Readability

Whether you're writing a report, letter or making a powerpoint presentation, to be successful you'll have to tune your message to the addressed target group. The two most important issues to tackle are 'readability' and 'text-level'.

The Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test is a simple test to measure the readability and level of your text. There are two simple test formulae:

Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test
Flesch Reading Ease Score FRES = 206.835 – (1.015 x ASL) – (84.6 x ASW) Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level FKGL = (.39 x ASL) + (11.8 x ASW) – 15.59 With:

ASL = average sentence length (number of words divided by the number of sentences) ASW = average number of syllables per word (number of syllables divided by number of words)

Texts with a FRES-score of 90-100 are easily understandable by an average 5th grader and scores of 0-30 are best understood by college graduates. Some examples of readability index scores of magazines: - Reader's Digest Magazine :FRES = 65 - Time magazine: FRES = 52 - Harvard Law Review: FRES = 30 The FRES-test has become a U.S. governmental standard. Many government agencies require documents or forms to meet specific readability levels. Most states require insurance forms to score 40-50 on the test. It's easy to test your text online or even in a Microsoft Word-Document. This text resulted in scores: FRES = 38 and FKGL = 11. So remember: Checking readability helps, and will turn you into a better writer.