Skip to main content

Test of Word Reading Efficiency – Second Edition (TOWRE-2)

The Test of Word Reading Efficiency – Second Edition (TOWRE-2; Torgesen, Wagner, & Rashotte, 2012) is an individually administered, norm-referenced measure of reading fluency and accuracy for individuals ages 6 to 25.


The TOWRE-2 is used for early identification of children who require instruction in word reading and can be used to identify reading disabilities in older children and adults.

The reading subtests in the TOWRE-2 are timed tests. Three measures are obtained through use of the assessment: Phonemic Decoding Efficiency (PDE), Sight Word Efficiency (SWE), and Total Word Reading Efficiency. Phonemic Decoding requires the ability to read (decode) nonsense words, reflecting how efficiently the individual is able to read unfamiliar words or combinations of letters in a reading task that is not influenced by other factors such as context clues. Sight Word Efficiency requires reading a list of words to be read as whole units.

Once the examiner is familiar with the pronunciation of the nonsense words and administration procedures, the TOWRE-2 is quick and easy to administer. It is a useful instrument for assessing basic reading skills, especially when students are not progressing as expected in learning to read. Decoding and fluency are both basic components of learning to read and are foundational to the development of effective reading comprehension skills.


Author (yr) Age Range (yrs) Method of Administration/Format Approx. Time to Administer Subscales
Test of Word Reading Efficiency – Second Edition (TOWRE-2) Torgesen, Wagner, & Rashotte (2012) 6-25

Individually administered, norm-referenced measure of sight word recognition and phonemic decoding.

Yields standard scores, percentiles, and age/grade equivalents

5-10 min.

Sight Word Efficiency (SWE) and Phonetic Decoding Efficiency (PDE), Total Word Reading Efficiency

Availability: Pro-Ed,

Download PDF