Word Counter Reading Level Feature

Word Counter reading level tool
One of the tracking features Word Counter provides in the “Details” section on the right side of the tool is a Reading Level. Of all the metrics the tool keeps track of, this is probably the one we receive the most questions about. With that in mind, we felt it would be beneficial to try to explain in a little bit more detail how this metric works and what exactly it means.

First and foremost, Reading Level isn’t a reflection of your writing skill in any way. You may have excellent writing which ranks at a fourth-grade reading level, while you may have substandard writing which ranks at the college reading level. There seems to be an assumption by many that a higher Reading Level rank means the writing is better. That is, a Reading Level at a college level is better writing than a Reading Level at a tenth-grade level. This is not what this metric is measuring.

The only thing the Reading Level tries to do is give an indicator of the education level a person would need to have in order to understand the words you’re using in your writing. It’s not meant to be a ranking of your writing ability in any way. It’s simply a general guideline so you can anticipate what education level a person would need to have to understand what you have written.

WordCounter assesses Reading Level by using the Dale–Chall readability formula. This formula uses 3,000 common words a fourth grader should understand as its foundation. Basically, if you use only the words found in the list of 3,000 words when you write, your Reading Level rank will be at a fourth-grade level. As you use more words which are not on the list of 3,000 words, the Reading Level will increase. The more words you use that fall outside the core 3,000-word list, the higher level of reading the Reading Level feature will assign to your writing.

When you first begin to type in the text area, Reading Level will display as N/A. In order for a Reading Level to appear, you will need to write a minimum of two sentences. The number of sentences is part of the formula used, and the more sentences in the writing, the more accurate the Readability Level will be. There’s a need for a two-sentence minimum to begin to make an accurate Reading Level determination.

With this in mind, when the metric shows your writing at “college level,” what it’s saying is that you’re using a significant number of words in your writing which a fourth grader won’t be familiar with. If the Reading Level says fourth-grade level, then a fourth-grader would understand the vast majority of the words you used in your writing. If the metric says a seventh-grade level, you’re using some words that a typical fourth-grader wouldn’t understand, but not as many as would be in the writing to rank the Reading Level at the college level.

Reading Level may be important for a number of reasons. If you are attempting to target your article, story or other writing to a specific audience who may be at a certain reading grade level, this metric can help make sure you’re not writing over their heads. At the same time, you may not want your writing to come across as too simplistic by using only common words elementary students would understand, and want to raise the number and variety of vocabulary in your writing to appeal to a higher educated reader.

(Photo courtesy of Kate Ter Haar)

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257 thoughts on “Word Counter Reading Level Feature

    1. Josh

      Um.. this feature is bad. I was writing a very basic thing and it said I was college level. I’m sure all 4th graders would understand it.

      Reply
        1. schnee

          when i wrote this clearly rubbish sentence it took me from HS to college LOL:

          “The interrelational level of the synaptic exchange between various idea that, in a post-structural sort of analysis, give way to all the meandering tropes which make up our existences through an intersectional framework all add to the propinquity of intradimensional experiences, all within a subpar trope that mellifluously delineates all our existences’ sakes. “

          Reply
          1. Anon

            It’s due to the use of higher-level dictionary terms. While it is completely gibberish and makes no sense, passing the paragraph to a typical fourth grader would leave them rather confused about 90% of the words used; the metric uses what a fourth grader would typically understand as the baseline and goes up from there based on the commonality of words pulled from the dictionary it uses for the formula.

          2. Hula Hoop

            I doubt a 4th grader would know what a sub-par trope is. Therefore, it’s probably at a level where only college students/graduates would UNDERSTAND it, not necessarily find it sensical.

          3. Emi

            It probably calls that college level because those are real college level words just in a nonsense order.

          4. Dicky

            This is BS! I’m in high school and I’m not a junior high school level. Are you trying to make me mad?!! This tool is way off base and you need to fix it so I don’t get angry every time I come here.

          5. David R Hull

            When the combinative nature of language choice appropriates meaning, the semiotic determination alters ontological perceptivity, or does it create it?

        2. anoymos

          using words like alteration and personification make it collage and im 12 doing a school assessment (I am the best in the country at my age)

          Reply
          1. Kaeli

            I can’t help but think that if you were the best in your country, you’d be able to spell alliteration and personification.

          2. Ellie

            Kaeli, you do realise that they spelled personification right and alteration is a real word and they might not have meant alliteration. I can’t help but think that if you’re going to be shady like that you’d at least point out their actual errors such as “collage” and “anoymus.” Just saying….

          3. Orthographer

            I really do believe that you are lying about being the best in the country, you don’t really have the best grammar or spelling…. Who told you that you are the best in the country?

          4. Chanel Nº 1

            Dear ‘anoymos’
            Considering the fact that you are learning about personification and what i’m assuming is alliteration when you are twelve makes it highly unbelievable that you are the smartest twelve year old in what i’m assuming is a first world developed country such as USA or England in which case if you were to be the smartest twelve year old there you would be far more advanced in the English language than to be going over some poetry terms of which that I learnt when I was 9. I live in New Zealand and am currently 13 and partaking in NCEA Level 1 English, level 2 Physics and History and Level 3 Maths, Biology and Chemistry. So I heavily doubt that you are “the best in the country” for your age.

            As a part-time internet hobo I am fully entitled to write this.

          5. Elle

            Bloody hell, you all take yourselves far too seriously. It was a little kid making a blatantly untrue comment which you didn’t need to take so to heart… chill. out.

          6. JustPointingItOut

            Odd that you are the best when you can not spell “Anonymous” at 12 years old.

          7. Joshua Soong

            Chanel No 1, please calm down. Yes, OP is probably not the most intelligent guy/girl ever, but neither are you. (I also live in New Zealand, and I’m studying second-year Engineering at Massey University at the age of 15.)

            If you’re going to be condescending on the internet, at least use your real name.

          8. Unknown

            Guys, You do realize there are other people with the name anonymous so he didn’t spell it wrong, it was just taken so he had to make another anonymous related name. Also he did spell Personification and Alteration right and it doesn’t have to be alliteration. and he might have had a typo or auto-correct or something make it collage, even on the computer it can happen. And yes, he may not be the smartest person in his country at his age, but I’m pretty sure none of you are either, but we all say to ourselves I am the best, I can make it. We encourage ourselves. Now quit discouraging this guy and let him be, because he doesn’t know all the words in the world and neither do any of you!!!! SO ENCOURAGE THIS MAN! YOU ARE THE SMARTEST AT YOUR AGE AND YOU CAN BECOME SMARTER AND MAKE IT THROUGH LIFE WITHOUT ALL THESE DISCOURAGERS AND HATERS STANDING IN YOUR WAY!!!!!

            I know I sound a bit to dramatic and overprotective but I’m only saying this because y’all are dissing his thoughts and beliefs and his tiny little errors that he might not have made. I can’t help but think if y’all are gonna discourage him like that, you’d at least all try to be the best in your countries too. Which I’m not. And neither are any of you!

          9. Emi

            That statement frustrates me because you spelled three words incorrectly and one of them was your username.
            P.S. I am the same age as you are.

          10. Not a Troll

            I never thought a simple word counting website would host so much… salt.

            Perfect for popcorn!

            Fight on. Angry egotistical preteens!

            Fill the world with your trials of intellectual superiority!

