Benchmark Assessment System

  • Observe and quantify student reading behaviors
  • Engage students in comprehension conversations that go beyond retelling
  • Make informed decisions that connect assessment to responsive teaching.


Teachers’ most reliable resource to accurately identify each child’s instructional and independent reading levels according to the F&P Text Level Gradient and document their progress through one-on-one formative and summative assessment.

Designed for Reliable and Insightful Assessment

BAS assessments are conducted one-on-one. In Part 1 of the assessment, the student reads aloud and talks about the system’s original, precisely leveled fiction and nonfiction books while the teacher observes and notes the reader’s behaviors on carefully constructed Recording Forms. In Part 2, the teacher conducts a revealing Comprehension Conversation. In optional Part 3, the student responds to the text using a Writing About Reading prompt.

Engaging and Informative Benchmark Assessment Books

BAS offers unique, high-quality books developed under the careful direction of Fountas and Pinnell and written expressly for the purposes of literacy assessment along the F&P Text Level Gradient™.

Complete Tools for a Comprehensive Assessment

BAS provides teachers with precise tools and texts to comprehensively examine students’ literacy strengths and needs, and provides the critical link between assessment and instruction.

Using Assessment to Inform Instruction

BAS includes a copy of The Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum. This tool helps teachers link the results of assessment to their teaching to ensure students’ growth as learners.

Elevating Teacher Expertise

The embedded Professional Development Video collection provides models of teachers implementing the assessment, training in coding, scoring, analyzing, and interpreting oral reading records as well as guidelines for and models of the Comprehension Conversation.

Engaging and Informative Benchmark Books

The Benchmark Assessment Systems include unique, high-quality books written expressly for the purposes of assessment along the F&P Text Level Gradient. Each book was developed under the careful direction and supervision of Fountas and Pinnell according to their strict levelling protocols. To further ensure proper levelling, the books were vetted by a team of experienced classroom teachers, and Heinemann conducted a formal field study of the levelling that involved a broad spectrum of students.

View BAS Levelled Books  

BAS Research

The authors of Benchmark Assessment System (BAS), Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell, are committed to the important role of research in the development and ongoing evaluation of BAS.

See all BAS Research


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