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The Powers-Sumner-Kearl Readability Formula



The Powers-Sumner-Kearl Readability Formula is one of the best formulas to calculate the US grade level of a text sample based on sentence length and number of syllables. This formula is suited for primary age children (age 7-10) and, usually, is not considered ideal for children above the age of 10 years. The Powers-Sumner-Kearl Readability Formula is attributed to an article, A Recalculation of Four Adult Readability Formulas in 1958 in the Journal of Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin, by R D Powers, W A Sumner, and B E Kearl.

** ( Use our free Powers-Sumner-Kearl Calculator to grade your text using the Powers-Sumner-Kearl readability formula).

Sumner and Kearl recalculated the Gunning Fog Index Formula using the McCall-Crabbs Reading Lessons. The newly revised Gunning Fog Index Formula was:

Grade level = 3.0680 + .0877
(Average Sentence Length) + .0984 (Percentage of Monosyllables)


The Power-Sumner-Kearl Readability Formula

Step 1: Select a sample passage of around 100 words.

Step 2: Calculate the exact number of words and sentences in the sample passage.

Step 3: Divide the number of words with the number of sentences to arrive at Average Sentence Length (ASL)

Step 4: Apply the formula:

GL = 0.0778(ASL) + 0.0455(NS) – 2.2029

TO GET THE (NS) VALUE: Divide total number of syllables in the passage into the total number of words. This will give you the average syllable length. Multiply the average syllable length with 0.0455. Then multiply this number with 100. The final number is the number of syllables (NS). (Note: do not multiple this number with .0455 again).

GL = US Grade Level

ASL = Average Sentence Length

NS = Number of Syllables

Step 6: The Reading Age is determined by applying the following formula:

RA = 0.0778(ASL) + 0.0455(NS) + 2.7971

Where,

RA = Reading Age

ASL = Average Sentence Length

NS = Number of Syllables

The Powers-Sumner-Kearl readability formula is used to assess materials for use in the primary grades, through the third grade level.

** ( Use our free Powers-Sumner-Kearl Calculator to grade your text using the Powers-Sumner-Kearl readability formula).
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