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A readability score is a computer-calculated index which can tell you roughly what level of education someone will need to be able to read a piece of text easily.
There are several algorithms available for measuring scores, and these use factors like sentence length, syllable count, percentage of multi-syllable words and so on to calculate their own readability score.
For grade levels, the result of most of the scoring algorithms, the score corresponds roughly to the number of years of education a person has had (based on the USA education system).
A grade level of around 10-12 is roughly the reading level on completion of high school. Text to be read by the general public should aim for a grade level of around 8.
Several readability algorithms use syllable counting to determine their scores. The current syllable counter used here will only work with English text, so scores for other languages may be inaccurate.
The Coleman-Liau and Automated Readability Indexes do not use syllable counting, so should produce a reasonably accurate score in most European languages.
Languages like Arabic or Chinese, which reference words in different ways, will not score accurately due to inaccurate letter counting and sentence analysis.
We provide scores based on the following algorithms (and we are always working on adding more to the list):
Readability-Scoreis free to use for occasional users. For those who need a bit more power, and access to regular URL analysis, bulk processing tools, file analysis tools, readability and keyword density alerts or even a readability API, we offer paid subscription plans of various levels.
We think the premium service is great value. Click here to find out more !
We have loved finding out the many ways people have used Readability-Scoreso far. There are research teams around the World using it to analyse the readability of legal documents and notes in medicine packets, to compare the target market of newspapers, and to compare hip-hop lyrics to those in rock and pop songs. We've even heard of people using the site to analyse the speeches given by presidential candidates!
Are you using Readability-Scorefor something unusual? Please let us know !