In an article about students at post-secondary institutions, Chris Coleman and colleagues reported that scores on the widely-used Nelson-Denny Reading Test may not be trustworthy for some populations and uses.
Coleman, C., Lindstrom, J., Nelson, J., Lindstrom, W., & Gregg, K. N. (in press). Passageless comprehension on the Nelson-Denny Reading Test: Well above chance for university students. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, November 23, 2009.
The comprehension section of the Nelson-Denny Reading Test (NDRT) is widely used to assess the reading comprehension skills of adolescents and adults in the United States. In this study, the authors explored the content validity of the NDRT Comprehension Test (Forms G and H) by asking university students (with and without at-risk status for learning disorders) to answer the multiple-choice comprehension questions without reading the passages. Overall accuracy rates were well above chance for both NDRT forms and both groups of students. These results raise serious questions about the validity of the NDRT and its use in the identification of reading disabilities.