Estimating gender ratios of poor reading using large-scale assessments

Lisa Limbrick*, Kevin Wheldall, Alison Madelaine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Extensive research indicates that there are more boys than girls who are struggling readers, although considerable variation in gender ratios has been reported as a result of a lack of consensus in defining and measuring poor reading. The purpose of this study was to establish stable and consistent gender ratios for poor reading using a single definition and measure Australia-wide. The National Assessment Program-Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is the first large-scale assessment to assess all students across Australia on the same measure, at the same time. By defining poor reading as scoring in the lowest band, gender ratios computed for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 ranged from 1.44 to 1.68. Gender ratios decreased when a less stringent definition was applied. Gender ratios for poor performance in writing, spelling, punctuation and grammar, and numeracy are also reported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-222
Number of pages33
JournalAustralian Journal of Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


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