            DESTROY

          11. Alanna

            Why are you all coming at a 12 year old like this… What kind of superiority issues are you all dealing with…

          12. Farah

            Hahahahahahahah u can’t even spell them words right. Im pretty sure you’re not best in the country for your age.

          13. lolo

            Guys just calm down this is site he just wanted to say something about the result he got on the site for his writing level. give him a break this is not about being the best in your country or what ever i am in an all French school where we have to learn all our english outside of school so most likely I have a whole bunch of mistakes and my sentences are too long but that doesnt matter. what matters is the message that he was trying to get accross like fiftey other prople writing comments on this page. Calm down!!!!!!!

            I am 13 and quiet stupid for my age but I know not to pick on an innocent comment.

          14. Mr. Lloyd Pountchev

            using words like alteration and personification make it collage and im 12 doing a school assessment (I am the best in the country at my age)

            - ALLITERATION, not alteration.
            - COLLEGE, not collage, which is a completely different thing.
            - I’M, not im.
            - PUNCTUATION?

            You are most likely an average student for your grade, definitely not “the best in the country” at your age. Obviously not.

            Anoymos, you should work on your English.

          15. ICanTSpell

            HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT anoymos WILL EVEN READ YOUR COMMENTS

            AND JUST USE A DIFFERENT WORD COUNTING SYSTEM… LIKE “word”, or another website DUH!

          16. Actually, no.

            I’d like to point a few things out to you, as you seem to have a misconception. To begin with, college is spelled with an e, not an a, as you spelled it collage. That is an entirely different word that means a piece of art made by attaching pieces of paper, often from articles or magazines, to another sheet of paper. Next, anonymous, such as in your username, is actually spelled a-n-o-n-y-m-o-u-s, rather than anoymos. I also do not understand how spell check did not catch that, as while collage is a real word in the English language, anoymos is not. I am typing it here and spell check automatically changed it to anomy’s. I had to change it back.

            I’m has a capital I and an apostrophe. You lack beginning-of-sentence capitalization and no period appears at the end. Also, best in the country by what standard? You should realize that, as I was 12 on March 8, 2016, I clearly have better spelling and grammar than you do, and therefore would be ahead of you according to whatever flawed ranking system you are using. Even if I am not first, you could never be, because I am ahead of you. Even if you were second, which is most certainly not correct, that’s still not first. I would then be. You should also realize that these kinds of rankings have ties of several hundred or thousand people. If you get a perfect score on a standardized test of some sort, you do not receive precedence in the ranking over all others with the same score. If that were true, I would be 1st in Michigan as far as 7th-grade ELA scores go, ahead of every single 7th grader in the state! There are quite clearly ties. How else would they establish first, second, and so on?

            I must say, I detest nothing more than liars and tellers of untruths who brag about fake, easy to earn, and redundant accomplishments, or have overinflated egos but nothing to be proud of. How many of you can claim a 35 on ACT writing before 8th grade? How many can even claim that as juniors or seniors in high school?

          17. Alixae

            Excuse you, I think being “the best in the country at your age” is a little bit off. Have you gone against any other 12 year-olds outside of your city? I think not. And if you HAVE, actually, used some sort of system that measured you against all those other 12 year-olds, please inform me, for I will gladly supply you with an apology.

          18. Y'all Need to Stop

            Guys, this is a 12 year old we’re talking about. And those of you who are literally picking apart the entire sentence and username need to calm down lol. I’m betting that you were extra careful writing your corrections as you usually may write carelessly and more conveniently when writing in an informal tone on the internet.

            Also none of you even considered the fact that they may be an international student who’s first language is not English. They may be at the top of their class or be ONE OF THE top students in their country for other reasons aside from their English skills, especially if that is not one of their core classes. And even so, who’s to say the country is not poor in education, top rank of a country does not mean the kid has top skills on a global scale.

            The fact of the matter is, if you’re actually spending time correcting this kid and telling them that they are most definitely not at the top of their class then you’re being close minded and petty. Please find something better to do with your time.

          19. Anonymous

            I’m going to be completely honest here. I was actually the most intellgent pre-peubescent in the country. I boast prior Intelligence Quotients of 159 and 170 at the ages of 11 and 12, respectively. I received my Graduate Equivalent Diploma when I was still 12, and I began attending Moorpark College the next semester. Having received my Associate’s Degree from Moorpark, I transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (#3 undergraduate establishment in the world; #1 for undergraduate engineering and applied sciences) at the age of 14. Now completing my senior research at the age of 16, I am have undertaken immunooncology, the study of curing cancer through means of developing an immunity treatment that causes the T-Cells to fight off any cancerous cells. Anyways, so before I’m 18, I will already have a $100,000 job while all of you neanderthals are arguing about who has the ‘superior appendages.’ And anybody that does not understand what that means has no place to participate in an argument that relates to intelligence. I truly feel that our youth is spiraling into inadequacy. As quoted in Catch-22; “Some men are born mediocre. Some men achieve mediocrity, and others have mediocrity thrust upon them.” I’m sure anybody here could guess which group I believe demonstrates the “innovators of tomorrow.” (for anybody that does not understand this satire, the answer is the first clause).

          20. anon.

            Hey, look, y’all, calm down. It’s a 12-year old kid, and you guys are shooting him down. Maybe he’s not the best, but all of you responding aren’t either. I feel as if some of these answers have employed the usage of thesauruses to make you sound smarter.

            Also, Anonymous who commented on January 3, 2017, you need to calm down too. Your post was simply stating how amazing you are at everything, and you need to realize that no matter how good you think you are, you are not the best. Yeah, I admit you’re pretty good at what you’re doing, but I can’t even say you’re telling the truth.

            As you quoted, “Some men are born mediocre. Some men achieve mediocrity, and others have mediocrity thrust upon them.”

            I feel as if in that quote you’re trying to say you’re a genius. Also, if y’all are going to pick me apart for defending one person who thinks he’s the best and tearing down another one – well, to that I say, one is twelve and one is 16 and obviously isn’t telling the truth.

            Also, whoever posted the first comment was just playing around, and I don’t think what he did should create this huge swamp of people criticizing each other. Everyone, please calm down and stop boasting.

      1. Richard

        I agree. I had input my whole short story and got a 9th/10th grade level.
        Then I erased it and typed, “The dog eats sandwiches”. That merits a College Graduate level.

        I am fairly certain most of us knew all those words, well before grade 4.

        Reply
        1. admin Post author

          You must have left other text in the text area; “The dog eats sandwiches” is too short to register a reading level.

          Reply
          1. Ethan Balakrishnan

            Actually, I typed in “The dog eats sandwiches,” and nothing else, and it did indeed register “College Graduate.” It also registered a reading time of 1 minute.

          2. admin Post author

            Not sure why that is happening — I tried to confirm, but it’s not doing it for me. it shouldn’t register anything until you write a minimum of two sentences. What browser are you using?

          1. Anonymous

            Probably, the reading level i.e. “college graduate” was for the story you wrote and deleted.

        2. Anymos

          I put “The. Dog. Eats. Sandwiches. and it answered “4th grade.” While that may not be a College Graduate, the situation is still clearly ridiculous.

          Reply
          1. Unknown

            I tried that out and guess what, when I typed “The. Dog. E” it said 11-12th grade reading level.

