How to Convert Grade Level to a Degrees of Reading Power Test Score

The DRP indicates a child's current reading level.

The Degrees of Reading Power test, or DRP, indicates a student's ability to understand text. It is administered between grades three and eight, though tests are available for students of all ages. The results are then used to determine appropriate books, teacher effectiveness, and points of concern for developing readers. Test scores are derived from a multiple-choice standardized test, and possible scores range from 0 to 99, though the highest possible score varies slightly by grade level.

Find the student's current grade level on the individual performance chart. This information should be clearly labeled at the top of the test results sheet, which is usually provided by the testing company or teacher. The grade level determines the standards against which the student is measured. For example, seventh and eighth graders are expected to have 80 percent comprehension, or a P-value of .80. Fifth and sixth grades should average around .75, while the standard for third and fourth grade is .70. Note: not all states and test agencies use the same formula to calculate percent of comprehension. Verify the standards with your student's teacher. The DRP score given is an interpretation of how well the student measured up to the P-value, which is indicated in parentheses.

Place the Instructional and Independent DRP (between 0 and 100) within the suggested range for your student's grade level. The test results for a student include a raw score: the number of questions answered correctly. This will read as "48 of 70," for example. These results are used to determine an instructional DRP, which indicates a student's reading level with adult supervision and assistance, and an independent DRP (reading without assistance). The test results include both the standard and goal values by grade as a point of comparison; for example, the standard for fifth grade is 49 but the goal is 58.

Determine test percentile. Though there are recommended goals and standards for DRP test results, the bulk of the analysis is based on the percentile that test takers fall into nationally for their grade level. This is indicated by a National %ile on the Individual performance chart. An 88 means the student performed better than 88 percent of his or her peers. This is a good method of determining if students are about par with their grade level, or alternatively, if they need to be moved up or held back. However, the decision to advance or hold back a student is subject to teacher recommendations based on classroom performance. The other score giving a student's standing in relation to other test takers is the NCE, or Normal Curve Equivalent. This measures where a student falls along the normal curve of scores. A 50 would indicate that half of the students tested scored higher, while the other half scored worse, just like under National Percentile. The major difference is that these adjusted scores can be averaged to help teachers determine how their class is doing as a whole.

Use the DRP results to determine the current reading materials the student can handle. Students scoring under 15 cannot read a simple paragraph, 25 can read simple paragraphs, 30 can handle an easy book of around 250 words, 45 indicates more complicated chapter books. Children's magazines range from scores of 48 to 57, while adult business magazines score a 70.