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Direct vs Multigate: Approaches to Predicting Risk of Reading Difficulty

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VanMeveren et al. (2020) compared different approaches to screening fourth and fifth grade students to determine which most accurately identified risk of reading difficulties.

Direct approach involves use of scores on one screening assessment in predicting risk of reading difficulty.

Multigate approach utilizes student progress through a series of at least two screening assessments to predict risk of reading difficulty.

The researchers concluded that identification of risk can be enhanced through use of more than one screening assessment (i.e., a multigate approach). In a multigate approach, administering a second assessment to the subset of children who demonstrate risk on the first assessment can enhance identification of risk of reading difficulties. However, schools must balance the time and cost of administering multiple assessments with other resources and priorities.
For more details on specific assessments used, please reference the article.

Suggested Citation

National Center on Improving Literacy (2022). Direct vs Multigate: Approaches to Predicting Risk of Reading Difficulty. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of Special Education Programs, National Center on Improving Literacy. Retrieved from


VanMeveren, K., Hulac, D., & Wollersheim-Shervey, S. (2020). Universal screening methods and models: Diagnostic accuracy of reading assessments. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 45(4), 255-265.