        3. JustPointingItOut

          In all honesty, why would some one on the internet looking at the word counter website not be able to recognize, “The dog eats sandwiches.” ? If you can not realize that it is super basic, then you should just get off this website, and stop trolling the Admin and let him do his job for the people who actually are having concerning problems. Thanks.

          Reply
        4. page

          Lol!! I’m pretty sure that most preschool-kindergarten students would understand that sentence! Maybe the system was slow because you had just deleted a lot of writing?

          Reply
      2. Rheanne

        I also agree with you… when i just wrote 2 paragraphs, it said that it was an 11th grade to 12th grade reading level…. this feature should be fixed….

        Reply
      3. josh hatt

        I have noticed i have had the same issue with some of my reports and presentations i was doing for a stu.go. meeting at my school.

        Reply
      4. Jhony

        13 Colonies Trade
        By
        Cristian S

        I wrote this and it said that im 11-12 grade
        Hello my name is Noah and i’m from the Southern colonies which are Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. And i’m going to tell you about my trade, the process, my colonial life, and conclusion.Hello
        So you’re probably thinking what my job is well i’m a tanner. That means that I tan leather and give it to the tailor and the tailor make shoes out of it or anything else made out of leather.

        Reply
    2. Kayla Wagner

      I wrote this and it said I was a college graduate. Try it out and copy and paste it!

      I love Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs, and Paragraphs. I can write that too. I like cheese.

      Reply
      1. Bob

        I am in grade nine and am writing a story on a shady dude in Colombia. It says “College Graduate” so i assume the word “cannabis” is putting the scores up.

        Reply
        1. page

          I happen to be twelve and knowledgeable enough to understand the word cannabis as well as a few others. Clearly the reading level system is glitchy.

          Reply
          1. anon.

            No, I don’t think it is. I think it was designed for other things than people intentionally trying to make it glitch.

    3. Ryan Scott Fransen

      What I think it should do is ask for your grade level, then record the words you use, then if your grade level using a certain word enough it will add to the list, that way its like a self updating survey. This way it will truly every year know how smart, or stupid 4th graders – college people are.

      Reply
    4. Anonymous

      I just typed 50 words and it said it was 9-10th grade:
      First of all, its like stale bread with only 11 other players (to my 40) here except for a few totally fortunate people who typed in a bunch of random numbers. I don’t mean to boast, but it’s the unfortunate, sad, brutally truthful way to say. This is 50 words.

      Reply
  1. Meeral

    tbh i wanna know the highest grade level or like and entire reading level rubric thing and it’s not provided. as soon as it’s on here i’ll be happy ok.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      How the reading level is calculated:

      Select several 100-word samples throughout the text.
      Compute the average sentence length in words (divide the number of words by the number of sentences).
      Compute the percentage of words NOT on the Dale–Chall word list of 3,000 easy words.
      Compute this equation
      Raw score = 0.1579*(PDW) + 0.0496*(ASL) + 3.6365

      Where:

      Raw score = uncorrected reading grade of a student who can answer one-half of the test questions on a passage.
      PDW = Percentage of difficult words not on the Dale–Chall word list.
      ASL = Average sentence length
      Finally, to compensate for the “grade-equivalent curve,” apply the following chart for the Final Score:

      Raw score — Final score
      4.9 and below — Grade 4 and below
      5.0–5.9 — Grades 5–6
      6.0–6.9 — Grades 7–8
      7.0–7.9 — Grades 9–10
      8.0–8.9 — Grades 11–12
      9.0–9.9 — Grades 13–15 (college)
      10 and above — Grades 16 and above.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Readability

      Reply
      1. Gabriel

        Congratulations on developing such a unique tool. I use word counter frequently given the unreliability of the Common App’s text box(40 minutes limit).

        I wish all the admins the best of luck in the future.

        Post Scriptum: Love your website!

        Reply
  2. Nathan Patterson

    This system isn’t very good, as I was typing words basic middle school students should know, instead they commented that I’m at a college graduate level. Unless if this is counting people of which is below their reading level, it really needs to be fixed.

    Reply
    1. JT

      I wouldn’t be too sure about that.

      As a “middle school student” I was ALREADY reading “at a college level”, or close to it. Because I enjoyed reading, and would read a lot for pleasure outside of school.

      Furthermore, students are regularly forced to encounter and learn new words and concepts as they go through a school year, with the aim of expanding their vocabulary. Indeed, even adults still continually learn new words as a reader, too. There is no reason that people can’t read “above” their “grade level”; in fact, such things are to be encouraged and celebrated. It’s more a matter of minimum requirements.

      Reading Level should be considered not as the actual average reading capabilities at that grade (which will change over the course of the year anyway, and might change from year to year and also would be really hard to calculate, in comparison), so much as the MINIMUM education a person should be expected to ALREADY have, in order to understand a passage. But a person can be better-educated than the “minimum” standards, pretty easily. Especially in something like reading, where it’s fairly easy to expand your skills outside of school.

      Therefore, you can write in a manner where, yes, most middle school students would understand it, but because you use a wider variety of vocabulary, the “bare minimum” expectation for education is raised, in terms of who you should RELY on being able to read it.

      Just to provide an example, in fact, take the above text; the word variety is just enough that it says the Reading Level is 9th-10th Grade. But yes, the average middle schooler (which depending on your area, is either grades 6-8, 6-9, or 7 and 8) would likely have no problem comprehending it. Because it’s not about actual average reading ability at that “age”, it’s about the base level of suggested education someone of that level should have had by that point.

      This is why they tell you not to worry THAT much about Reading Level; it’s only one component of your writing’s audience to consider. And honestly, unless you are writing a children’s book with explicit intent to be either comprehensible to those of a certain age or teach those of a certain age new words? It’s…nice to know, but probably not a big deal.

      Unless you’re writing at “Grade 16″ level and your audience is NOT people with PhDs, in which case dear god please rein it in a little, Mr. Joyce. :P

      Reply
        1. admin Post author

          Correct. Misspelling and proper names (currently — we will be adding them) aren’t found on the list so they wouldn’t register as words a 4th grader would know.

          Reply
        2. STOPCOMPLAINING

          I love Paragraphs, Paragraphs, Paragraphs. hey. hey. hi

          i got college grad for that :)

          and btw everyone, stop complaining about the website. If you don’t like it, then just don’t use it. There’s seriously no need for this rubbish.

          Reply
  3. juan

    tbh I think there is no sure way to determine complexity without a human, as complexity itself has many different parts, some which are not necessarily quantitative. therefore there is no exact equation that may be used to describe “complexity.”

    btw i am in the 8th grade in a highly selective high school which has a lower acc rate than harvard univ. but still i dont think my writing, though better than most kids my age, has the level of “college graduate”. just sayin.

    Reply
    1. n/a

      gosh I hate all these people bragging on this site. “Oh-ho-ho, I’m so great, I spend 14 hours a day reading! I may be fat but I’ve already been accepted into Harvard at 14 yrs old.”

      Reply
    1. onlya

      but its kinda a fail this sentence got college student

      “hi my name is olya nd im going to tell you why dogs are good. Dogs are good because dogs are dogs”

      Reply
      1. admin Post author

        The level is college student because of the spelling mistakes which aren’t words on the 3000-word list and are considered words a 4th grader wouldn’t know.

