Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA)

The goal of reading instruction is to develop competent, thoughtful readers who are able to use, interpret, and appreciate all types of text. Beginning teachers need to be able to deliver effective reading instruction that is based on the results of ongoing assessment, reflects knowledge of state reading standards for different grade levels, represents a balanced, comprehensive reading curriculum, and is sensitive to the needs of all students.

The purpose of the RICA is to ensure that California-trained candidates for Multiple Subject Teaching Credentials and Education Specialist Instruction Credentials possess the knowledge and skills important for the provision of effective reading instruction to students.

Both the RICA Written Examination and the RICA Video Performance Assessment are based on the same set of teacher knowledge and skills important for the provision of effective reading instruction to students. These competencies, described in the RICA Content Specifications, are organized into the following five domains:


Domain 1: Planning, Organizing, and Managing Reading Instruction Based on Ongoing Assessment

Domain 2: Word Analysis

Domain 3: Fluency

Domain 4: Vocabulary, Academic Language, and Background Knowledge

Domain 5: Comprehension


The RICA Content Specifications were developed by the CTC's RICA Design Team, consisting of California teachers, administrators, reading specialists, and teacher educators with experience and expertise in the areas of reading and reading instruction. Draft RICA Content Specifications were the subject of a field review in which approximately 1,900 California teachers and teacher educators judged the importance of the proposed competencies. The RICA Design Team used the results of the field review to finalize the RICA Content Specifications, which were subsequently adopted by the CTC.


To be eligible to be recommended for a Multiple Subjects or Education Specialist Preliminary Teaching Credential, candidates must pass the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment.

RICA Preparation Materials

Practice test and content specification

RICA Notebook study guide & video