St. Mary's Academy CBS
- An Edmund Rice School

Accelerated Reader Programme

Accelerated Reader Programme

From 2023-24 all 1st year students will take part of the Accelerated Reader Programme. For those of you who have never heard of this, Accelerated Reader is goal-driven reading program which aims to encourage students to read more and to increase their literacy levels.

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Aims of the Accelerated Reader Programme:

  • To improve literacy
  • To foster a love of reading
  • To create a pleasurable and fun atmosphere around improving students’ reading ability

Accelerated Reader: a summary

  • Students take an online reading test (known as a STAR test)
  • Results of test guide students to a particular level of book
  • Levels are colour-coded (library book stickers correspond to levels)
  • Students take a short online quiz on completion
  • There is a teacher and parent link for history of child’s reading

How you can help at home:

  • Encourage your son to have a book in his bag at all times, literally called a 'book in the bag'. Students can read during a supervised class or engage in drop everything and read during English class.
  • Encourage your child to read for 20-30 minutes every evening to help with progress
  • Read with your child if they are reluctant to read alone (this is known as ‘paired reading’)
  • Make this a positive activity at the end of the day – reading for pleasure rather than homework

FAQ for Students

1. How do I know which level to read?

Your English teacher or Ms. McDonald will tell you this once you have taken your STAR reading test at the beginning of the year. You can read books outside of your recommended level, but you might find them too easy or too hard. We think you’ll enjoy the ones at your suggested level the most.

2. How do I know if my book is on Accelerated Reader?

You can search for books on

3. How do I find out my book’s level and/or points?

As above. You can find details of levels and points on

4. What do the Accelerated Reader stickers on the Library Books mean?

You will notice that many of our books have a small coloured label on their spines. These are linked to their Accelerated Reader levels. (For example, yellow means the book falls between 4.0 and 4.9 points.) These books will also have a label inside their front covers with details of the points, reading age recommended and the book’s AR Quiz number.

5. Where can I take the quiz?

The address is:

You will need your username and password to take the quiz. These were given to you at the beginning of the year. You will have changed their passwords the first time you took a quiz. Contact Ms McDonald if you need help.

6. Where can I find books to read?

Our school library has a large selection of Accelerated Reader books. Most of these are in the Junior Fiction section, but others can be found in the General Fiction and Junior Nonfiction sections. Look out for the coloured spine stickers. Many of your own books at home could be on the Accelerated Reader programme too. Just check the AR Bookfinder!

FAQ for Parents

1. How do you know my child’s Accelerated Reader level?

At various key points during the year, students take a STAR reading test. This year, these tests will take place four times - before Christmas, before February mid term, before Easter, and before the summer holidays. This gives teachers a broad idea of a student’s reading level, and each time students book level/reading level is assessed and/or adjusted. The student will know what range of levels to try, and will have a target of points to reach at various points throughout the year. A book’s points are calculated using their given level and length. Students can read books above or below their given level, but it is often a more pleasurable reading experience when they read books that are neither too easy nor too hard.

2. How do you measure progress?

When a student finishes a book, they take a quiz and if they score 80% or higher, it lets their teacher know that they have a good understanding of the book they just read. The best time to do the quiz is as soon as they have finished the book. The student receives the points once they have taken the quiz.

As the year goes on, students attempt to reach their points targets by taking quizzes on books. Different abilities have different targets set; each one reached is equally celebrated.

A student’s reading level is most likely to improve if they are reading books that are at a sweet spot – books that are neither too easy or too hard for them.

We have set the target for each student to read at least one book & quiz every month. We encourage all to read as much as they can but this is the minimum target.

Accelerated Reader ProgrammeAccelerated Reader ProgrammeAccelerated Reader Programme
Railway Road, Carlow, Ireland
059 9142419
An Edmund Rice School
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