Administering the Reading Level Assessment (RLA)

The Reading Language Assessment (RLA) is longer than other assessments students are accustomed to taking in the program. Because of this, students sometimes become impatient and resort to guessing without reading the passages or items. As the results can provide valuable information to teachers, parents, and administrators, it is important to prepare students for this assessment. Instruct your students to tell you when they are introduced to the test by the owl character (if it is conducive to your implementation setup). This will provide an opportunity for you to help set the stage for the successful administration of the RLA. Emphasize to students the importance of doing their best on this assessment. Any preparation that results in students taking the test seriously will work to promote the accuracy and reliability of reading ability estimates. To help ensure that the Reading Level Assessment test appropriately places students within the program, complete these actions before students log in:

Testing preparation 

Preparation: Computer Use

  • Students using Imagine Language & Literacy on a laptop or desktop computer should be using computers that they are familiar with, if possible.  Students will also need headphones for the assessment.
  • For more information, see Imagine Language & Literacy System Requirements.

Preparation: Create Login Cards

  • Students will need their login card to access the Imagine Language and Literacy Benchmark Test.  For more information, see Printing Student Login Cards 

Preparation: Login Display

  • Use a projector or smartboard to show students the Imagine Language & Literacy login screen.
    Make note of the username field and how to click into the password field.
    Demonstrate how to use the ‘eye’ icon in the password field to display students’ passwords as they type.




Testing: Student Preparation 

  • Explain to students why they will be completing the assessment. The sample script provided below may be useful and can be adapted to suit specific implementation setups.

“When you log in to Imagine Language & Literacy today, most of you will see a test. It will help me know which books are at the right level for you to read. There will be a few practice questions before it begins. Keep your eyes on your own screen. If you don’t know the answer to a question, try your best and go on to the next question. If you need help, raise your hand quietly, and I will come help you.”

Testing: Testing Times

  • The time required to complete the test may vary, but findings suggest the following times are likely optimal:
    • Students reading below grade 4 level — approximately 15–30 minutes 
    • Students reading at or above grade 4 level — approximately 20–40 minutes

Testing: Student Monitoring

  • During the placement test monitor students and encourage them to stay on task.
  • Watch for students who are clicking through without reading the items. Encourage these students to read each item carefully and to do their best. Remind students to provide their best guess on a question even if they do not think they know the answer.  Ensure that students do not receive assistance to answer questions.  

Testing: Pausing a Test that has been started

  • If students need to close Imagine Language & Literacy before the session ends, show them how to use the pause button (which leads them to the exit option) in the lower right corner of the screen.
  • During testing, student testing status can be viewed.  For more information, Checking student status for the Reading Level Assessment (RLA)


Here are some quick solutions to problems you might encounter when administering the Reading Level Assessment.

My student doesn't hear any sound

Ensure the volume settings is turned up. Ensure the headphones are plugged into a USB jack.


I lost Internet connectivity during the test

If you lose connectivity during the test, reconnect your device which may include restarting your students computer.  The  student will automatically be placed where they left off when the computer lost its internet connection. 

The computer froze while my student was taking the test

If a computer freezes during testing, closeout of the current browser and follow the login directions again. The student will automatically be placed where they left off when the computer froze.

Testing: Conclusion of testing

  • Allow students to continue using Imagine Language & Literacy until their session ends (some students may finish the test before their session is complete). Students will be automatically logged out when their session ends.