A recent study indicated alarmingly low results in reading competencies of Portuguese engineering students. This paper intends to evaluate if this tendency is restricted to engineering studies or if it is also present in other scientific domains. To this end, two studies were conducted using a reading screening test. In the first study, 168 students from Engineering, Health, Psychology and Education participated in an unconstrained time administration of the test. In the second study, the same test was administered in a time constrained mode to 153 students from the same scientific areas. It is concluded that the low results obtained for engineering students are also detected in other scientific domains. A comparison between Engineering and other domains students show slight differences, although not reaching statistical significance. These results emphasize the importance for screening tests able to quickly and economically assess college student's reading ability. This study proposes a low cost, low time consuming tool for evaluation of reading competences, along with normative results for Portuguese speaking college population.
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