Accelerated Reader
Frequently Asked Questions

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What is AR?

AR or Accelerated Reader is an Electronic Learning Resource that analyzes readability levels of books, guides students to appropriate level reading materials, and provides computer generated quizzes to assess comprehension. AR was originally developed in 1986 and has grown into the company called Renaissance Learning. Most quizzes are comprised of ten multiple choice questions.

How does AR work?
1. The student chooses a book from at his/her appropriate reading level and reads it at his/her own pace.
2. The student takes a computer quiz to measure how well he/she comprehended the book.
3. The student is scored immediately upon completion of the quiz.
4. Parents can be notified immediately of quiz results by setting up an email address on Home Connect.
5. A student can only take a quiz on a title once. For example, if a child took a quiz on Green Eggs and Ham in first grade, he/she will not be able to take a test on that book again in second grade.

Where can you get AR Books?
1.  IWA Library
2.  Public Library
3.  Bookstores
4.  Scholastic Book Fairs
5.  Home Collections

Where do students take AR quizzes?
Students use classroom computers to take AR quizzes.

How many quizzes should my child take per quarter?
First through fifth grade students are required to earn a specific number of points each quarter. Each book is worth a different number of points. See for more details on points or contact your child’s homeroom teacher for details. Your child may earn more than the recommended number of points.
What is a passing score on an AR quiz?
70% is a passing grade on an AR quiz.
IWA AR Grading Scale
10/10 = 100% = A+
9/10   = 90%  = B+
8/10   = 80%  = C
7/10   = 70%  = D-
6/10   = 60%  = F
What do the colored dots on the school library books mean?

In order to guide students to books in their reading level, the IWA library AR titles have been color-coded using the following system:
0-1.9               Green Dot
2.0-2.9             Blue Star
3.0-3.9             Orange Star
4.0-4.9             Green Star
5.0-5.9             Pink Star
6.0-6.9             Purple Star
7.0 and up         Red Star
Why doesn’t the public library label the AR books?
With over 150,000 quizzes available, the public library cannot keep up. If you are at the public library, you can search from any library computer to see if a quiz is available
What do the abbreviations IL, BL, and Points mean?
To help students select appropriate books, every book that has an AR quiz has been assigned an interest level (IL), a book level (BL) and a point value. 
 Interest level (IL) refers to the sophistication of a book’s content, ideas, and theme and is based on
   publisher recommendations.  You would use the interest level to determine if a child should read the book.
       LG=lower grades, approximately K-3
       MG=middle grades, approximately 4-8
       UG=upper grades, approximately 9-12
 Book Levels (BL) are based on an ATOS readability scale developed by Renaissance Learning.  The full-text
   of the book is scanned into a computer and the difficulty of the words is analyzed.  The book level is a  
   measure of the difficulty of the text and helps predict which books students can understand. 
 Points are based on both the length and the difficulty of the book.  Therefore, the longer and harder the book
   is, the more points it is worth.  Some schools use points as an incentive program.
How do I know my child’s ATOS Book Level?
ATOS book level is a point range of your child’s reading ability. The main goal is to have your child read on his/her reading level and score a 90% or greater on the corresponding reading practice quiz. When children comprehend what they are reading, they easily score 90% or better on quizzes. Research shows that the better the student scores, the more he/she is benefiting from the AR program. 90% is good, but greater than 90% is better! If your child is scoring 100% repeatedly, then it is time to move up to a more challenging ATOS book level. If your child continually scores 80% or less, the ATOS book level should be lowered. Just because your child is in second grade, doesn’t mean he/she should only test on books between 2.0-2.9. These books may be too difficult or too easy for your child. Use the AR report that is included in your child’s quarterly report card to help determine your child’s appropriate ATOS book level. If you are unsure, ask your child’s teacher for help. 
How can I help my child with AR?
Encourage reading at home.
Ask your child questions about the book he/she is reading.
Know your child’s reading level.
Check to see that your child is selecting books on his/her reading level.
Praise good percentages.
Watch for scores below 80% on a single quiz, since that indicates there might be a problem.  If a student is scoring low on quizzes, help him/her to figure out where he/she is having difficulty (i.e. Was the book too hard?  Too long?).  Encourage that a 90% average be maintained.
What is AR Bookfinder?
AR Bookfinder is an exciting new online tool from Renaissance Learning that will help you find appropriate Accelerated Reader books for your child to read. With AR Bookfinder, parents and students can: Quickly access helpful details about every book in the AR quiz library. Develop custom reading lists based on criteria such as author, interest level, book level, point value, and more. See profiles on each book that includes a brief description, number of pages, ISBN, LCCN, date published, series, topics, and more. Print up to date quiz lists .

How do I get help with AR Bookfinder?
There is a help button on the top right of the screen.

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