Knowledge Base

Article 1751480

What is the difference between IRL and GE?

Product: STAR Reading

Platform: Macintosh, Windows

Last Updated: 6/7/2014




What is the difference between IRL and GE?




The Instructional Reading Level (IRL) is a criterion-referenced score. It provides an estimate of the grade level of written material with which the student can most effectively be taught. While the IRL, like any test result, is simply an estimate, it provides a useful indication of the material on which the student should be receiving instruction. For example, if a student (regardless of current grade placement) receives a STAR Reading IRL of 4.0, this indicates that the student can most likely learn without experiencing too many difficulties when using materials written to be on a fourth-grade level.


The IRL is estimated based on the student's pattern of responses to the STAR Reading items. A given student's IRL is the highest-grade level of items at which the student can correctly answer at least 80% of the items. The IRL references each student's STAR Reading performance to the difficulty of written material. This is valuable information in planning the instructional program for individuals or groups of students.


The Grade Equivalent (GE) is a norm-referenced score. It provides a comparison of a student's performance with that of other students around the nation. If a student receives a GE of 4.0, this means that the student scored as well on the STAR Reading test as did the typical student at the beginning of grade 4. It does not mean that the student can read books that are written at a fourth-grade level – only that he or she reads as well as a fourth-grade student in the norms group.


In general, IRLs and GEs will differ. These differences are caused by the fact that the two score metrics are designed to provide different information. That is, IRLs estimate the level of text that student can read with some instructional assistance; GEs express a student’s performance in terms of the grade level for which that performance is typical. Usually, a student's GE will be higher than the IRL.


Keywords: star scores, irl, ge, scores, star, 1751480, instructional reading level, grade equivalent, ZKBProgramUse; ZKBReports

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