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You might be used to seeing scores that rate your child’s performance as “grade proficient,” “below grade level” or “above grade level.” You might also see grade-level scores like 5.4, indicating that your fifth-grade child is somewhere between 5.0 and 5.9. Both scores are aimed at showing progress toward grade-level proficiency.

However, the issue with looking at student progress this way is that they all have their own scales for proficiency. Is 5.4 good or bad? If it’s average for your child’s class, what does that say about the class? Grade-equivalent scales are difficult to compare and make it tough to clearly track individual progress. Student growth is measured against the group, rather than based on each student’s progress. They also don’t provide you or your child’s teachers with specific tools for improving their reading skills.

Why Lexile Measures are More Useful Than Grade-Equivalent Scores

The Lexile® Framework for Reading provides an alternative — and more useful — measure of reading ability than grade-equivalent scores.

  1. Unlike typical grade-level scores, you can use Lexile reader measures to find reading materials that match your child’s reading abilities.
  2. Lexile measures help you measure and forecast your child’s growth on the path to college and career readiness.

There’s no direct correspondence between a specific Lexile measure and a specific grade level. However, there are clearly a range of readers, and you might find it useful to see what the typical Lexile measures are within a given grade. In multiple research studies using national samples, we determined Lexile ranges for each grade, provided in the chart below. However, please note:

  • This information is for descriptive purposes. The goal is to give you a sense of where your child’s reading ability falls among their peers. It’s not a guide or standard that your child needs to reach.
  • The Lexile range shown is the middle 50 percent of reader measures for each grade. This means that 25 percent of students in the studies had measures below the lower number and 25 percent had measures above the higher number.

Typical Reader Measures, by Grade

Grade Reader Measures, Mid-Year 25th percentile to 75th percentile (IQR)
1 BR120L to 295L
2 170L to 545L
3 415L to 760L
4 635L to 950L
5 770L to 1080L
6 855L to 1165L
7 925L to 1235L
8 985L to 1295L
9 1040L to 1350L
10 1085L to 1400L
11 & 12 1130L to 1440L

We also studied how these reader measures stacked up against the requirements of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts. We measured the complexity of texts required by CCSS and gave them Lexile text scores. In the next chart, we compare the typical Lexile reader range to the demand of text that students should be reading to be college and career ready by the end of grade 12.

Lexile Reader Measures Compared to CCSS Text Measures

Grade Text Demand Study 2009 25th percentile to 75th percentile (IQR)     2012 CCSS Text Measures*
1 230L to 420L 190L to 530L
2 450L to 570L 420L to 650L
3 600L to 730L 520L to 820L
4 640L to780L 740L to 940L
5 730L to 850L 830L to 1010L
6 860L to 920L 925L to 1070L
7 880L to 960L 970L to 1120L
8 900L to 1010L 1010L to 1185L
9 960L to 1110L 1050L to 1260L
10 920L to 1120L 1080L to 1335L
11 & 12 1070L to 1220L 1185L to 1385L
*COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS FOR ENGLISH, LANGUAGE ARTS, APPENDIX A (ADDITIONAL INFORMATION), NGA AND CCSSO, 2012

Looking for research?

MetaMetrics® has gathered years of research as well as conducted its own research on better ways to measure student reading and report growth.

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