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Text comprehension includes different components to create a coherent whole. The comprehension tasks of the national Estonian-language tests for Grades 3, 6 and 9 (10-, 13- and 16-year-old students) were analysed to find out the similarity in the distribution of tasks at different comprehension levels for the same grade in consecutive years and if the text comprehension levels in the tests for different grades changed. Deductive content and descriptive analyses were used to find out how comprehension was measured in the national Estonian-language tests. We found that there was no consistency in the tests for the same grade in different years. Additionally, in most cases, the students’ cognitive growth was not considered: the tests for younger students included more inferential and evaluative level tasks than the tests for older students. Although it is important to improve comprehension skills at every level, the emphasis in tests should move from literal to inferential and evaluative tasks in the older age group.
Keywords: Text comprehension levels, text comprehension components, national tests, text comprehension tasks, primary school.
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