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EGR Barometer data are from the USAID-funded 2011 Student Performance in Reading and Mathematics, Pedagogic Practice, and School Management in Doukkala Abda, Morocco, survey. The study was conducted in the provinces of El Jadida, Safi, and Sidi Benn, located in the Doukkala Abda region. A total of 40 schools were selected randomly, and a total of 773 students of grades 2 and 3 were assessed.

EGRA Subtasks

An EGRA measures children’s pre-reading and reading skills. The subtasks used in this assessment are described below.

Oral Reading Fluency (ORF)

The oral reading fluency (ORF) subtask measures how quickly and accurately a student can read. It is a core component of EGRA because it brings together lower-level reading skills (such as decoding and familiar word recognition) with how quickly and easily the student can read a given word (called automaticity).

Students were given a short, written passage (58 words) on a topic that was familiar to them. They were asked to read it out loud “quickly but carefully” and were given 60 seconds from when they begin to read. The EGRA administrator timed the student, making note of any mistakes the student made while reading the words aloud. The EGRA administrator stopped the task if the student was unable to read any words on the first line (zero score). The score is reported as correct words per minute (cwpm).

Letter Sounds

The letter sounds subtask tests students’ ability to recognize letters and speak their corresponding sounds.

Students were presented with a sheet listing 100 letters, including consonants, long vowels, and short vowel diacritical signs, and asked to say out loud the letter sound for as many as they could, as quickly and carefully as they could, in 1 minute. The EGRA administrator timed the child and recorded the number of correct letter sounds per minute (clspm). The EGRA administrator ended the subtask if a student was unable to respond correctly to any of the first 10 letters, resulting in a zero score.


The nonword subtask tests students’ skill in using letter-sound connections to figure out (“decode”) words. While many students learn to memorize a broad range of "sight" words, they need skills to decode less-familiar words.

In this subtask, students were given a list of 50made-up words that do not exist in the language tested but follow a typical spelling/sound combination of the language. This ensures that the student is not recognizing the whole word and must “sound-out” the non-word in order to correctly read it. The student was asked to read out loud as many words as they could, as quickly and carefully as they could. The EGRA administrator timed the student and recorded the number of correct words per minute (cnwpm). The administrator stopped the task if the student was unable to respond correctly to the first 5 words (zero score).

Listening Comprehension

Listening comprehension is a measure of students’ oral language skills, which also contributes to reading.

In this subtask, the EGRA administrator read a passage to the student, who did not see it. The student then responded to questions or statements read by the EGRA administrator. The listening comprehension score is the total correct answers.

Reading Comprehension

Comprehension is the main goal of reading—understanding what is read. Comprehension is a complex task that requires some ability in all other reading skills.

This subtask is paired with the ORF subtask. Depending on how much of the ORF passage the student was able to read, the EGRA administrator asked the student up to six questions about the story. The EGRA administrator recorded the number of questions answered correctly.

Year 2011
Grade(s) 2, 3
Language Arabic
Assessment Type Regional Assessment
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Regions Included in the Study

Not included in the study
Included in the study
Map of Morocco

Key Findings

  • 1/3

    Grade 2 students had an average oral reading fluency (ORF) rate of 16 correct words per minute (cwpm), while grade 3 students read an average of 27 words per minute.

  • 2/3

    Almost one-third of grade 2 students could not read a single word of connected text compared to 18% of grade 3 students.

  • 3/3

    Reading comprehension was low in both grades.

    About 67% of grade 2 students and 44% of grade 3 students were unable to answer a single reading comprehension question.

Program Details

More detailed information can be found in Student Performance in Reading and Mathematics, Pedagogic Practice, and School Management in Doukkala Abda, Morocco (PDF, 2.9 MB) report.

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