A Quick Guide to Lowering Flesch-Kincaid Grade

A lot of important factors go into writing and producing…

A lot of important factors go into writing and producing content. And one of the most important is readability. This factor describes how easy to read your content is. You can measure this in many ways. The most popular one is by using the Flesch-Kincaid test. In this article, we’re going to talk about how to lower Flesch Kincaid Grade Level.

There are many ways to do this, and we’ll discuss each one. We’re also going to share the importance of the Flesch-Kincaid test in measuring readability.

Keep reading to learn more!

A person holding a book open while sitting on the floor.
Photo by Blaz Photo on Unsplash

What Is the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test?

The Flesch-Kincaid test is a standardized readability test designed by Rudolf Flesch and J. William Kincaid in the 1940s. After several years, it is still widely used by the government and businesses. It mainly measures the readability of texts in English.

There are two scores you can get from the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test. These scores explain how easy your text is to read and whether it needs to be rewritten.

Flesch Reading Ease Score

This is also known as the Flesch Reading Ease Score. It is a score that measures the readability of a particular text based on the number of words per sentence. It also considers the number of syllables (single word sentences) and the number of lines. Higher scores imply that the text is very easy to read.

An average number you should be aiming for in your Reading Ease Score is around 70-80 for it to be fairly easy to read.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level

The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level is an estimate of the education level of the text. This score represents each grade in the US using a scale of 0-12. Unlike with reading ease scores, the lower the grade of a text, the better.

For example, a text that has a Flesch Kincaid level of 8 means that someone on the 8th-grade level can understand it.

Flesch Reading Ease Score Chart

  • 10 or lower: Professional or reader with an advanced university degree
  • 10-30: College graduate reading level
  • 30-50: College students reading level
  • 50-60: High school reading level
  • 60-70: 8th and 9th-grade reading level
  • 70-80: 7th-grade reading level
  • 80-90: 6th-grade reading level
  • 90-100: 5th-grade reading level

Importance of Having a Lower Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level

As mentioned above, having content with a lower grade is preferred. This is because a lower grade level means that the content is much more readable and can be easily understood by the audience.

Readers don’t like to read something too long and overcomplicated. They want to be able to quickly understand what the text is discussing and go about their day. If they don’t understand your message, they’re more likely to go to other pages.

Search engines like Google also put more importance on content that’s readable. They often rank content according to what is most valuable to their users. So if you want to get more engagements on your site, lower your Flesch-Kincaid Grade. This will ultimately improve your conversion rates over time. It will create a much better user experience.

How to Lower Flesch Kincaid Grade Level and Improve Readability

You can make your blog, book, or article have a much lower reading level by following these few simple steps.

1. Shorten Your Sentences.

Lengthy sentences can feel dragging to readers. This also effectively increases the Flesch-Kincaid grade level of your content. Not all long sentences are bad, but if you can shorten them and can still express the same point, then you should.

Stick to fewer words that directly impact the message you are trying to convey. And when you’re writing a paragraph, limit it to five sentences. This will keep the reader’s attention longer.

2. Keep It Simple.

Demonstrating your vocabulary prowess may be great for impressing your professor or winning a writing contest. But it is not that important for readability.

Try using familiar words that everybody can easily understand. Even if some of your readers are highly educated, they will still enjoy writing that is simple and to the point. Instead of using “strenuous,” maybe you could use “hard.” It’s easily understood, and it also has much fewer syllables!

3. Use Outlines.

Formatting and outlines are your friends as a writer. These break up long articles into sections to convey information more quickly.

Outlines can also assist you in organizing your ideas. Create headers and sub-headings that are straightforward. And if you need to further expound on a subject, try using bullet points.

You can also utilize bold formatting if you want to emphasize a point. Italics are also useful for referencing inner monologues.

Takeaway

If your content has better readability, reading won’t feel like a task for your target audience. They will be sure to leave your site having a great experience.

So be sure to be mindful of your sentences, word choice, and article length. Hopefully, this guide has taught you how to lower Flesch Kincaid grade level of your content more easily.

Frequently asked questions

What is a good readability score for college students?

A score of 70 or higher is a highly readable document, roughly translating to an eighth grade level or easier. Between scores 50 and 70 correspond to reading proficiency high school, while between 30 and 50 work well for college students.

What is a Flesch-Kincaid grade level of 14?

Flesch-Kinkaid Reading Grade Level
Estimated school grade completedLevelWords/ sentence
5thEasy11
6thFairly easy14
7th or 8thStandard17

How is Flesch reading Ease calculator?

Flesch reading ease score is: 206.835 – 1.015 (total words / total sentences) – 84.6 (total syllables / overall words).

What grade level is my writing word?

Choose Review > Spelling & Grammar in your Word document. If you correct or ignore any spelling or grammar errors, Word will open the Readability Stats window with information about the reading level of your document.

What is a Flesch Kincaid grade level of 10?

ScoreSchool level (US)Notes
60.0–50.010th to 12th gradeFairly difficult to read.
50.0–30.0CollegeDifficult to read.
30.0–10.0College graduateVery difficult to read. Best understood by university graduates.
10.0–0.0ProfessionalExtremely difficult to read. Best understood by university graduates.

Are Grammarly scores accurate?

Grammarly’s score does not necessarily reflect a writer’s voice quality. Analyzes all of the other text as well. So, an overall score of 82 means the work ranks better than 82% of all content Grammarly analyzes.

What’s a good Flesch-Kincaid score?

ScoreNotes
90-100very easy to read, easily understood by an average 11-year-old student
80-90easy to read
70-80fairly easy to read
60-70easily understood by 13- to 15-year-old students

Is a low Flesch-Kincaid score good?

There is a numerical score available in Readability. More of a number makes it easier to read your document. Usually, you should score 60 or higher. With a score of 60, your document will be simple to read for most people with an eighth grade education.

Does a higher or lower Flesch index score indicate simpler text?

Flesch-Kincaid reading ease is based on a ranking scale of 0-100, and the higher your score, the better you are reading. Low scores indicate that text is difficult to understand. It is likely that your website will have a low Flesch-Kincaid reading ease score, so you may need to simplify your text.

What is the highest readability score on Grammarly?

Grammarly Editor uses a 0 to 100 readability score, so the higher your score, the easier it is to read and understand. Lower reading scores mean the text is harder to read and therefore much more complex as your readability score approaches 0.

Is Flesch Kincaid accurate?

The Flesch Reading Easy Formula is considered to be one of the oldest and most accurate readability formulas available.

What is the highest Flesch Kincaid Grade Level?

Flesch Reading Easy gives texts a reading score from 1 to 100, with 100 being the highest readability score. Schools grade levels 70-80 have the same scoring standards as eighth grade. Text should therefore be fairly easy for adults to read. Rudolf Flesch developed the formula in the 1940s.

What is the grade level for most standard writing?

George Klare, a key researcher and writer on readingability, says most popular novels are written at a 7th grade reading level.

What is a good percentage of passive sentences?

Passive Sentences score is below 10% and you are performing well. The lower the higher, but you don’t need to completely eliminate your passive voice. Object to 20% less than 10%. Reflect on your Passive Sentences statistic when 20% has passed. Focus on writing in a passive tense until it becomes a habit.

How do I get my readability score down?

  • Make simple, short words.
  • Shorten your sentences
  • Negatives and adverbs you might use.
  • Drop the jargon
  • Use reader-friendly fonts
  • This copy should be broken up.
A Quick Guide to Lowering Flesch-Kincaid Grade

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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