Literacy Survey

A Tool for Discovering a Boy’s Possible Literacy Needs

This short test is not designed to scientifically diagnose a learning issue or disability.  It is designed to help you observationally measure whether your son may need more encouragement or assistance in building better literacy skills.

For the purposes of this tool, “literacy skills” are defined as skills related to reading and writing.

This test is designed to be applicable to all families of boys who have begun reading.

To use this tool, pick one answer for each item, making ten answers in total.  Give each A answer 1 point, each B answer 2 points, and each C answer 3 points.  At the end of the test, figure the total points.

  • When you ask your son if he would like to read a book or magazine, he says no.

A. All or most of the time
B. About half the time
C. Almost never or never

  • When you tell your son it is time to read and write for school and/or homework, he refuses or battles against you.

A. All or most of the time
B. About half the time
C. Almost never or never

  • Your son spends six or more hours per day in front of screens (TV, Videogames, Computers, Movies, Tablets, Mobile Devices).

A. All or most days.
B. About half the days of the week.
C. None or few days.

  • Your son’s teachers have informed you that he may have a reading and/or writing problem.

A. Frequently
B. Infrequently
C. Rarely or never.

  • Your son has received Cs or lower in classes that utilize a high volume of reading and writing (e.g. Language Arts, History, Social Studies, English).

A. All or most grading periods.
B. About half the grading periods.
C. Almost never or never.

  • Your son chooses to pick up a book, magazine, comic book, graphic novel, or Tablet to read for pleasure.

A. Rarely or never.
B. Once or twice per week.
C. A few times or more a week.

  • It is a battle to get your son to do his homework, especially the homework related to language arts, English or other reading/writing focused classes.

A. Once or more per day.
B. Once or more per week.
C. Rarely or never.

  • Your son’s best friend(s), play groups, or primary bonding groups (such as athletic teams, academic clubs, or other peer bonding groups) discount and discourage reading, writing, and literacy.

A. Often or very often.
B.  Sometimes.
C.  Infrequently or never.

  • Your son denies the value of reading and writing.

A.  Often or very often.
B.  Sometimes.
C.  Infrequently or never.

  • The teachers in your son’s classes and school have received training in how boys and girls learn differently, and they teach literacy-oriented classes (such as language arts, English, history and social studies) in ways that positively account for gender differentiated learning needs.

A. Infrequently or never.
B.  Sometimes.
C.  Often or very often.

To Score This Test

The highest possible score result on this test is 30, the lowest is 10.  If your total score is between 20 and 30, your son is probably not vulnerable at this time to difficulties in literacy education.  If the score is between 10 and 20, your son may be vulnerable; he may not possess the literacy skills he needs to succeed in life.  If the score is below ten, your son is most probably in urgent need of increased support on all fronts for his literacy development.

Important Note
This test is not designed for families of boys who have already undergone testing and assessment for learning or other disabilities, nor is this test a substitute for any medical or psychological testing or support.

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Contact the Gurian Institute at for information on how a professional development plan can be designed to meet the needs of your organization and the families you serve.

Literacy Survey - GURIAN INSTITUTE