Nurul Farehah Mohamad Uri, Mohd Salehhuddin Abd Aziz


This paper intends to investigate the readability level of the passages in the English paper of a national examination in Malaysia. In specific, this study seeks to identify the level of readability for reading passages of SPM English papers using readability formulas and judgement of reading experts. The readability of the English papers was analyzed using three readability formulas: Flesch Reading Ease, Gunning Fog Index and Coh-Metrix L2 Reading Index. Five reading experts were also invited to evaluate the difficulty level of the reading texts. The readability scores of these reading texts revealed that these texts were graded as “fairly easy” texts as they fell within the range of 66.7-80.6 for Flesch Reading Ease, 6.9-10.1 for Gunning Fog Index. Results of Coh-Metrix L2 Reading Index also prove the readability level of the passages. Correspondingly, the content experts noted that the reading texts were interesting and generally easy to read texts. The analyses of the reading passages have shown that the texts chosen for the English papers were reasonably appropriate for the upper secondary school students.


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readability; reading texts; Flesch Reading Ease; Gunning Fog Index; Coh- Metrix L2 Reading Index, high stake test

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