The Rapid Online Assessment of Reading

An open-access assessment platform grounded in ongoing research by the Stanford Reading & Dyslexia Research Program

What is the ROAR?

The Rapid Online Assessment of Reading is an ongoing academic research project and online platform for assessing foundational reading skills. The ROAR is a suite of measures; each is delivered through the web browser and does not require a test administrator. The ROAR rapidly provides highly reliable indices of reading ability consistent with scores on other standardized reading assessments.
The Stanford Reading & Dyslexia Research Program aims to investigate the factors contributing to reading difficulties and dyslexia. By developing and rigorously validating automated assessment tools that enable large-scale data collection, we can help researchers and educators understand and support the diversity of learners.

Scientific approach to validation

A Research-Based Tool

ROAR Scores are highly correlated with other standardized reading scores. Click to learn more about the multi-study validation process.

Administer anywhere online

Rapid. Automated. Online.

Designed to be administered in the classroom or at home, students can take the ROAR on any computer or Chromebook connected to the internet.

Active research & development

Active R&D

Together with our partners, we are developing subtests and co-designing the platform to meet the needs of educators, clinicians, and other researchers.

The ROAR Assessment Suite

The ROAR is a tool for schools, clinics, and researchers. ROAR subtests under active research and development include: 

Single Word



ROAR-SWR measures a student’s ability to quickly recognize words. Word recognition is at the foundation of reading ability and is important for reading fluency and comprehension.



ROAR-PA measures elision and sound matching to assess a student’s phonological awareness. This subtest is under active development and validation.

Sentence Reading Efficiency


ROAR-SRE measures students’ ability to silently read and understand sentences quickly and accurately. This subtest is under active development and validation.

How Does it Work?

ROAR-SWR measures word recognition by rapidly presenting real and made-up words and asking participants to press a key to indicate whether each word is real or made-up. The words span a wide difficulty range, providing an accurate index of ability for 1st through 12th grade in just 5-10 minutes.

Animated characters guide participants through a colorful voiceover narrative, ensuring participants understand the task through brief practice and feedback. In our validation studies, children as young as 2nd grade were able to complete ROAR-SWR without a proctor, and children in 1st grade could complete it with minimal assistance.

After completing the ROAR-SWR, participants will receive information on raw scores, as well as estimated standard scores, percentile scores, and risk designations. 

Research-Practice Partnership: A Model for Collaboration

Frequently Asked Questions

Each subtest takes less than 20 minutes to complete. Students can expect to spend between 5-10 minutes on each block of ROAR-SWR, 15-20 minutes on ROAR-PA, and 8-10 minutes on ROAR-SRE. Administered all together, the entire ROAR suite can take between 45 minutes to one hour. The ROAR can be administered to any number of students at once—individually at home or in a clinic, in small groups, or by classroom—as long as each student has access to an internet-connected Chromebook and headphones.

No, the ROAR is a research tool and not intended as a substitute for a clinical diagnosis of dyslexia by a licensed professional. If you are seeking a clinical evaluation, please consult with a primary care provider or other qualified specialist.

We take research participant data privacy seriously. All assessment data is stored securely and separately from identifiers wherever possible. If your child’s school is engaged in a ROAR partnership, assessment data may be shared back with the school as additional information to support teaching and learning.

We are excited to partner with you to try these research tools in the classroom! Please contact Dr. Amy Burkhardt, Director of Research and Partnerships ( for more information. 

Learn more about the Stanford University Reading & Dyslexia Research Program!

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