Accelerated Reader does just that: Accelerate reading in your classroom.
March 27, 2019

Accelerated Reader does just that: Accelerate reading in your classroom.

Jennifer Taylor | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Renaissance Accelerated Reader

Accelerated Reader is currently being used school-wide in our Elementary school. We are a rural K-8 school and use AR every day. I personally use AR in my 3-8 Reading classes. I also support 3 other teachers as they use AR in their own classrooms. My main goal in using AR is to motivate students to read independently for pleasure. AR is a tool that allows me to help students choose books that are within their ZPD and ensure they are comprehending what they have read. The data tracking in AR is invaluable. I can easily pinpoint problems for specific students and have a conversation with them about any issues that come up. AR also makes it very easy to include students in goal setting and discussions about their data. Either using a scaled score or ATOS level, students can easily understand what level their independent reading ability is at and then track that level as it grows throughout the school year. AR has become an invaluable resource for me in my classroom for both motivating and engaging students and for me personally to be able to use student data to help guide my students as they grow as readers.


  • Automatically calculating ZPD ranges. Student level ranges are automatically calculated within the system to ensure that students are correctly choosing the most appropriate books for them.
  • Easy goal setting. Whether you want to set a blanket goal based on 20 minutes per day of reading time for the class, or you want to individually set goals up to an hour a day, AR makes it very easy to manage and set goals for your entire classroom. Goals can be adjusted as needed easily as well.
  • Comprehension monitoring through testing. I can easily see which students are struggling on comprehension through AR book quizzes. From student scores, I can either motivate students who are rushing through books to slow down and take time to thoroughly read, or I can help students who are possibly struggling to read harder books with specific strategies that will benefit them the most. Without the testing feature of AR, I would have a lot more work to check how students are doing on their independent reading.
  • Data that is easy to understand and share with students. From either running a report on the entire class or school to just a specific student, AR makes data tracking easy. I can share reports with students and have detailed discussions about their progress towards meeting their goals or steps to take to overcome reading challenges they are currently having.


  • Some quizzes seem to have multiple question sets, so that students can't look up the answers if they failed the test the first time, but I would love to see this done for all quizzes.
  • I feel like Renaissance is doing better about there being more PD available for their products, but I wish it was more readily accessible.
  • I have seen a positive impact using AR by allowing us to track independent reading time more effectively.
  • We can analyze student data in ways that would be either too time-consuming or too difficult to track on our own.
  • Student engagement has increased when students can use their ZPDs to help find books that are in a readable range for them.
We use both DRA and Renaissance products in our school. I like DRA for benchmarking and for in-depth responses from students. I can use DRA to pinpoint errors because I can see the answers, unlike the STAR assessments (the placement tests given in conjunction with Accelerated Reader) in Renaissance. I prefer DRA for progress monitoring because it is quicker to have them answer a few questions targeting specific skills, instead of a 30+ question test with STAR. Also, STAR is independent reading ability, not comprehension. For a student with dyslexia, their IRL will be much lower than their comprehension, so just taking their STAR data into account will result in inaccurate results. However, I find that I really like the versatility of using AR, namely the auto-generated reports and immediate data feedback that is not available with DRA (though some schools use the online DRA programs that have this feature). I find that by using both, I have a complete picture of my students' reading abilities.
I feel that AR is well suited to any self-contained classroom and for all grades. It is also well suited for those who teach reading across multiple grades. I teach reading 3-8 at our school and I find that it is easy to use AR daily in my classes. If you have a lot of younger students or those who are struggling readers, then the Early Literacy program may be a better fit then the regular Accelerated Reader system. I know that sometimes our Kindergarten classes can't fully use AR until the end of Kindergarten or the start of their 1st-grade year.

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