        Reply
  4. Tardis

    On a whim, I typed in “I am Bob. I like cheese. I also like pasta. Asparagus is yucky. Fido eats my asparagus.” And it said that it is College Level.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Correct, because you used many of the words not on the 3000-word list. It would have been different if you had written “I am me. I like cheese. I also like noodles. Corn is bad. My dog eats my corn.” which would rank 5th-grade level, but says basically the same thing.

      Reply
    1. admin Post author

      It’s not “good” or “bad” — it simply tells you a person who has that level of education would likely be able to understand it and those at a lower grade level may have some difficulty in understanding it.

      Reply
    1. admin Post author

      The more words used, the more accurate the reading level will be in most cases. For technical writing like on DNA the way to do it is to define the terms which are above their vocabulary in terms that are easy to understand. Then you would want to do a readability check with the DNA terms you defined absent since the reader should now understand the meaning of them.

      Reply
  5. Nye draed

    I think that this should also take into account how short your sentences are, along with illogical words, and if you have strong diction or not. For example, “I showed the ytgab wrong. He did not like me. I frwag seld.” This would bring it up to a very high grade level, however, “showed” is quite weak. So is “used” and “utilized”. Those should bring down the points quite some, and using wrong words should also count.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      In theory, this is a great idea, but almost impossible to program. The reading level formula isn’t perfect, but it does give a rough idea which is better than nothing.

      Reply
  6. Nick

    I do not get the explanation. If you say that someone who reads what you wrote has to read at a college level, would that not automatically indicate that the writer is writing at a college level as well? I don’t get it.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      No. It tells you the words you use are at a college level, but nothing about the writing itself. For example,

      “The biology publication focused on cells and how they interact within the body. He hated the coursework, but he wanted to be a doctor.”

      and

      “The biologies publication focus on cell and how it interacted within the bodies. He hate coursework, but want to doctor.”

      are both college level reading, but both aren’t college level writing.

      Reply
    1. admin Post author

      If you use more words that aren’t found in the 3000 word list for 4th graders, it will increase the reading level. While it’s easy to manipulate this score, that’s not what it’s for. It’s to give you a general idea of who can read your writing when you write naturally.

      Reply
  7. Tayla

    It said my reading level was 9th-10th grade when actually it was pretty basic and was just describing a basic item. Can anyone explain?

    Reply
  8. pooparie

    i typed in somthing simple and it said it was college graduate level

    i think the whole idea is a bust but i like the idea if only it actually worked

    Reply
    1. Slakov

      It’s not that it doesn’t work, it’s that the formula depends on word count. Typing one sentence and basing your judgment of the programming on that is foolish on your part. It says right in the explanation that the longer the written work, the more accurate it will be.

      That is because it needs a larger sample environment. I’m seriously surprised so many people aren’t understanding that…

      Reply
  9. Frank

    I typed an original story of 496 words (up to 600) for SOTA Creative Writing 2016, I am primary 6 (6th Grade) in Singapore, and composed that type of story (I woke up but it wasn’t a dream) and found out that type was for Sec 3 to Sec 4 (9th to 10th grade). *unbelievable*

    Reply
  10. Blair

    How did my story go from 11th grade-12 grade to 9th-10th grade? I did not change anything, yet the reading appeared differently than it had before?

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      We have started to add more common words to the list (mostly conjunctions, plurals and different tenses of the 3000 words already on the list) to try and make it more accurate. This may have changed the reading level.

      Reply
      1. STOPCOMPLAINING

        Ummmm yeh I’m in year 8 at school and I’m not complaining, well not really but i pasted my english essay into it, and every few minutes it changes between 11th-12th grade and college graduate, but totally skips college level. This happened to my friend too. Why is this happening?

        Reply
  11. alyse (Alice)

    I love this site. I am doing a project for National History Day and I need it to be 1500 words or more. It’s a great tool and helps me set things out. Thank you for creating an awesome site.

    Reply
    1. Rich

      Me too! I’m also using this site for NHD. I’m kinda surprised and not surprised that there will be others using word counters for NHD; I guess we NHD people think alike?

      Reply
  12. Nerdy--Kat129

    I really do love this feature, but I only find it useful when writing non-fiction for school essays. I do a lot of fantasy writing and I find it hard to gage my writing’s level because I am using words that don’t exist because it’s the name of objects, places, creatures and worlds that don’t exist. If I took Erin Hunter’s Warriors, which can be comprehended by a 2nd grader, it would be drastically changed because of the vocabulary used by the cats to describe the things around them (Road=Thunderpath Human=Twoleg Flu=Greencough Noon=Sunhigh) Harry Potter would also be a great example and find itself with a very unfair upgrade. The words used in these books aren’t found in the Dale-Chall formula because they are words that don’t normally exist in the English language. I understand how hard to it to program for these kinds of things, but I do find it frustrating sometimes.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Yes, this formula does have limitations — it should only be used as a general guideline and if you’re writing like you suggested above, it’s not going to accurately reflect the reading level.

      Reply
    2. STOPCOMPLAINING

      If you find it frustrating, just don’t use it and stop complaining and taking your problems out on other people

      Reply
      1. Guest

        “If you find it frustrating, just don’t use it and stop complaining and taking your problems out on other people”

        This is almost as bad as the ‘if you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything at all’ argument. It’s nothing more than an attempt at deflecting criticism. It’s constructive criticism, too. The commenter wrote about, in detail, the limitations he/she encountered in regard to the system. That’s called ‘constructive critcism’, which is more helpful than any amount of praise. Mere praise is substanceless and says nothing. On the other hand, constructive critcism gives way to perpetual improvement. It feels nice to be praised, sure, but it isn’t helpful. And it may feel bad to be critcised, but it is helpful if you understand what you should be doing to remedy the issue. You could even say that the people who only praise you don’t care enough about you to recognise and/or help you improve your flaws. People who give a lot of constructive criticism devote their own time to improving someone else’s creation. If all humans seek validation, affirmation and understanding, constructive criticism is the purest form of that. Ironically, pure praise is hardly anything like that. Usually, the best kind of constructive criticism is also peppered with positivity AND praise. Praise on its own is substanceless, but when it’s used with constructive criticism, it becomes useful. This is what @Nerdy-Kat129 has done.

        It turns out that nothing could really be done about it, but should he/she really be denied their right to voice their opinion because they don’t ‘have anything nice to say?’ No, I don’t believe so. There was no rude conduct whatsoever in their comment, and it’s still helpful for fantasy writers reading it that may not have considered the possibility. I don’t understand why you ignored the majority of the comment in favour of focusing on the last four words. Constructive criticism can be sseen as complaining, I guess, since all criticism is complaining at heart–but that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing. The irony is that you’re substancelessly complaining about another comment with actual substance that is complaining about the feature. That part about ‘taking your problems out on other people’ sounds like a stock phrase you just threw in there without really understanding what it meant. It’s just some light criticism, nothing more. Don’t take it so personally or so seriously.

        And don’t take this comment aggressively, because I’m not being aggressive. If I was being aggressive, it would be lined with far more colourful language.

        Reply
  13. Darcy Miller

    This website is wonderful, thank you. Also, I do not understand how people do not understand the “Reading Level” function. The Author explains it clearly in the original post. Also, before commenting, one should read through the other comments to avoid being redundant. I saw the same question asked 6 different times by 6 different people. A question that is clearly explained in the beginning anyhow. I mean…you all know how to read, correct? :)

    Thanks for the website, it’s a great tool and I use it often.

