CARI (DIBELS 7-9) Research Release

Announcing the 2017-2018 CARI Research Release
with Preliminary Benchmark Goals

The authors of DIBELS® at Dynamic Measurement Group are pleased to announce the continued research release of CARI™: DIBELS 7-9 to research partners for the 2017-2018 school year. CARI stands for Content Area Reading Indicators and is a formative assessment for students in grades 7 to 9. The CARI is directly aligned with the Common Core Standards in Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies.

The CARI Research Release for 2017-2018 will include preliminary benchmarks for all three measures: Maze, Silent Reading (SR), and Oral Reading (OR). Each CARI measure includes a triad of three reading passages (one science passage, one social studies passage, and one prose passage).

Maze is a group-administered measure that assesses general reading comprehension. During a Maze task, the student is presented with a reading passage in which some words are replaced by a multiple choice box that includes the original word and two distractors. The student reads the passage silently and selects the word in each box that best fits the meaning of the sentence. A Maze triad of passages takes approximately 10 minutes to complete and approximately 5-7 minutes per student for teachers to score.

The SR comprehension portion of the CARI is a group-administered measure that assesses vocabulary, sentence comprehension (passage details), and inference. Students are given up to 45 minutes to read three passages and answer 15 questions about each passage. Silent Reading is quickly scored with an answer key.

The OR portion of the CARI is an individually administered measure that assesses oral reading fluency, accuracy, and comprehension. During an OR task, the student is given 90 seconds to read each passage out loud. At the end of 90 seconds, a brief comprehension component is administered. An OR triad of passages takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.

For a printer-friendly overview of CARI with sample materials, download our CARI Fact Sheet.

CARI preliminary benchmark goals will guide gating procedures so that the group-administered, less time-intensive components (Maze and Silent Reading), are given to more students and the individually administered, more time-intensive component (Oral Reading) is administered to a small number of students, on an as-needed basis.

For Gate 1, Maze should be administered to all students. Based on preliminary benchmark goals, the DIBELSnet classroom report will recommend students who should enter Gate 2 and receive the SR measure. Averaged Maze and SR weighted scores, also found on the classroom report, will identify students that could benefit from entering Gate 3 and administration of the OR measure.

Preliminary system-wide norms remain available for the CARI Maze measure in our
System-Wide Percentile Ranks for CARI Daze Document.

Information from the CARI 2017-2018 Research Release will help contribute to the further development of gating procedures and final CARI benchmark goals.

All 2017-2018 CARI Research Release materials (including assessment and training materials) will be made available to confirmed sites as a free download through the DMG website. Participating sites will need to duplicate the testing materials.

Participating sites agree to:

  1. Have anyone who will be administering the CARI measures complete the free online training available through the CARI download site. A more in-depth training on CARI will be provided at the DIBELS Super Institute in July of 2018.
  2. Distribute information letter to parents.
  3. Collect beginning-of-year, middle-of-year, and end-of-year assessment data and enter it into DMG's DIBELSnet® data reporting service. There is no cost for entering CARI scores for the 2016-2017 school year.
    If a site also decides to enter DIBELS reading data (grades K-6) into DIBELSnet, the standard cost of $1 per student per year will apply. To sign up for DIBELSnet, visit and click on the purple "Sign Up" button in the lower right-hand corner.

How to Use the CARI Research Release for 2017-2018

New Participants

If your school or district is new to CARI and wishes to participate, please email with the following information:

  1. The name of your school/district and the state in which you are located.
  2. The name and email address of the contact person in your agency who will receive communications about CARI.
  3. The approximate number of schools, grades, and students per grade who will be participating in the CARI Research Release.
  4. The dates for the beginning and end of your school calendar.
  5. The approximate dates of your benchmark testing windows for beginning of year, middle of year, and end of year (e.g., September, January, May).

Continuing Participants

If your school or district participated in the CARI Research Release in 2016-2017 and you wish to continue participating in 2017-2018, please email us at