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DAR-2 Test Prep – Overview

If you want your child to score well on the Diagnostic Assessments of Reading – Second Edition (DAR-2) it’s important to have them well-prepared and feeling confident on their testing day. If your child goes into the test without any idea of what to expect, the many children who have prepared and DO know what to expect will have an advantage, fair or not.

Luckily, there is an easy solution for this. Testing Mom has helped 1,000’s of children achieve higher scores on the DAR-2 with a prep program unlike any other available. Many members even choose to continue their membership after testing because of the amount of educational content Testing Mom can provide a family who wants their children to succeed academically. Fun fact – a single Testing Mom membership can be used by any child in the family.

The Testing Mom Advantage

As a widely used reading test throughout the United States, the DAR-2 is heavily supported by Testing Mom’s thousands of practice questions, interactive games, online tutors, skill-building academy (which includes several online reading programs), and its team of testing experts that help guide parents through the testing process and beyond – all available with a Testing Mom membership.

DAR-2 comprises a widely utilized suite of assessment tools meticulously designed to gauge the early literacy proficiencies of students, predominantly those in early elementary. The questions on the test include phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. These are the abilities students need to become proficient readers. Each student will complete the tests depending on his or her grade and time of year. The student is usually assessed in the fall, winter, and spring of each year to gauge growth or if modifications need to be made.

Phonemic Awareness – a student’s capacity to perceive and modify sounds within spoken words exclusively, and it serves as a significant indicator of their potential achievement in becoming ready for successful reading.

Phonics – the skill of recognizing the distinct sounds in spoken language and associating these sounds with specific written letters within the English language. Students with proficient phonics skills can link individual sounds to letters and employ this knowledge to decipher written words.

Reading Fluency – the capacity of your child to read text with precision and without conscious effort, ensuring their comprehension of the material.

Vocabulary – the grasp of the definitions of individual words encountered in reading. This understanding is crucial for a student’s proficiency in reading and their ability to comprehend the material.

Reading Comprehension – the student’s capacity to grasp the meaning of the text they read, and it represents the ultimate objective of reading instruction.

If your child will be taking the DAR-2, watch for these common mistakes. At, we have seen that children, no matter how bright they are, don’t always perform well on tests when they have no test-taking experience, and specifically, no practice with the format and structure of a particular test. Because many of these critical test-taking skills are not reinforced in school, students are unable to gain practice in the art of test-taking. As a result, they may misunderstand directions, lose focus, fail to consider all answer choices, struggle to listen to the questions asked, fail to eliminate obviously wrong answers, lose time getting stuck on hard questions, and more.

As you observe your child working through this practice test, watch for these common mistakes and gently make corrections. Through your guidance and lots of practice, your child will be able to perform at his or her true ability for a fair and accurate evaluation during the actual test.

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Since the DAR-2 is a reading test that assesses your child’s reading-related phonological processing skills,’s practice questions, that are similar to the test, can be very helpful in building your child’s underlying skills, experience, and confidence.

How Testing Mom Helps with DAR-2 Test Prep

Testing Mom online test prep equips kids with the skills and knowledge required to tackle these assessments confidently and successfully. Here’s how Testing Mom can assist with the DAR-2 and how parents can play a crucial role in this process:

  • Comprehensive Material: offers a wide range of study material aligned with the content of the DAR-2. It includes online practice questions, interactive games, skill-building exercises, and printable worksheets. This vast selection allows parents to choose the learning method that best suits their child, ensuring an effective and engaging study experience.
  • Tailored Learning:  This platform customizes the learning content based on the child’s grade level, ensuring the material is suitable and challenging enough to boost their reading abilities. This tailored learning approach aids in the comprehensive understanding and mastery of the topics that the DAR-2 will assess.
  • Skill Development:  The DAR-2 evaluates students’ abilities in areas such as letter-sound knowledge, phonological and phonemic awareness, and fluency. provides specific practice questions and resources for each of these areas, allowing children to develop the necessary skills systematically. If you ever run out of practice questions in our Reading Test Section on the website, we can direct you to other specific tests covered on the site where more similar questions can be found.  In addition, we can send you to 3rd party reading programs available as part of your membership in our Skill Building Academy where these skills can be honed in fun ways.
  • Parental Support: also offers resources for parents, including a guide to understanding reading testing, strategies for test prep, and tips on how to support their child’s learning journey. This helps parents feel more equipped to assist their child in preparing for the test.
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How Parents Can Further Help With DAR-2 Test Prep

  • Regular Practice:  Parents should ensure their child regularly practices using Consistency is key in reinforcing the skills and knowledge gained. Testing Mom also offers one-to-one online tutoring at super affordable prices! You can schedule a free call with one of our educational advisors to learn more about how our one-to-one tutoring can help your child soar on the DAR-2!
  • Encourage a Growth Mindset:  It’s important for parents to foster a growth mindset in their children, emphasizing that intelligence can be developed and that effort leads to improvement. This helps children approach the DAR-2 with a positive and resilient attitude.
  • Healthy Environment:  Parents should provide a quiet, comfortable space for children to study, free of distractions. Also, maintaining a healthy balance between work and play is crucial to avoid burnout.
  • Monitor Progress:  Parents can use Testing Mom’s Digital Tutor to track their child’s progress for DAR-2 success, identifying areas of strength and weakness. This can help parents provide specific support where it’s most needed and discover how Testing Mom tutoring can help for that extra added boost.
  • Open Communication:  Parents should maintain an open dialogue with their child about their upcoming test. It’s essential to discuss any worries or concerns their child may have and to reassure them that a test is merely a way to show what they’ve learned.

By using and following these guidelines, parents can support their child in preparing for the DAR-2 test. This combination of online learning and parental support can help students approach their test with confidence and perform to the best of their abilities.

How to get the most out of DAR-2 Practice Tests and Questions

When working through a DAR-2 practice test, make sure your child is working in a quiet and well-lit environment where he or she can focus while working through questions. We suggest working in chunks of 30-minutes and then taking a break, as 30-minutes is about as long as any child can successfully think clearly and give their full attention.

Materials You’ll Need:

  • If you print the practice test from a download on the website, separate the practice test from the instructions.
  • Have some soft, black #2 pencils and good erasers to use.

When Your Child Is Taking the Practice Test:

  • Give your child one set of questions at a time. First, go through the sample questions in the set to make sure your child knows what to do.
  • Then, allow your child to work through the rest of the questions if you don’t need to read individual question prompts. There may be some questions which the parent needs to read for the child.
  • Read instructions exactly as they are written. Do not paraphrase them.
  • Give your child breaks as needed.
  • Once the practice questions start, don’t give your child feedback or help unless he or she is confused about what to do. Review all answers after the practice session is over.
  • At the end of each set of questions, give your child positive feedback for working hard and doing his or her best! This will help to instill a sense of motivation and confidence in your child!

For additional preparation for the DAR-2, join where we have hundreds more practice questions for your child, along with engaging on-line prep games.

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DAR-2 Quick Facts

  • Publisher – Pro-Ed
  • Latest Version – DAR – 2nd Edition
  • Age Range – 5 years – adult
  • Test Format – Paper and Pencil
  • Testing Time – 40 minutes or less

DAR-2 Purpose

  • To identify people who are below their peers in phonological abilities,
  • To determine a person’s strengths and weaknesses in phonological abilities,
  • To document a person’s progress after specific interventions to improve their phonological abilities.

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