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Lexile measures provide educators with an interpretive — not prescriptive — tool for measuring student growth and predicting future success. The idea behind the Lexile® Framework for Reading is simple: if we know how well a student can read and how hard a specific book is to comprehend, we can predict how well that student will likely understand that book.

There are two Lexile measures: the Lexile reading measure and the Lexile text measure.

A student gets a Lexile reading measure from a reading test or program. For example, if a student receives an 880L on their end-of-grade reading test, their Lexile reading measure is 880L. More than 65 popular reading assessments and programs and 25 state assessments report Lexile reading measures.

A book, article or piece of text gets a Lexile text measure when it’s analyzed by MetaMetrics®. For example, the first Harry Potter book measures 880L, so its Lexile text measure is 880L.

The Lexile Scale

The Lexile Framework measures students and texts on the same developmental scale to seamlessly match readers to targeted texts.

When the Shoe Fits

You know your shoe size. But imagine how frustrating it would be to try to buy shoes if you couldn’t find out what size they were.

The same goes for non-Lexile reading scores. A student scored “286” in reading, for example— what would that mean? How would that student find materials to match a “286”?

That’s what makes the Lexile Framework for Reading different from other reading scales. It comes to life when you match a Lexile reading measure with a Lexile text measure. The Lexile scale is like a thermometer from below 0L for beginner readers to above 2000L. The Lexile measure is shown as a number with an “L” after it — 880L indicates an 880 Lexile measure. When a Lexile text measure matches a Lexile reading measure, this is called a “targeted” reading experience. The reader will likely have some challenge with the text, but not enough to get frustrated. This is the best way to grow as a reader — with text that’s not too hard but not too easy.

How Educators Use Lexile Measures

Lexile measures provide educators with valuable information about students’ abilities, as well as the difficulty of a text, such as a book or a magazine article. Here are just a few ways educators use Lexile measures:

  • Personalize learning. Educators best serve students when they treat them like individuals. They can personalize learning by using free Lexile resources to connect students with materials in their Lexile range, or reading comprehension “sweet spot,” which is from 100L below to 50L above their reported Lexile measure.
  • Differentiate instruction. When all students in a classroom are using the same textbook, Lexile measures help teachers predict which students might need extra help, and which ones might need enrichment (see the following Forecasted Comprehension figure).
  • Communicate with parents. Lexile measures offer educators a way to communicate with parents about their children’s progress. When parents know their child’s Lexile measure, they can use that information at home to connect their child with reading material. Educators can direct parents to additional Lexile parent resources.

These are just a few of the ways educators work with Lexile measures. Please read about all the ways that Lexile measures can work for you.

This graphic shows the forecasted comprehension of a text by readers with various Lexile measures.
Forecasted Comprehension

The Lexile Framework helps teachers forecast students' comprehension of a text by knowing their Lexile reading measures.