First-grade reading tests measure early reader skills, including basic comprehension, phonics and sequencing. Each state has its own guidelines and test evaluation criteria, and standardized testing often begins at higher grade levels.
First grade is a time for children to build on the reading skills that they learned in pre-school or kindergarten. Building reading comprehension includes improving in areas such as learning to put letters together to make more complex words, identifying written words on sight, understanding the basic elements of a story, such as plot and discerning between fact and fiction and recalling story lines and key details.
Teachers may voluntarily give first graders worksheets and practice tests, but standardized testing may begin as late as third grade, depending on evaluation methods used by different states. States such as Georgia and North Carolina, for example, only offer end-of-year evaluations beginning in third grade.
Teachers and parents can prepare children for tests by being actively involved in their language development. Many websites, including www.k12reader.com, offer themed reading comprehension worksheets to help first graders build their reading skills in context. Titles such as "The Cat on the Mat" and the "The Can on the Man" introduce children to repeating sounds and spellings that build word recognition and a better understanding of English phonics.