The University of Iowa

A Review of the Psychometric Properties of Retell Instruments


This narrative synthesis reviews the psychometric properties of commercially and publicly available retell instruments used to assess the reading comprehension of students in grades K–12. Eleven instruments met selection criteria and were systematically coded for data related to the administration procedures, scoring procedures, and technical adequacy of the retell component. High variability was evident in the prompting conditions and the use of quantitative and qualitative scoring mechanisms. Because no two instruments shared the same features, their retell scores are likely not equitable. None of the measures provided sufficient information to substantiate their reliability and validity. Many were lacking data on critical psychometric aspects, such as passage equivalency and construct validity, and nearly all had insufficient or ill-defined norming samples.


Reed, D. K. (2011). A review of the psychometric properties of retell instruments. Educational Assessment Journal, 16(3), 123-144. doi: 10.1080/10627197.2011.604238

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