BASIC (09-15)

NL 10605.110 How Do I Use the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test?

A. How do I check for readability?

Use the built-in spelling and grammar check in MS Word. When MS Word finishes checking the spelling and grammar, it will display information about the reading level of the document, including the grade level and reading ease score.

If your computer does not automatically display the readability statistics, you will need to enable them. See NL 10605.115 for instructions on how to enable the Flesch-Kincaid readability test on your computer.  

B. What parts of the notice should I check for readability?

Check the readability score of the entire notice as well as the readability score of each paragraph in the notice.

  • Do not include first, second, or third-line headings

  • Do include subordinate headings (sub-headings, captions)

  • Do not include name, address, or date blocks

  • Do not include the signature or signature title

    NOTE: Numbers, such as telephone numbers, and website URLs included in the text will skew the results of the Flesch-Kincaid readability tests. Long strings of numbers or letters will artificially inflate grade level results. You should omit telephone numbers and website URLs when testing your notice. You can replace the telephone number with the word “phone” or the word “number” wherever a phone number appears. You can replace a website URL with the word “URL.”   This will eliminate the skewed result.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0910605110
NL 10605.110 - How Do I Use the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test? - 09/30/2015
Batch run: 09/30/2015
Rev:09/30/2015