his dissertation, “Marks of a Readable Style.” Publishers found that the formula increased readership by 40 to 60 percent, Dubay writes. Flesch’s work with the Associated Press helped bring the reading level of front-page newspaper stories from the 16th to the 11th grade.
Today, this is one of the most widely used, most tested and most reliable readability tests. U.S. Department of Defense, many government agencies and the state of Florida are among Flesch’s fans.
Sources: “Flesch-Kincaid readability test,” Wikipedia