Flesch Kincaid Grade Level for SEO: All You Need To Know

When using Google Docs or Microsoft Word to create documents, you want to ensure that your audience receives the information you intend to convey. However, if you use overly complex words and sentence structures, your audience may miss the point entirely. That’s where, you need to understand Flesch Kincaid grade level. It is equally important to hire high quality content writing services so that your customers understand everything properly.

A readability score index can assist you in determining whether your text remains readable for the average person. This provides an estimate of the minimum educational level required for your audience to comprehend your text. Just like color psychology, effective writing can also position your brand into a customer’s mind.

The Flesch Kincaid grade level is one of the readability score formulas. In this post, we will discuss everything you need to know to make the most of this formula for writing text that your audience can easily understand.

What is Flesch Kincaid Grade Level

The Flesch Kincaid Grade Level is a modification of J. Peter Kincaid’s original equation for text readability that takes into account both word length and syllable count to determine how difficult it would be reading material at different levels. In 1975, he developed this system as part of his work on the US Navy technical manuals with an aim toward making them more accessible by considering factors like age group audiences or educational backgrounds while also keeping their accuracy intact.

Flesch Kincaid Grade Level tests are used to determine how difficult a text is. A higher score means the text was more challenging, while lower reading ease scores indicate easier reads.

Meaning Of Flesch Reading Ease Test

Rudolf Flesch, an Associated Press consultant, developed a formula in the 1940s to improve the readability of newspapers. The Flesch Reading Ease test is now used by marketers, journalists, and other writers to determine how easily a piece of text can be understood.

The Flesch Reading Ease score is one of several readability formulas you may come across, though it is one of the most popular. The score is still quite useful today. For example, the state of Florida requires insurance policies to have a certain Flesch score to ensure that customers can understand the language.

When writing text for a website or an advertisement, you want your message to be easily understood by the audience, giving it the best chance of success. You can use the Flesch formula to see if your text needs to be edited to make it easier to read.

What is The Flesch-Kincaid Readability Scale

The Flesch-Kincaid readability scores, created by Rudolf Flesch and J. Peter Kincaid, are the most widely used measures of readability. They are also used by the United States military to assess the readability of their manuals.

It is now used for a much broader range of purposes. If a text has a Flesch Kincaid level of 8, it means that the reader must have a grade 8 reading level or higher to comprehend it. Even if they are an advanced reader, this indicates that the content will take less time to read.

How to Determine The Flesch Reading Ease Score

You can calculate the Flesch score by hand or using software. The formula compares the number of sentences in the text to the number of words. It also compares the total number of syllables to the total number of words.

It then assigns you a score between 0 and 100. A score of 100 indicates that your copy is very easy to read. A score of 0 indicates that your text is very difficult to read. The table below contains the exact interpretation of all the scores on the scale.

90-100Very easy to read, easily understood by an average 11 year old student
80-90Easy to read
70-80Fairly easy to read
60-70Easily understood by 13-15 year old students
50-60Fairly difficult to read
30-50Difficult to read, best understood by college graduates
0-30Very difficult to read,best understood by university graduates

Is The Flesch Reading Ease Score Available In Google Docs or Microsoft Word?

Flesch Reading Ease Score

When using Microsoft Word or Google Docs to create a text document, you may want to know the readability score for your document. As part of the app, MS Word calculates the Flesch Reading Ease score. However, with Google Docs, you would have to copy the text into a web app that calculates the score for you for free.

  • Using Microsoft Word to Determine the Flesch Reading Ease Score

In Word, you must enable the readability score formula tracker within the spell check and grammar check features. Follow these steps to calculate the Flesch Reading Ease score in Word each time you run a spell check. (If Word already displays your readability scores after a spell check, you do not need to do these steps.)

Once you have ignored or corrected all of the spelling and grammar errors, Word will display the Flesch Reading Ease score in the center of the screen. You will also see statistics about the document, such as the number of passive sentences.

  • Using Google Docs to Determine the Flesch Reading Ease Score

Google Docs once had a native feature for calculating readability scores, but it no longer does. To calculate the Flesch Reading Ease score for free, copy the text from the Google Docs document and paste it into a web app that calculates the score for you.

How to Calculate the Flesch Kincade Grade Level

The Flesch Kincaid Grade Level puts the Flesch Reading Ease score into context. Each grade level corresponds to a specific score bracket. In the United States, the scale usually ranges from 0 to 12 to represent school grade levels. Ideally, you should aim for grade 8 to ensure that your content is ready for 80% of Americans.

Remember that a higher Flesch Reading Ease score and a lower Flesch Kincaid Grade Level will improve text readability.

Improve Your Writing And SEO With Readability Scores

Readability Scores

Once you have determined your audience’s needs and a general understanding of the reading level you want to achieve, you can use the Flesch Reading Ease score and the Flesch Kincaid Grade Level to improve your writing and SEO.

