Readability scores tell you how easy a text is to read. But how do these scores work? And can they help you improve your writing? In this post, we answer your questions and look at your options.\r\nWhat Are Readability Scores?\r\nReadability refers to how easy text is to understand. And a readability test is an algorithm that scores a text on its readability.\r\nThese scores are usually based on the number and length of the words and sentences in the text. In most cases, they will suggest a reading level based on the school year, age, or status of the person who is reading it.\r\nThe Flesch\u2013Kincaid test, for example, gauges reading levels based on educational level. This ranges from year five (10\u201311 years old) through to university graduates and professionals. You can see these scores below:\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nScore\r\n\r\n\r\nSchool Level\r\n\r\n\r\nNotes\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n100\u201390\r\n\r\n\r\nYear 5 (10\u201311 years old)\r\n\r\n\r\nVery easy to read.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n90\u201380\r\n\r\n\r\nYear 6 (11\u201312 years old)\r\n\r\n\r\nEasy to read.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n80\u201370\r\n\r\n\r\nYear 7 (12\u201313 years old)\r\n\r\n\r\nQuite easy to read.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n70\u201360\r\n\r\n\r\nYears 8 to 9 (13\u201315 years old)\r\n\r\n\r\nPlain English. Easy to read for most people.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n60\u201350\r\n\r\n\r\nYears 10 to 12 (15\u201318 years old)\r\n\r\n\r\nQuite difficult to read.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n50\u201330\r\n\r\n\r\nUndergraduate students\r\n\r\n\r\nDifficult to read.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n30\u201310\r\n\r\n\r\nUniversity graduates\r\n\r\n\r\nVery difficult to read.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n10\u20130\r\n\r\n\r\nPostgraduates\/Professionals\r\n\r\n\r\nExtremely difficult to read.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\nWhy Use a Readability Test?\r\nMany word processors, including Microsoft Word, feature a tool to check the readability of a document. You can also download dedicated readability test software or use an online tool to check a text.\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_44074" align="aligncenter" width="494"] Readability stats in Microsoft Word.[\/caption]\r\n\r\nBut why would you want to use one? Especially if you\u2019re a confident writer?\r\nWell, every writer needs to write at a level their audience can understand. Readability tests can help you do this by giving you an objective score for how easy your work is to follow. In addition, they can identify issues in your writing that you may miss otherwise, such as excessive use of passive voice.\r\nAs such, readability scores can give you a sense of whether your work is suitable for its intended audience, as well as highlighting bad writing habits. But are readability scores trustworthy? And how do they compare to having your work proofread by an expert? Let's take a look.\r\nAre Readability Scores Reliable?\r\nReadability scores can provide helpful information that you can use to improve your writing, but there are some clear shortcomings:\r\n\r\n\tDifferent readability tests may produce different scores for the same texts based on their algorithms. As the formulas differ, so do the results.\r\n\tThe scales readability tests use may be difficult to interpret or apply in real life (e.g. depending on their backgrounds and interests, some people will score better with certain texts than with others).\r\n\tReadability tests do not take account of the style, context, or meaning of a text. They are simply mechanical scores based on pre-set criteria.\r\n\r\nThis last point is vital. A readability score does not look at what a text means. You could write 10,000 words of nonsense and still get a good readability score as long as you used short, simple sentences! Thus, while these scores can be helpful for writers, they do not guarantee good writing.\r\nTo get a sense of whether your work reads smoothly in real life, you still need to ask a human editor or proofreader. And with our professional services, you can be sure your work will be clear, concise, and error free.