    Reply
  14. Minna

    This is an awesome system, I’ll give you that, but I myself was very concerned when my 200 word small essay was rated as college level. After a small research, I discovered that the reason for this was that I was writing in Finnish therefore every word was outside the 3 000 words of a fourth grader. Other than using a foreign language, I think this website in genius and I plan to use it when actually writing something in English!

    Reply
    1. Joakim

      I agree. It’s an awesome website and the best around but i wrote a simple text in swedish and the reading level was rated collage graduate.

      Reply
  15. Matt Daemon

    I have been searching in google for an online word counting tool. I ended up at your site.
    Later on, I have visited the others. This is by far the best word count tool out there. Thank you!

    Reply
  16. Jessica

    I literally wrote the title and it said college student. I like the unique tool, but I don’t think it is very reliable. I love the website though.
    My title, however, was: What are the writer’s thoughts and feelings on ‘The Merchant of Venice’?

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Reading level gets more accurate when you write more — it’s easy to miss many of the 3000 words when you just write a single sentence.

      Reply
  17. someone

    It is (almost) impossible to make a really good reading level thingy. i wrote “Insidious potatoes, insulated rueing, altruistic spellchecker, current affairs. ” and copy/pasted it many times. gave me a college graduate level. Pasted my essay, and it gave me college graduate. I’m not even the equivalent of 10th grade…

    Reply
    1. Jake3858

      You might want to read the article. If you do, you’ll understand why you got the reading level you did. If you haven’t read the article, then you shouldn’t be commenting.

      Reply
  18. Aris

    The idea behind this is nice, but I don’t think it provides any useful information whatsoever. I can see the potential, but at its current state it will only manage to befuddle a user if anything.

    Main problems are that it doesn’t recognise plural form/passive form of words, and that the whole 3k word concept is a little silly to begin with. Having multiple dictionaries (one for each level) would work much better. But yeah, i don’t know if you can find word lists like that..

    Plural thing example:

    I like apple. I hate bee. I love girl. <4th Grade
    I like apples. I hate bees. I love girls. 11-12th Grade

    Reply
  19. Guy

    I typed in “The dog eats sandwiches” and then typed “.” and made an space after that and then it said reading level “collage graduate”. I like the idea but doesn’t work all that well

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      It’s due to the plurals — we are working on a fix. If you write “The dog eat sandwich.” it come sin at below 4th grade.

      Reply
  20. Jim S

    Seriously, I found the Math Captcha harder to cypher than the idea of reading levels. I popped in to see if there was a rating above College Level, and was surprised at some of the criticism people type.

    After using this website for two years, about 100 times, I can say that it does work. Sometimes my writing comes out College on the first time; others, it can be 9/10 or 11/12th grade; I’ll use the word frequency feature, include common words, and am usually surprised to see how many times I used “the, and, from”.

    After a little editing, I’ll remove some words, rewrite/substitute this and that, and watch the writing level increase.

    Reply
  21. Jake Griffin

    Dear Word Counter. The reading level rating is an great feature but when i get up to two sentences its says “collage graduate”. Even when i type in things like for an example ” The dogs eats sandwiches”. Is it something wrong with my computer or is this för everyone?

    Reply
    1. STOPCOMPLAINING

      ump actually everyone is frustrated that they are getting high levels for simple writing. Seriously people just stop complaining. Admin can’t do anything about the fact that you don’t suck. If you are just going to keep complaining please stop. If you hate it that much either stop using the website or just make your own if your that smart because hey everyone is write. Everyones getting college graduate aren’t they??? :|

      Reply
  22. Rebecca Doherty

    Hi there. Here to voice my appraisal for this website (despite what all you negative people above are saying).
    I am using this to aid in writing my book and I am really pleased with it’s software. This has helped me structuralise and manage the content of the book I am currently in progress of writing. Keep up the good work, site admins! :)

    Reply
    1. STOPCOMPLAINING

      yeah, I wish everyone would just STOP COMPLAINING. as if they could do any better. This is actually a really smart website and if you think it’s not then just stop acting as if you’re so smart because unless you can make a new better website, you can’t be that smart.

      Reply
  23. Isabel Rohrlach

    I typed in this, “”A dog akuefbaubdmcjbk sandwiches.”Saijsbuffebw fjskefbhfhe dog. Wilfred said i jslifdw ej hfilsie jjufbaekd v”, after reading some of the comments and indeed is said I am a college graduate. I believe you need to rethink your reading level.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Of course — if you make up nonsense words that don’t exist, then they wouldn’t be recognized by a 4th grader or be on the list.

      Reply
  24. diane

    My writing level is usually 9/10th grade but sometimes if I put some effort, I get 11/12th grade. BUT it’s killing me how my friends most of the time gets 11/12th and hardly anything lower than that- their lowest would be 9/10th. I keep asking myself what I’ve been doing wrong. As a writer, it kind of makes me feel small.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      It’s reading level, not writing level. You shouldn’t feel bad about it since it doesn’t say anything about how well you write.

      Reply
  25. Mike

    I was wondering about this, I’ve been at the 11-12th grade level for my story and a chapter brought it down to 9-10th. Is this even a reliable metric to use?

    Reply
  26. Linguist

    It’s important for someone to do their research before putting discouraging posts on someone’s website that show nothing more or less than your own inability to read. The administrator of this site made it very clear what the so-called “readability” level is. This is not a random or arbitrary score given by this website. It is a scale invented by Dale and Chall in 1945 and updated 50 years later. It has been accepted by statisticians and linguists as an accurate estimate (note, not exact end-all-beat-all fact, just an estimate) of what level an individual’s reading capacity would need to be in order to understand 100% of the document. I know that, for myself, I was reading on a high school level by kindergarten, but my little brother who is in middle school struggles to read on-grade-level books. Meanwhile, he was helping me with my high school math homework when he was not even in school yet. Everyone’s mind is wired differently. This scale in no way suggests that you (the reader) could not read more than 3,000 basic words by fourth grade or that you (the writer) are not able to write to your target audience. This scale is more of a measurement of the commonality of the words you use and the length of your sentences than it is a measurement of your “ability”. Then again, if you are one of those who thinks the system is broken because you typed in so much nonsense and were told that you must be a college graduate clearly lack the ability to read this article (which is on an 11th-12th grade level). To write at a 4th grade level, your words need to (on average) be shorter than 4 letters, while to write on a college graduate level, they only need to be (on average) about 5 letters long. This is a consistent trend that can be measured, so for those of you who think you can make a paper or short story “higher level” by using bigger words, there is minimal evidence of this. Better to stick with how you can write comfortably and leave the administrator of this site be. (Note, I write most comfortably between a 9th and 12th grade level. If you read this thinking “wow, he’s a hypocrite, using a bunch of big words and long sentences just so he can sound more “complicated”, this passage ranked at 11th-12th grade, and that’s where I like it!)

    Reply
    1. Cindy

      Thank you Linguist! I was getting tired of scrolling through the SAME comments looking for anything USEFUL! You nailed it!
      To the young folks, in the future, consider taking time to read through previous comments before repeating and arguing about an issue that has already been addressed. Thanks.