Because the test results are open to interpretation, you must establish your own objectives. However, there are some tips you can use to improve the readability of your writing.

  • Shorten Sentences

Your readers may struggle to understand what you are trying to say if you consistently use long sentences. Using short sentences allows your readers to absorb the information without struggling to understand it.

Using shorter sentences does not imply that you must ‘dumb down’ your content. You can provide the same information as in longer sentences, but the content will be clear and easy to understand.

  • Simple Words

When writing, your goal should be to reach as many people as possible. First and foremost, your text should clearly communicate what you are attempting to say. As a result, you should consider using shorter words because multisyllabic words can obscure the overall meaning.

Words with four or more syllables are typically difficult to read. Furthermore, you should avoid using jargon and specialized language that only certain groups of people understand. If you cannot find a better word to describe the concept, be sure to explain the meaning of the word to your readers who may be unfamiliar with the term.

  • Make Your Writing More Readable

When writing, keep in mind that you cannot reduce a text’s readability to a simple formula. Aside from the length of your words and sentences, readability is determined by a variety of other factors. Use the scores as a guideline, but keep in mind your writing style and audience.

Why Is The Flesch Reading Ease Score Important For Readability and SEO?

Flesch Reading Ease Score Importance

When writing web copy, it is critical to consider readability. Why? Because if your text is too complicated, your audience may struggle to understand it. As a result, they may decide to leave your website and seek information elsewhere. As a result,

you may experience a high bounce rate, which can lead to lower rankings in the long run. That is why you should strive to write as clearly as possible. Writing easy-to-read texts is also consistent with holistic SEO. With Google’s algorithm becoming more human-like and the rise of voice search, readable texts are indirectly contributing to higher rankings.

While it is critical to write readable texts, it can also be difficult. This is due to the fact that readability is affected by a variety of factors. The readability section of the Yoast SEO content analysis performs a variety of checks, including the Flesch reading ease score, to assist you in writing copy that is easy to read and understand.

Why Should You Use Readability Scores?

Using the Flesch Reading Ease test and the Flesch Kincaid Grade Level together can provide valuable insight into how easy your text is to understand. These readability scores can be applied to a variety of writing tasks.

Flesch Kincaid is ideal for:

  • Creating website copy
  • Product promotion
  • Creating clear terms and conditions
  • Improving Your SEO Performance
  • Choosing textbooks for a class or training program
  • Editing your novel
  • Communicating your research to a non-specialist audience

Your audience will be more engaged if your content is simple to read. Higher levels of engagement have the following advantages:

  • Reduced bounce rates on your website
  • Increased website session time
  • Content that gives readers what they want
  • Content that readers will want to share with others

Having a readable website with engaging content is beneficial to any business or organization.

When your audience is engaged with your content, they are more likely to click on your call-to-action buttons, add products to their shopping cart, spend more money on your website, and return to your website in the future.

Also, Read

Alternatives to The Readability Score

Readability Score Alternatives

Although the Flesch Reading Ease formula can help you determine whether your text is reaching the intended audience, you should also run your text through other readability score formulas.

Using multiple formulas may result in slightly different results. To get a more accurate picture of the complexity of your text, take the average of all readability scores. Other readability score formula options include the following.

The Coleman Liau readability score is based on the number of characters in the text rather than the number of syllables. The formula’s final score is equivalent to a reading grade level. A score of around 8 is roughly equivalent to an eighth-grade reading level.

The Dale-Chall readability score formula compares the number of words in the text that are easily understood to the number of words in the text that are not on the list.

The Gunning Fog readability formula counts the number of words in a text that have three or more syllables (except for proper nouns and compound words), which are referred to as complex words. It then computes a score by comparing the number of complex words to the total number of words and the number of words per sentence in the text.

The Gunning Fog final score is roughly equivalent to a high school reading grade level. A score of around 10 corresponds to the reading level of a high school sophomore, for example.

  • SMOG

The SMOG readability formula uses the number of words with three or more syllables and the total number of sentences in the text to calculate an estimated reading grade level. The formula’s final result should correspond to a reading grade level. A score of 7 corresponds to approximately a seventh-grade reading level.


When writing, it is critical to keep in mind that you cannot boil down a text’s readability to a straightforward formula. In addition to the length of your words and sentences, there are additional aspects that affect readability. Utilize the ratings as a reference, but keep in mind your writing style and target audience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good Flesch reading grade level?

The Flesch Kincaid Grade Level corresponds to the educational grade level in the US. It demonstrates the level of education needed to comprehend a text. Text meant for general public circulation should aim for a grade level of about 8.

How do I know the reading level of my text?

You can assess the reading level of your text by running it through a reading level checker. There are various checking models that you can follow for this, some of which are available online for free.

What is the best readability test?

Flesch reading ease test is one of the most popular readability tests. It is utilized by several online writing tools and preferred by many prestigious universities.

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