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These EGR Barometer data are from the 2021 National Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) for Uzbekistan. This national survey was conducted by the Ministry of Public Education (MOPE) of the Republic of Uzbekistan with support from USAID. The purpose of the assessment was to provide the MOPE relevant data on student learning to inform education reform efforts in Uzbekistan.

The survey was conducted at the beginning of grades 3 and 5 across Uzbekistan. Reading performance was measured for all languages used as mediums of instruction in school (Uzbek, Russian, Karakalpak, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajik, or Turkmen). In addition, students attending non-Uzbek-language schools were also assessed in Uzbek as a second language.

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 on a topic that was familiar to them and were asked to read it out loud “quickly but carefully”. Grade 3 students were given up to 3 minutes to read aloud a grade 2 level passage approximately 60 words long, and grade 5 students were given up to one minute to read a grade 4 level passage approximately 110 words long. The EGRA administrator timed the student, making note of any mistakes the student made while reading the words aloud. 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 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 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 50 made-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 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).

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 five questions about the story. Four of the questions were direct and one was inferential. The EGRA administrator recorded the number of questions answered correctly.

*Grade 3 only

Silent Reading Comprehension*

The silent reading comprehension subtask measures how well a student understands a passage of text. Compared to the reading comprehension task, the silent reading comprehension task was based on a higher-level passage. The task was purposefully constructed this way under the expectation that students in the upper grades should be able to comprehend longer, more complex text.

In this subtask, the students were given 4 minutes to read the passage silently to themselves. The EGRA administrator then asked the student ten questions (8 direct and 2 inferential) to assess their understanding of the meaning of the passage. The assessor does not remove text from the student’s eyes during the questioning, and the student is allowed to refer back to the text if desired. The score is reported as the number of questions answered correctly.

*Grade 5 only

Year 2021
Grade(s) 3, 5
Language Kyrgyz, Russian, Uzbek, Tajik, Kazakh, Karakalpak, Turkmen
Assessment Type National Assessment
View Country Page

*Students were assessed in the language of instruction of their school, which was, for the majority, their home language or “first language”. In addition, students’ learning in languages other than Uzbek were also assessed in Uzbek as a second language. An asterisk indicates the EGRA subtasks that were conducted in Uzbek (as a second language) in non-Uzbek-language schools.

Study Map

Map of Uzbekistan

Key Findings

  • 1/3

    Consistent with global trends, girls in Uzbekistan read at higher rates than boys in both grades.

  • 2/3

    Grade 5 students studying in Uzbek as a second language read Uzbek at slower rates than students studying Uzbek as their first language, with the exception of students studying in Russian and Kyrgyz

  • 3/3

    Grade 5 students studying in Uzbek score, on average, 70% on reading comprehension.

Evaluation Design

This large national assessment of student reading and math ability is the first of its kind in Uzbekistan. EGRA and Early Grade Math Assessment (EGMA) methodologies were used to assess students in grades 3 and 5. The data collection for the national survey took place between November and December 2021. Data analysis shows the achievement of students at the end of grades 2 and 4/start of grades 3 and 5.

The sample was drawn to provide the MOPE relevant data on student learning to inform education reform efforts in Uzbekistan. Additionally, the sample was designed such that it constituted a nationally representative sample. The Barometer pages present the results at the national level.

Overall, the survey was administered to over 21,000 students in Grades 3 and Grades 5 across Uzbekistan. The sample included 935 schools and allows for results to be disaggregated by region, urbanicity, and gender; however only region and gender are represented on the EGR Barometer. The sample included 50 Uzbek schools from each of Uzbekistan's 14 regions for a total of 700 schools. It also included up to 50 schools for each of the other six non-Uzbek languages, adding an additional 235 schools. In each school, 12 students (6 boys and 6 girls) in Grades 3 and 5 were assessed. In total, 21,294 students completed the survey of whom 49.9% were girls. More detailed information about this implementation of EGRA, the specific measures assessed, and the sample design may be found in the All Children Reading-Asia Report on the 2021 Uzbekistan National Early Grade Reading and Mathematics Assessments (PDF, 1.6 MB).

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