Reading Index (RAI)

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Appropriate For New Applicants
Existing Employees
Comprehensiveness Basic
Administration Time - 30 min
Format pencil icon
Scoring Options hand icon
Language English
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The Reading-Arithmetic Inventory (RAI) is a paper-and-pencil inventory that measures the job applicant’s level of development in reading and/or math computation. As with any selection tool, the RAI should be used in conjunction with other pre-employment screening procedures such as interviews and reference checks.

The Reading-Arithmetic Inventory measures applicants on the following scales:

Reading Index

• Picture-word association
• Word decoding
• Comprehension of phrases
• Comprehension of sentences
• Comprehension of paragraphs

Arithmetic Index

• Addition and subtraction of whole numbers
• Multiplication and division of whole numbers
• Basic operations involving fractions
• Basic operations involving decimals and percentages

The Reading Index, contains 60 items that test applicant’s ability to read and understand basic materials through to grade nine.

The Arithmetic Index, contains 54 items that test ability to add, subtract, multiply, divide and use fractions, decimals and percentages to grade 8.

If a higher grade-level determination is required, the test is available in another version which tests to the grade 12 level. It includes 72 items on the reading scale (adding -phrases, sentences and paragraphs) and 70 on the mathematics scale (adding - square roots, powers, geometry and word problems).

The tests have been validated for accuracy against the following occupations:

Reading Index

• Assembler
• Carpenter
• Electrician
• Freight car repairer
• Heavy equipment operator
• Machinist
• Salesperson-driver/route person
• Telegrapher
• Warehouse/materials
• Yard clerk

Arithmetic Index

• Claims auditor
• Electrician
• Keypunch operator
• Maintenance mechanic
• Telephone service representative
• Warehouse/materials handler
• Plumber
• Telegrapher
• Yard clerk

In general, the RAI 12 would be most appropriate for English speaking individuals. However, many bilingual or multi-lingual individuals may have sufficient English language skills to be effectively assessed with the RAI 12. It does help differentiate level of English language comprehension with respect to conventional US grade level difficulty.

If the purpose is to establish whether someone is able to understand and handle college education lectures and assignments in English, the RAI 12 would at least give an indication of poorer proficiency in English. If it is used to allow or deny access to the training program there should be a close link established between success in the program and minimum reading and arithmetic proficiencies first.

If the goal is to help develop or improve English skills, individuals who have little English language facility or comprehension would probably be better assessed using a tool like the TOEFEL first to establish their language facility.

Regarding learning disabilities, there are many kinds of LD. Some people with learning disabilities are still able to complete an assessment like the RAI 12. It could be useful in a more limited way, but results should be interpreted cautiously. Accommodations may be beneficial, but aren’t always simple for cognitive measures like the RAI 12.

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