What is AR?

Accelerated Reader (AR) is a computerized reading incentive program. Students take a STAR test to determine their reading range. This helps them select books that are "just right," not too easy or too hard. Books in the library that are part of the AR program are marked on the spine with a colored dot that shows the book's reading level and with a label inside the cover listing the book's reading level and point value. Students read the book, then take a comprehension test on the computer. Readers receive instant feedback, so they know right away how well they understood the book. Students earn points through the AR program and can earn prizes and privileges through reading AR books. Monthly drawings are held for each classroom, and winning students can earn a pizza lunch downtown with Mr. Riffel. Classroom teachers set AR point goals for their students, and quarterly parties are held for students meeting their AR goals. Past parties have included roller skating, bowling, swimming, and movie parties. Linda Calderwood (a para-educator at Sterling Jr. High) is the district-wide AR Program Administrator.

How can I tell if a book has an AR test?

Our school subscribes to Renaissance Place, which means your child has access to over 100,000 AR tests on a variety of books, not just books that our school library owns. Students may test over books from home, from the public library, or from other sources. There is not an AR test for every single book, but many books do have a test. AR tests must be taken at school.

To find out if a certain book has an AR test and determine its reading level and point value, follow these steps:

1. Open the Internet and go to AR Bookfinder:

2. Type the book’s information into the search box. You can search by title, author, or ISBN.

3. If the book has a test, the information will be displayed on the screen. If not, you will receive the message “No Results Found.”
AR BookFinder

How do AR reading levels (ATOS formula) compare to the Lexile scale?

When students take a MAP reading test, they are given a Lexile score. Lexile is based on a 2000 point scale rather than grade levels. The AR company has put out a chart that allows you to see how AR reading levels match up with Lexile scores. The Lexile company maintains that their 2000 point scale was never meant to be translated into a grade-based reading level like AR.

In our SGS Library books, you will find a printed label at the front of all AR books listing book title, quiz number, reading level and point value. AR now has an agreement with Lexile and can give the Lexile score on this label. Labels printed before the companies made that agreement will have a listing for “Alternate Book Level 2” (Alt. BL 2), which is AR’s attempt at assigning a Lexile-type score to that book.