      Reply
      1. STOPCOMPLAINING

        yes, omg. That is so true, its actually so annoying that people are so stupid today.
        I’m only 12 years old, and let me tell all you negative people out there who have nothing better to do with their lives than post negative comments on a smart website that you can not use, then you are a waste of space and your wasting your breath. The admins on this website have to keep replying to your stupid posts, just scroll up and you’ll be able to see 5000000000 of the same frickin’ questions – all negative might i add. Just get a life and stop ruining other peoples including the admins who have just created this website for people who are going to use it and find it useful, not for people who just complain about it the whole time.

        Reply
    1. admin Post author

      If you don’t spell words correctly, they will not be part of the list. We are working on plurals.

      Reply
  27. Desmond

    Posted a Shakespearean sonnet into this, reading level was 9′th grade. Shakespeare says : website doth be’th 10/10

    Reply
  28. Art

    This is a cool tool! I can see this reversed as an added tool for HR departments. There’s so much automation as it is, but companies would definitely pay for something like this.

    Reply
  29. Ace nsmk

    I like roses. Roses are red. Red roses have thorns. Roses can be pink. Pink roses are pretty. I like pink roses.
    I’m sorry but there is no way the above sentences does not make 4th grade.
    Red, roses, thorn, and like are all words used in dr Seuss books. I see absolutely no reason this qualifies as high school intellect requirements. I understand the basics of what has been discussed above, but I believe until this bug is fixed, it might be best to advise it’s broken or remove it. As all I have to say is green eggs and ham would likely generate a higher level when only two random versus of…
    I would not like them
    here or there.
    I would not like them
    anywhere.
    I do not like
    green eggs and ham.
    I do not like them,
    Sam-I-am
    Rates as 5-6 th grade.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      It’s due to the plurals used instead of the singular. If you write that “rose” instead of “roses” it comes out as 5th grade. We will have an update for the plural issue soon.

      Reply
  30. Hannah

    If you guys read the previous comments before asking questions to the admin and complaining about the reading system, it would save the admin a lot of time. Thanks!

    Reply
  31. Joni

    It’s fantastic that you have put together a tool like this. I like to know the reading level so I’m not writing in a way that others won’t be able to understand. It’s a great resource and helps me make sure I’m writing at the correct level.

    Reply
  32. Jacob

    Love this tool. Gonna drop a link on my college’s discussion board since we have word count requirements for our posts. Should be useful and send you some of that tasty ad revenue :D Thanks.

    Reply
  33. RandomGuy

    I love how all these keyboard warrior kids think using big words and sophisticated paragraphing techniques gives them the status of a college graduate, when in reality, in higher education, you get awarded more marks and get given better results for writing in a more simple fashion so anyone who reads it will have a better understanding, in other words getting your point across to everyone. What use is it being smart and pompous when only 3 people can understand wtf you’re talking about.

    Reply
  34. GrimTsukasa

    One thing that hasn’t been mentioned, or at least i haven’t noticed being mentioned is that sentence length seems to play a role, so if someone blotches their sentence with comma splices and other errors it will raise the reading level. one way to test this is to simply write the word “the” a bunch of times, adding periods through out; the more periods the shorter the sentences the lower the reading level, less periods longer sentences higher reading level. While i agree that college and university students and graduates to write longer sentences, i don’t think it should be a part of the reading level as it may encourage other to comma splice or otherwise inappropriately combine two independent clauses.

    Reply
  35. A home schooled small town girl

    I am a 7th grader writing a book report on the spy so far i have 714 words and 3848 characters and it says the level is 11-12th i really dont belive it at all :/ but i like the feature its pretty cool i just wish it worked better

    Reply
  36. Kerosene

    I’ve been using Word Counter for the last three years, at least, to help me along as I write fiction. Keeping a reliable word and page count has made my life so much easier. I was nothing short of thrilled when I discovered the auto-save function — much more reliable than Word for my scatterbrained self. Not to mention the keyword density, arguably my favourite of the available features. I’d always been curious about the reading level function. Thank you for this article, for your endless patience, and for this tool!

    Reply
  37. Frenchselfasking

    Does this tool work with foreign languages ? I wrote a long text in French and this said this was college graduate level so i assume this is not working with french, does someone knows were i could actually find such a useful tool for other languages than English. thanks

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      No, this only works in English.

      I’m not aware of one that gives reading levels in other languages other than English.

      Reply
    2. Houstra

      My writing level is much higher than 7th grade! This tool sucks. How dare you tell me that my writing level is at a 7th grade when I’m in college. I wouldn’t be in college if I could only write at a 7th grade level. This is a disgrace!

      Reply
      1. admin Post author

        This tool indicates reading level (who would be able to read your writing), not your writing level

        Reply
  38. PT Doot

    I can’t believe the amount of stupidity in the comments here. This is a tool that gives you an estimate on what level student would be able to understand your writing. Of course, you can manipulate it to come up with unrealistic reading levels. That doesn’t mean that the tool is useful. Maybe if all of you spent more time trying to improve your writing rather than trying to find ways to manipulate the formula you would be doing better in school.

    Reply
  39. blurryface

    I typed in an obviously stupid sentence (with an okay one as well), and the result was college graduate. The thing I typed in was as follows:
    “Zia Rey had finally exited the hospital with her son and her friend.
    DOGGIES. IS. MY. LIFEY. YEEEEEE. HUEHUEHUEHE. ME. HATEY. DAWGIE-WAHGGYS. ME WUFFY-CHUFFY. KITTY POO POO PIEZ.”
    (Don’t judge me.)
    That was college graduate.
    Alright. That happened.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Again, if the words aren’t on the list of 3000 words (such as a person’s name) or just strange rarely used words, it’s going to rank the level high.

      Reply
  40. Jacob

    I am in fourth grade. My reading level is 10th-12th grade??? I think something might be a little bit wrong.

    Reply
  41. TeachingAssistant

    When will this feature be corrected? I literally typed in “Yejh uwiwejhu hwr oerwoj foew. ewifw jimef w. ji wifuew df.” and it said “College Graduate”. Granted, I am a college graduate, but this is pure gibberish. Lol.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      There is nothing to correct. Jibberish wouldn’t be part of the 3000 common words, so of course it would rank at college reading level.

      Reply
  42. Tariq

    I wrote this : dark souls. dark souls. dark souls. and it gave me a college graduate and I tried refreshing the page as well but it still gave me college graduate (I’m using Microsoft edge if you are wondering)

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Please read the article and other comments I’ve replied to which have written similar short sentences as you have. It will explain why this is the case.

      Reply
  43. Omar

    This is an interesting tool. I think the reading level feature is beneficial, but I’d like to see a writing level tool as well. That would be great and would help a lot to improve my writing. Then I’d know if I was writing at my grade level or above.

    Reply
  44. Nik

    “””
    Silly people did not read the page. So they do not know how the tool works. If they read the page all the way through they would not post silly things.
    “””

    There we go. To continue a trend, pop that in the box. It returns <4th grade. Hopefully that means the people posting ridiculous questions realise they look quite 'silly'.

    Reply
  45. DracoHandsome

    This reading level tool is an excellent idea but I think it needs some fine-tuning. It distinguishes only between two kinds of words: 4th-grader words and not 4th-grader words.

    That means that if you use enough words a fifth-grader ought to know, it will still rate it as college-level reading, not fifth-grade reading.

