We went to ds's parents evening last night. His report says that he is "reading at a very high level". I know he is - he's always been a reader so it's no surprise. I asked, out of curiosity more than anything, what his reading age was, and his teacher said that they only test reading age if it's necessary to support a Statement or something like that because it doesn't test the important bit - that is the comprehension - it only tests decoding. I didn't realize this. If it's true, what is the point of testing reading ages?
Some reading tests purport to test comprehension. Sometimes these are 'cloze' tests where the child has to fill in the right missing word in a sentence, for example. Some are simply comprehension questions - for example, the KS1 reading assessment, for which they get a level, is a test of comprehension.
Other tests are just decoding tests eg reading a list of words or a list of sentences.
I don't think there is really much point. It also means on a board like this you can't compare reading age unless everyone knows exactly which reading test their child was given. (Not that you should compare, but Mumsnet can be a very worrying place if you are negotiating school for the first time.)
I'm just amazed that any school thinks testing "decoding" ability alone is any use to anyone. I know a lot of schools do - seems a complete waste of time - and actually very misleading to parents as well!