The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) are a set of procedures and measures for assessing the acquisition of early literacy skills from kindergarten through second grade. The DIBELS measures were specifically designed to assess the Big Ideas in Reading. They are designed to be short (one minute) fluency measures used to regularly monitor the development of early literacy and early reading skills. These research-based measures are linked to one another and predictive of later reading proficiency. The measures are also consistent with many of the Common Core State Standards in Reading, especially the Foundational Skills. Combined, the measures form an assessment system of early literacy development that allows educators to readily and reliably determine student progress.

    Type of assessment: Standards-based, i.e., how well a student has learned a specific body of knowledge and skills

    Subjects: Early literacy only, specifically: Phonological Awareness, Alphabetic Principle, Accuracy and Fluency with Connected Text, Vocabulary, and Comprehension

    How administered: Administered in a one-on-one setting by a specially trained tester.

    Type of score received: Students are scored based on the number of items answered correctly, which corresponds to a benchmark. The benchmark provides the risk level assessment: Low Risk (also called “Established”), Some Risk (also called “Emerging”), and At Risk (also called “Deficit”).


    For more information, please contact our State Assessment and Data Analysis department.