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Study Reveals Student Lexile Measure Norms by Grade Level

Students get a Lexile measure from an assessment of English language arts or reading. This could be the state test or another standardized test like NWEA’s MAP Growth or Istation. Use our national student norms data below to see where students score compared to the 50th to 90th percentile for each grade.

50th to 90th Percentile Student Lexile Measure Norms for Reading by Grade

Grade   End-of-Year Student Measures, 50th to 90th Percentile
1 165L to 565L
2 425L to 790L
3 645L to 980L
4 850L to 1155L
5 950L to 1255L
6 1030L to 1335L
7 1095L to 1405L
8 1155L to 1465L
9 1205L to 1515L
10 1250L to 1605L
11 & 12 1295L to 1605L

These student norms are based on a MetaMetrics’ study that included a sample of 3.5 million students from all 50 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands who were administered tests that reported Lexile measures from 2010 to 2016. The Lexile student measure ranges show the 50th through 90th percentiles by grade level for spring testing.

What Are the Differences Between Percentiles and Performance Standards?

Percentiles or norms describe what is normal or typical, usually for a large sample of a population. Grade-level norms describe how students actually performed on assessments resulting in student Lexile measures.

Performance standards are set by states and assessment developers. Labels such as “basic” or “proficient” are often applied to each standard. Lexile measures can be aligned with state performance standards to show a student’s reading ability as it relates to a state’s grade-level expectations. 

The typical or mid-point of student norms is not the same as achieving the grade-level performance standard. Often only the top one third of students meet grade-level performance standards. So, a student at the 50th percentile could be both “typical” and also “not meeting grade-level performance standards”.

What About College and Career Readiness?

Another MetaMetrics study found that individuals typically encounter texts around 1300L in their initial postsecondary college and career experiences, higher than high school textbooks that are around 1100L. For ideas on closing this text complexity gap, see our Lexile Text Ranges for College and Career Readiness chart.

See the Chart

What About Text Measures and Grade Levels for Spanish Texts?

See our Lexile Measure Ranges for Spanish Text for Grades 1-5 chart based on another MetaMetrics’ study.

See the Chart