Does practice make perfect? Independent reading quantity, quality and student achievement

K. J. Topping, J. Samuels, T. Paul

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    33 Citations (Scopus)


    Does reading practice make perfect? Or is reading achievement related to the quality of practice as well as the quantity? To answer these questions, data on 45,670 students in grades 1e12 who read over 3 million books were analyzed. Measures largely of quantity (engaged reading volume) and purely of quality (success in reading comprehension) showed a positive relationship with achievement gain at all levels of achievement. However, both high quantity and high quality in combination were necessary for high achievement gains, especially for older students. Both were weakly associated with student initial reading achievement, but more strongly associated with the classroom in which the student was enrolled, possibly suggesting the properties of teacher intervention in guiding independent reading were important. Implications for theory-building, research and practice are explored.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)253-264
    Number of pages12
    JournalLearning and Instruction
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


    • Reading
    • Practice
    • Comprehension
    • Achievement
    • Teacher intervention
    • Computer assessment


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