Last year, I attended a full day training on writing skills. While I consider myself quite good in this area, I learned something useful in that session. The instructor asked us to get a copy of any document/report that we prepared recently and made us take the readability test in Word.
I fared below average.
While I did badly in the test, I did learn something that I now use on a daily basis.
In this tutorial, I will show you how to take the readability test in Word and how to ace it. The tutorial covers:
The readability test in word calculates the Flesch–Kincaid score. Now don’t worry about the name or the methodology (you don’t need to calculate anything). All you need to know is that there is a score that indicates how difficult it is to read the text in the Word document.
A score of:
So what should you aim for?
The answer lies in who your audience are. If you are writing for the Harvard Law Journal or Nature magazine, a score less than 30 would also do.
But in most cases we are writing for our clients, bosses, or blogs (as in my case). Despite our audience being highly educated, they are always short on time and has an attention span shorter than that of a goldfish.
Hence, it makes sense to make it as easy as possible.
It is a good idea to aim for a score above 60.
You don’t need to calculate it. MS Word has a feature that automatically gives you the Flesch–Kincaid score based on the text that you have in it.
By default, the readability statistics are not shown in Word. You need to enable it first. Here is how to do it:
Once you have enables the readability statistics, here are the steps to get the score:
As you can see in the image above, the readability score is 76.2, which indicates high readability ease.
Here are some tips to increase the readability of your text:
See Also: Improve your Flesch-Kincaid Grade Score
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