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How to Lower the Reading Level of a Document

  • Post By: Anup Kanti Ghosh
  • Published: July 4, 2021

Writing is always for the universal readers unless you are a researcher or philosopher, or puzzle maker. Isn’t the reason is enough that you write just because you want people to read them? No one is known so far to be unaware of their writing that none would like to read. Thus, we writers try to make our presentation attractive, engaging, and most importantly, readable.

Is that difficult? Is there any formula to guarantee that people will go to till the end of what you have written? The answer is- Yes, but it takes your time, and honestly, it’s up to you. So, yes, let’s see what we can do for you for “what you can do” for your readers. That refers, how to lower the reading level of a document.

What Is Readability?

Did you ever think before today that you might need to revise or check the readability of what you write? I guess you haven’t, or surprise me. I would suggest you do it from now on if you haven’t. So, what is readability again? It refers to the status of a text in a document that how easy it is to read and understand.

What Is Readability Score?

A number that identifies how accessible a particular portion of a text is the readability score. As for Grammarly, it uses a formula which is called the Flesch Reading-ease Test to determine readability score. One primary criterion to weigh that on Grammarly is the average length of a sentence. So if you have Grammarly installed, look for a numeric score somewhere at the top of the screen. The higher the text is, the easier the text is to read. So if your score is 60 or above, the people of 8th grade of US standard will read and understand it easily.

How to Lower the Reading Level of a Document

Now that you know what readability is, you must be wondering how to work on increasing it. There are so many tips. The best is to apply all of them and as competently as possible.

Know your Audiences

We have started our discussion with that- writing is for everyone. Think before you write who is going to read your article. There might be diversity in nativeness, profession, or maturity level. So, the first and foremost plan is to talk like the readers and follow the style they usually follow. Every community has its dictionaries- know them. Or, if you write something for general people, keep it as simple as possible. People like to read easily.

Keep your Sentence Shorter and Cacheable

It’s not unexpected that you have your flow. But, once you have a say in a crowd, you ought to play the hunches they can get at the first time. And writing requires more effort. Every time, you need to start with the universally accessible way- with short sentences. One might be correct and outstanding in their words, but the invitation matters to the readers. That is to start with easy and more straightforward and catchable sentences, which are often missing.

Avoid Passive Sentences

Passive sentences are relevant and even inventive in some instances. There are very few writers who never use it or think twice before inserting an inactive form. But, too much of that decreases the readability. Most of the time, it seems wordy and unclear to the readers, which is against the readers' interest.

Use Headings, Sub-headings

Using headings, sub-headings, tables, numbers, bullet points, highlighters, etc., helps the reader catch the subject. Proper placement of these sections and elements can present a topic more precisely and also makes writing attractive.

Read and Research More

Reading popular texts from the same relevant topic or field helps big. The comparison with the writings published for the same audience works as a good reference. It enables the writer to play the tune in the proper tone to communicate with the readers. A successful SEO team never misses the cord.

Tell a Story

It is insisted, especially for the pieces of text that are for all types of audiences. People readily accept a normal conversation where the writer is telling a story. Recall your last read novel or a journal that is your favorite one. You would not have finished that yet unless you liked it. Or it could take more time. So, telling a story subsides the reading level.

How to Determine the Readable Level

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There are specific tools used to compute the readability level of a text.

Readability Tests

The readability tests demonstrate how friendly writing is. There are some mentioned below.

  • Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level
  • Cloze test
  • Gunning Fog Index
  • Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease
  • Automated Readability Index
  • Fry Readability Graph
  • Coleman Liau Index
  • SMOG Index

Here, we discussed little on Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test.

Flesch-Kincaid Readability Tests

These tests outline indicates the difficulty of a passage in English to understand. There are two types of tests- the Flesch Reading-Ease and the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level. The second one is used in the education field.

For these two tests, there is the Flesch-Kincaid scale. According to that, the Flesch-Kincaid readability index is to determine the readability status. The limit is between 100.0 and 0.0. The lowest readability score (10.0-0.0) implies that the document is readable only by professionals. The highest Flesch-Kincaid Grade level score indicates the writing easily catchable for grade 5th students (100.00-90.00). The score between 70.00 and 60.00 in the Flesch-Kincaid grade level scale recognizes the document portion as plain English. In that case, the writing is understandable by students aged 13-15 years.

You can also know what is your reading level score if you are using MS Office. Check out how to look into Microsoft Word reading level.

Let’s Start Again

If the idea of readability is new to you, why not start this just now and wait for the result? Don’t forget to check your grade level of writing every time. It would be rather interesting to have an appraisal immediately once you put the last full stop and check. But, remember, artificial intelligence or some math is not the last or final scrutiny. There is no substitute to practice which is reading more and more. And, also, read your writings. Because once you are convinced as a reader, it has halfway fulfilled the objective of your composition.


  • How do you change the reading level in Word?

It’s easy if you knew. First, go to File and then Options. Next, find Proofing and select it. Next, make sure that you have chosen to Check grammar with spelling. Then select Show readability statistics.

After successfully enabling the feature, press or go to Review, and then Spelling & Grammar.  Finally, finish checking spelling and grammar. There will be the result on display.

  • How do you calculate a lower readability score?

Usually, to determine the complexity of a text, there are some factors- Sentences per paragraph, Words per sentence, and Characters in a word, etc. However, if you follow the Reading Ease scale, the scores will indicate the status of your writing. Follow the below table to know about it. Here, 0 is the lowest, and 100 is the highest score.

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  • What is the reading level of my document?

How easy or difficult a document is for each particular class to read and understand has a status. That is the reading level of it. Usually, it is determined by a number. Here, the concentration of writing is also considered besides the population basis following some criteria.

  • What grade level should you write at?

The highest Flesch-Kincaid Grade level score indicates writing quickly catchable for grade 5th students (100.00-90.00). The score between 70.00 and 60.00 recognizes the document portion as plain English. This is easily readable for 12-13 years old aged students. One’s writing should be at this level at a minimum.

  • How can I improve my Reading Ability score?

Either you are preparing for a particular proficiency test or want to be good in the classroom curriculum, there are some fundamental ways.

  • More and more practice
  • Understand and personalize the topic
  • Don’t try to understand the whole thing at first, but the main idea
  • Set reading goals and develop reading skills
  • Grammar and Vocabulary
  • Keywords

Never stop. You have yet to write your best.

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