The first time DORA is administered, it will start students out at the highest possible level for High-Frequency Words according to the grade that they are in. (For example, a 3rd grade student will begin with 3rd grade words. A 4th grade student will also begin with 3rd grade words since the High-Frequency Words Sub-test has a maximum score of 3.83.) The test will quickly adapt down if a student makes mistakes or advance to more difficult concepts if he or she answers correctly.
The next time the student tests, the questions will begin at the level appropriate to how he or she performed the previous time.