Reading Examinations 2017-21

2017-21 Syllabus

Being able to read aloud in such a way as to convey effectively the content of a selection and to sustain an audience’s interest is a valuable skill.

The purpose of these examinations is to provide candidates with the opportunity to become clear, fluent and confident readers who can convey story, character and mood to an audience. Using appropriate posture, holding the book in such a way as to allow the audience to see the candidate’s face, and using eye contact will be important during the examination.

From Grade One, it is expected that candidates will be familiar with the book/ story from which the extract is taken.

Please refer to the section ‘How Irish Board Examiners Assess Candidates’  for some detailed guidelines on the criteria used by the Irish Board during the examinations.

To book online click here. Examination fees are available herePlease note that the minimum fee requirement for an examination centre is €400. 


Preliminary Grade One – Suggested ages: – 7 years

  1. Read aloud a prepared selection of approximately 100 words taken from a book of your choice
  2. Answer questions on the meaning of some of the words in the prepared selection

Preliminary Grade Two – Suggested ages: 7 – 8 years

  1. Read aloud a prepared selection of approximately 200 words taken from a book of your choice
  2. Answer questions on the meaning of some of the words in the prepared selection

Grade One – Suggested ages: 9 – 10 years

  1. Read aloud a prepared selection of approximately 300 words taken from a book of your choice
  2. Discuss with the examiner the book from which the selection is taken
  3. Answer questions on the meaning of some of the words in the prepared selection

Grade Two – Suggested ages: 11 – 12 years

  1. Read aloud a prepared selection of approximately 350 words from a book of your choice
  2. Discuss with the examiner the book from which the selection is taken
  3. Answer questions on the technique of reading

Grade Three – Suggested ages: 12 – 13 years

  1. Read aloud a prepared selection of approximately pages from a chapter of a book by an Irish author
  2. Discuss the book with the examiner
  3. Read at sight a selection provided by the examiner

Grade Four – Suggested ages: 13 – 14 years

  1. Prepare in advance a chapter from a book written before 1920 and bring the book to the examination
  2. The examiner will select a passage from the chapter to be read aloud by you
  3. Discuss the content of the chapter with the examiner

Grade Five – Suggested ages: 14 – 15 years

  1. Read aloud three pages from a book of your choice
  2. Read aloud a poem of your choice
  3. Discuss, with the examiner, the technique of speaking verse and prose

Grade Six – Suggested ages: 15 – 16 years

  1. Read aloud a prepared extract (of your choice) from any version of the Bible
  2. Read at sight an extract from a book selected by the examiner
  3. Read a prepared extract of your choice from a national newspaper
  4. Discuss your programme with the examiner

Final Grade – Suggested ages: 16 – 17 years

  1. Prepare in advance, and bring to the examination a book of your choice
  2. The examiner will select a passage from the book to be read by you
  3. Prepare and present to the examiner a short oral review of the book
  4. Discuss both book and author with the examiner
  5. Read a prepared extract of your choice from any Shakespearean play