    Now of course it would be a monstrously ambitious project to rate EVERY word in the English language as a specific grade level, but if this was at least done for a set of common enough words (500~1000 per grade level past 4th), then it would already significantly improve the accuracy of the rating. All words that aren’t given such a rating can safely be assumed to be college-level vocabulary because they’re too obscure for the raters to have remembered.

    Reply
  46. me

    Haha we don’t use “grade” here so I have no idea what it would actually stand for here. But that’s also partly because I don’t know much stuff in the first place :)

    Reply
  47. me

    Word counter is really useful though, especially for the school essays and project. I just wish I actually understood what the grades mean. It’ll help a lot ((especially since I keep forgetting and start typing in short forms, it shows me the spelling errors)) xD

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      “Grades” are the same as primary school years. Fourth grade is primary school 4th year. Junior High school is usually years 7 and 8 and high school is years 9 through 12.

      Reply
  48. Guest47

    Dear admin, have you considered using the reading level to augment the reading speed (i.e. to use it as a multiplier)? Technical papers would certainly be ranked at colleague graduate level, simply because of the density of jargons used. Reading speeds would be lower in such instances. Kindly consider.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      While not exactly what you’re requesting here, you can adjust the reading speed manually (Click on Options, then Details — find Reading Speed and click on the wrench next to it). This will allow you to adjust the reading speed higher or lower depending on your needs.

      Reply
    1. admin Post author

      If you write in any language other than English, you’ll get a college graduate rating because the system is based on 3000 common English words. If you’re writing German, you would not be using any of them.

      Reply
  49. It's Me!!!

    ok, this has apparently nothing to do with the reading level, but I have one problem. I was typing an essay for school and I went to another tab to do some research. When I went back to the Word Counter tab, the number of words dropped from 528 to 502. So now I’m quite confused which number of word I should use… Other than that, Word Counter has been a great help!!!

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      I’m not sure why that would happen — if you want to send us the writing you were counting, we can take a look to see if we can replicate what happened and see if we can solve the mystery.

      Reply
      1. It's Me!!!

        It’s fine! I guess I’ll go with the 502 as I saved and closed the tab then it showed 502. Thanks!

        Reply
  50. RayTSG

    Perhaps you should stick the word “Beta” after the Reading Level feature on the count page. It might cut down on the number of times you have to explain the same exact thing over and over and over and over again. They’ll just go “Oh, it’s in Beta”, and move on with their lives. Considering how stupid some of these responses I’ve read so far have been, it’s pretty likely. Kinda like how when Valve stuck the random stick things on the back of Chell’s legs in Portal, and playtesters stopped asking how she survived dropping so far.

    Reply
  51. andreramos

    I was curious about what it meant and came to check this page and all I find is a bunch of assholes complaining about everything

    Reply
  52. Burga

    This tool isn’t exactly correct. You should fix it. If I can manipulate it to get a higher reading level, then I can never be sure it’s the correct reading level. You should make it so it can;t be manipulated. Then we can trust it!

    Reply
  53. Dude

    This load of garbage is apparently college grad level:
    The dog eats sandwiches through which quantum entanglement causes apocalyptic flame to spew from the ashes of the nether worlds. Although obscene and vulgar the knowledge of wherewith the sacrament of illogical catalysts register a sense of zen. Hereupon, let it be known that although mortal knowledge is easy to acquiesce it is indeed a gem of the froth of power.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Please read the article. Reading level has to do with words a person would understand, not the actual writing.

      Reply
  54. Alex

    Wow.
    Wow can a word counter site create so much hate?!
    I LOVE IT!
    Keep going you keyboard warriors! :)
    You bring so much joy to the world.
    PSYCH! you guys have no lives, just like Poke hunters have no lives.
    Get out of your mom’s basement, you’re 34 and a half, obese and without friends
    (HINT: get some friends, and a life (visit black.market.international to buy some friends if you cant make any)).

    Reply
  55. brean

    I can’t believe all the complaining going on here for a tool that’s here to help improve writing. if you think it’s so awful, build a better one!

    Reply
  56. Endi

    What is the highest level? College Graduate?

    This got College Graduate:
    Insiduous precipitate insular cognitive osculator consensus iniquitous oxymoron ostentious corollary commission reverberation sanctify pious exoneration exploit reinforce cancerous nebulous nematode cognitive reverence reticence promiscuous pulmonary propinquity pension treaty of Versailles masque vermillion respiration fermentation dollop systemic cancerous faculty heinous vehement sought neigh balustrade balustrade iniquitous iniquituous

    Reply
  57. PatchPaw

    This is apparently college graduate type of work:
    .Uay vary VARY VARY correact stoary.
    Bi ASHY LENE
    once there was a bad guy named tomooogoa. he likwed to eat liattle hippos and techers. he had very avanded ways of catchibg thim.
    hippos were not very smaert so theay ware eaesily cauight.
    Look at the spidaer on may waell. And me scquished it and now it’s daed. Me I’mn hungary. Oh lookit the pretti lamp. Sicccors are very danugerous. You cannot keep thim aeround hippos.

    Reply
  58. tacomangetrekt

    I typed in … I am too cool 4 u kid. Get rekt or jump off a bidge. Go poo yrsekf and got 11th-12th grade
    P.S. I am pretty sure a 3rd grader could type better.

    Reply
  59. kef

    Everyone leaving a comment here is so pretentious. Who cares if you’re a 4th grader with a 12th grade reading level. That means NOTHING kiddo. This website is an excellent tool for writing essays, not to brag about how smart you think you are. The reading level thing is just an algorithm to give you a basic approximation. Of course it’s not going to be perfect.

    Reply
  60. Stewart

    For my GCSE photography course we had to write about a photographer of our choice, so i wrote it in word counter just so i could estimate the amount of room i would need/how many pages i would need to fit my writing in. When i had done 86 words i looked across and it said my writing level was a 4th grade, i then went downstairs to get a drink. My cat walked on my laptop, specifically the ‘x’ key. When i got back i noticed my kitty had added ‘x x x x xxxxxxxxxxxxx x x x x x x x’ etc my writing level went up to a college student. Not trying to bash here, just stating my experience

    Reply
  61. Astral

    Huh, this word counter actually recognizes that using simple to read and concise sentences is college level writing. I wrote a really simple blurb for my music theory class and was just checking the word count when the reading level surprised me.
    “The beat unit for simple meters is a non dotted quarter note.  Examples of simple meters include, 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4. The beat unit for compound meters is a dotted quarter note.  Examples of compound meters include 3/8, 6/8, and 9/8,
    The natural subdivision of a simple meter is a quarter note into two eighth notes. A half note in simple meter could be subdivided into 4 eighth notes. The natural subdivision of a compound meter is a dotted quarter note into a triplet of eighth notes. A dotted half note in compound meter could be subdivided into 6 eighth notes.
    The simple 2/4 meter is most closely related to the compound 6/8 meter. 2/4 contains 2 pulses of quarter notes per measure, while 6/8 contains 2 pulses per measure as well, except the beat is on a dotted quarter note instead.
    The 3/4 simple meter is most closely related to the compound 9/8 meter. 3/4 contains 3 pulses of quarter notes per measure, while 9/8 contains 3 pulses of dotted quarter notes per measure.
    The 4/4 simple meter is most closely related to the compound 12/8 meter. 4/4 contains 4 pulses of quarter notes per measure, while 12/8 contains 4 pulses of dotted quarter notes per measure.
    While playing music, I prefer simple meter, as it is easier to read and interpret, and pieces tend to be written in simple meter anyways. I do enjoy listening to compound meter, where it is easier to write swing rhythms whatnot. I do not have any real preference for either kind of meter, both are important parts of music.
    Washington Post March by John Philip Sousa is an example of a piece in compound meter (6/8).
    Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin is an example of a piece in simple meter (4/4).”
    Really, some kid in elementary school band should be able to understand this … music harder than writing confirmed??? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Reply
  62. Amy

    Yo, I thought you said that I would be able to understand this!
    Haha. yea but, you’re just too stupid lol
    What?!
    *Sticks tongue out* Mehhh Go away dummy! Haha!

