Flesch score

What is it?

The Flesch score is also known as the Flesch Reading Ease test.

This test rates content on a 100-point scale.

The higher the score, the easier it is to understand the document.

ScoreNotes
90-100Very easy to read. Easily understood by an average 11-year-old student.
80-90Easy to read. Conversational English for consumers.
70–80Fairly easy to read.
60–70Plain English. Easily understood by 13- to 15-year-old students.
50–60Fairly difficult to read.
30–50Difficult to read.
10–30Very difficult to read. Best understood by university graduates.
0–10Extremely difficult to read. Best understood by university graduates.

The formula for the Flesch Reading Ease score is:

206.835 – (1.015 x ASL) – (84.6 x ASW)

where:

ASL = average sentence length (the total number of words divided by the total number of sentences)

ASW = average number of syllables per word (the total number of syllables divided by the total number of words).

If the Flesch score is smaller than 70 but higher than 50 , the metric is flagged as Warning in the EasyRead report

If the Flesch score is smaller than 50, the metric is flagged as Problem in the EasyRead report

Why does it matter?

The Flesch score is a renowned and respected readability metric used by several government agencies.

Several text editors, such as Microsoft Word, integrates this test to provide readability information about documents.

How to improve the Flesch score?

The Flesch score “flattens” your content.

Sections and paragraphs are not considered: only sentences length and words length matter.

Shorten your sentences

When possible:

  • Remove unnecessary words such as adverbs and adjectives
  • Use the active form
  • Break down your sentences

Use shorter words

  • Favor short words over longer synonyms

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