Reading Score
Reading Level
Grade Level Score
Reading Note

What Is Flesch Reading Ease Score?

Most of the time, a readability score helps you understand how easy it is to read a piece of content or a passage. It indicates the educational level required to read the text without difficulty.

The Flesch reading ease test score indicates the understandability of a passage with a number that ranges from 0 to 100. It shows how difficult it is for an average adult to understand the content. Higher scores mean the content is easier to read and understand.

What is the Flesch reading score formula?

The readability formula used for calculating the Flesch readability ease score is:

206.835 - 1.015 × (total words ÷ total sentences) - 84.6 × (total syllables ÷ total words) 

Here are the interpreted Flesch-Kincaid readability scores:

90 - 1005th gradeVery easy to read
80 - 906th gradeEasy to read
70 - 807th gradeFairly easy to read
60 - 708th & 9th gradePlain English
50 - 6010th to 12th gradeFairly difficult to read
30 - 50CollegeDifficult to read
10 - 30College graduateVery difficult to read
0 - 10ProfessionalExtremely difficult to read

What is a good Flesch reading score?

The Flesch reading score is measured on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being the easiest to read. More so, a lower score means the passage might be hard to understand and would be suitable for only professionals. Therefore, if a context scores 70 and above, it is said to have a good Flesch reading score and is fairly easy to read.

How to increase Flesch-Kincaid readability score

Based on the Flesch formula, to improve your Flesch-Kincaid readability score, consider two factors in your writing style:

  • Use shorter sentences: More words per sentence lower your score. Aim for concise, straightforward sentences.
  • Use fewer syllables: More syllables per word also lower your score. Use simpler, shorter words when possible.

What Is the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level?

The Flesch-Kincaid grade level is a scale used to measure the readability level of books. It indicates the average number of years of education needed to understand a text. It has a formula that you can use to calculate it.

It's quite different from the reading score as a standard test; text gets better with a lower score than a high score. Thus, the lowest grade level, -3.40, represents the best readable content.

What is the Flesch reading level formula?

The grade level score formula for Flesch–Kincaid grade level is:

0.39 × (total words ÷ total sentences) + 11.8 × (total syllables ÷ total words) - 15.59 

How can you increase Flesch-Kincaid grade level?

Improving the Flesch-Kincaid grade level can be achieved primarily through the use of concise and straightforward sentences. By incorporating words that are predominantly monosyllabic, the readability of the content enhances, leading to a higher Flesch-Kincaid grade level.

It's important to note, however, that higher grade levels don't necessarily mean better readability. In the Flesch-Kincaid scale, a lower grade level typically signifies a more comprehensible and easy-to-read text.

Ultimately, if your goal is to reach a wider audience, you might want to aim for a lower grade level. The lowest grade level score achievable on this scale is -3.40, indicating that the text should be understandable by a student in the early years of elementary school. However, this largely depends on the complexity of the language and the subject matter of the text.

When is Flesch-Kincaid most useful?

Flesch-Kincaid grade level is used mostly in the education field. It eases the process through a test which teachers, librarians, and students assess the readability.

More so, research communicators and digital marketers use it to determine the ease with which their target audience or reader will understand their content.

What Is the Flesch-Kincaid Calculator?

The Flesch-Kincaid calculator is a user-friendly online instrument that quickly evaluates the readability of a piece of text. It accomplishes this by providing two key measures: the Flesch reading ease score, which rates the text on a scale of 0 to 100 for its general ease of comprehension, and the Flesch-Kincaid reading grade level, which equates the text's complexity to an American school grade level. In addition to readability score, this tool also checks the character count and word count of the given text.

For anyone looking to gauge the accessibility of their written content without having to perform tedious manual calculations, this tool is the perfect solution. It not only saves time but also delivers a comprehensive understanding of your text's readability, which can be critical in tailoring your content to your intended audience.

Tips for Better Readability

Here are some steps you can take to achieve a better readability with Flesch-Kincaid reading ease or any other readability formulas.

  1. Use simple words: The use of plain and easy-to-understand language can significantly increase readability. This doesn't mean dumbing down your content; instead, choose words that most readers will comprehend without having to refer to a dictionary.
  2. Shorten your sentences: Long sentences can make it hard for readers to track meaning. Try to keep sentences under 20 words to maintain clarity.
  3. Break up your text: Large blocks of text can be overwhelming. Break up your text with headers, bullet points, and paragraphs to make it easier to read and digest.
  4. Avoid passive voice: Active voice is more straightforward and easier to understand than passive voice. Aim to use the active voice whenever possible.
  5. Use transition words: Words like "and", "because", "so", and "but" can help guide the reader through your text, improving readability.
  6. Consider your audience: Always keep your audience in mind when creating content. If you're writing for a broad audience, you'll want to ensure your text is accessible to as many people as possible.
  7. Revise and edit: No first draft is perfect. Make sure to revise and edit your work thoroughly, as this can greatly enhance clarity and readability.

The goal isn't to reach perfect readability scores with any readability formulas, but to make your content as clear and accessible as possible for your intended audience. Even if your text scores lower than you'd like, if it serves its purpose and engages your readers, it's serving its function well.

Understanding Different Readability Formulas

The Flesch reading ease formula is just one among several scoring systems designed to assess reading difficulty. Some systems prioritize long sentences, while others focus on the syllable count in each word. Each has its unique way of determining what a good score looks like.

With the Flesch formula, for instance, a lower grade level score is often desirable, making it easier for you to understand how your text might be received. On the other hand, the Dale-Chall formula focuses on word familiarity rather than sentence length or syllable count. In this scoring system, a list of "easy" words is used as a reference, and texts using more words from this list will score better for readability.

Finally, know that these formulas differ, so select the one that aligns more closely with your specific needs, whether you aim for simplicity or complexity in your text.