    I’m pretty sure what I wrote about isn’t a grade 11-12 reading level… ^^;;

    Reply
  63. GMun

    Admin: I think a link to the 3000 words would stop the same questions repeated over and over and over and over and over and ……. I’m sure you get it. If you put a link in the article and said it was a list of 3000 words expected to be known by grade ? (age ?) in the USA (?) you might not find yourself answering the same question again and again.

    I am assuming it’s a US list because of your use of ‘grade’ and not age. This means writing in ‘English English’ words such as ‘colour’ (color) and many more, will not be on the list either, I’m guessing..?

    Is there a standardised list for other grades in the US or are all other levels calculated purely by the equation (words per sentences etc.) you have written above? I’m just curious there – I’m from the UK.

    I like the site, this is actually the first time I’ve been concerned with reading level – I’m trying to simplify what I’m writing, but mostly that’s ensuring medical terminology is understood by using the commonly used word in parenthesis afterwards – e.g. scapula (shoulder blade), so unless I removed all the medical terms to test it I’m not going to get a different result. Reading time and words per sentence, number if sentences etc. is more helpful while I’m comparing various options for a collaborative piece of writing.

    I clicked to see how the reading level was assessed, to see how/ if I should try other ways to lower it, but it’s not necessary. I scrolled through the comments section and thought I’d add a positive comment noting how useful the tool is when it’s used correctly and understood because of the number of comments basically showing people don’t seem to understand the explanation fully.

    I’m a linguist (psycho-neuro-cognitive linguist, specifically, at postgrad level) so I suggest an example often used in distinguishing between syntax and semantics – at the basis of the argument ‘what is a sentence?’ – Usually described as a grouping of words that adheres to grammatical rules in a language and makes sense. Noam Chomsky (‘father of modern linguistics’) proved a sentence could be completely correct in its use of syntax, but entirely nonsensical, semantically: “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.” One of the most famous linguists, Steven Pinker uses the example in his popsci book, The Language Instinct and it’s constantly used in linguistic arguments. I’m aware you may know all this, having created this site, but if not, it is an example that is easy to look up if you wanted to add to your explanation of the difference between reading level and writing level – anyone can stick that specific sentence into Google and read 40 years of linguistic debate.

    Sorry, just thinking……… while procrastinating over the actual writing I’m trying to do that doesn’t interest me, whereas this analysis does. Good site!

    Reply
  64. Inquiring Mind

    To be honest, I persuaded myself to not comment after viewing some of the ridiculous comments in response to this article. I originally used this site to check the word count on a piece of writing I was assigned to complete in my English class. I spotted the reading level as I read the word count. However, I became very offended when it claimed my writing was at seventh to eighth grade reading level. To familiarize you with myself, I am an eleventh grade student who skipped a year of school and is one of the smartest in my honors classes. I have scored immensely well on the SAT writing portion and as a seventh grader and as an eleventh grader. Without exception, I scored an A on my pieces of writing for school. As a curious and inquiring mind, I decided to test the authenticity of the reading level. The following was considered college level: “Hence, heathens stood lackadaisically. Therefore, dauntless must diverge.” A few of you might see some familiar words in those two sentences. The first is an allusion to the song “Heathens” from the movie, “Suicide Squad,” contains my favorite word (a form of lackadaisical), and also alluded to a viral post about the number of degrees required for ‘hence’ not to be considered plagiarism. The second is a reference to the book “Divergent” by Veronica Roth. Due to sheer insanity and boredom, I decided to see the reading level on this comment and it was considered an eleventh to twelfth grade reading level.

    Reply
    1. Inquiring Mind

      Before I get a million trolls scavenging around the mistake in my comment, I just noticed the extra ‘and’ in the first sentence about myself. Therefore, I trolled myself.

      Reply
    2. Nate

      There’s a quote that says “Easy reading is damned hard writing.” – Unknown

      In other words. If your writing is easy to read, you should be very pleased with yourself.

      Reply
  65. Gladis

    Thanks so much for this tool. This is great for students and people in any industry. Very helpful technology. Thank you so much.

    Reply
  66. Anoynomous

    Many people are immune to pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis but some times pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is very common especially around volcanos. It’s due to the use of higher-level dictionary terms. While it is completely gibberish and makes no sense, passing the paragraph to a typical fourth grader would leave them rather confused about 90% of the words used; the metric uses what a fourth grader would typically understand as the baseline and goes up from there based on the commonality of words pulled from the dictionary it uses for the formula. “The interrelational level of the synaptic exchange between various idea that, in a post-structural sort of analysis, give way to all the meandering tropes which make up our existences through an intersectional framework all add to the propinquity of intradimensional experiences, all within a subpar trope that mellifluously delineates all our existences’ sakes. “ Many accoutrements are used for gasconading. always stay equanimity when going through pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.

    Reply
  67. Tarzan

    hi everyone I love word counter its really helped me with my 10 000 word essay I didn’t hav 2 count it all by myself I found this and fell in love with it I recommend it 2 anyone.!!!***

    Reply
  68. Unknown

    Do not take this as criticism it is simply an idea. What if you also took in the vocabulary from the grade textbooks as they usually have very specific words or even use the words from them in general as I have noticed each year they subtly increase in vocabulary strength. Also anyone whom wants to complain please read all other comments as they have repeated the same complaints various times. Leave the creators alone as this idea is quite amazing and stop repeating complaints as this is no longer constructive and is simply annoying.

    Ps. Please don’t comment on my grammar as I am aware it is terrible.

    Reply
  69. Carl

    I wrote about articles related to driving licence and used this site to check functionality, result came is “College Student”, which is closest to relevancy. :) Thanks

    Reply
  70. D.W.

    Like everything, people who do nothing complain and nit-pick the most.

    Great website, great explanation. Nothing’s perfect, but what this provides is 1000x’s more beneficial than the nothing than constant detractors provide.

    Reply
  71. ForeverEnd

    Here’s a link to my flickr account with proof that the credibility of the Reading Level tab being very untrustworthy. https:[email protected]/31842003150/in/dateposted-public/lightbox/

    Reply
  72. College Graduate

    Despite my grammatical errors, and nonsensical phrasing, the following was deemed College Graduate:
    “circumlocutions gregarious finite element analysis dynamic planar kinematic multivariate calculus. Propulsion physicist berate bereaved asymptotic asymmetrically. Unbeknownst partition undersecretary vector integrate professionally dictate criterion abalone distinguished foolhardy”

    Dang, I’m smarted, huh?

    Reply

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