What is a Lexile Level?

Parent guide – How to interpret and use Lexiles

Reading performance for kids is often reported in different forms to parents and educators. The first time I saw a report showing a Lexile level, I immediately searched and asked myself: what is a Lexile level? One common way of reporting reading performance is using Lexile levels.

I wrote this post to provide parents and new educators a quick guide about Lexile levels. In this post, I also share how to interpret Lexile levels and what Lexile levels communicate about reading development.

Assessment Scores

Most reading assessment report student reading proficiency in Lexile levels. Some of these reading assessments include MAP, Reading Inventory, STAR, and Annual State Assessments that measure and report on reading progress. A Lexile level is a score that provides educators a way to interpret a student’s reading level. Reading levels can range from a 0L for early readers to above a 2000 for advanced readers. 

For reading texts or books, a Lexile level is determined based on the vocabulary that is used. Developers also consider text complexity when assigning a Lexile level. Parents can find a book Lexile on the side and back cover of a cover.

Why are lexile level reported

These levels are reported to communicate the level of difficulty of a book. Educators use reported levels to categorize student reading levels, interpret student performance, and plan instruction.

Lexile measures provide a scientific approach for matching students with ability-appropriate text and audio resources. Lexile reading measure helps differentiate instruction and monitor growth in reading and listening, putting students on the path to success in school, college and careers. Provide educators with an interpretive — not prescriptive — tool for measuring student growth and predicting future success.

 How to find your child’s Lexile

Parents can find their student’s grade level scores by contacting their child’s teachers or school. You will also find your child’s level in a reading assessment report often shared during parent-teacher conferences or sent home. 

Parent-teacher conferences are a great time to discuss your child’s assessment results and Lexile levels. In addition, teachers can provide your child’s Lexile level at any time.

How to interpret reports

A reading assessment report may look different depending on the assessment your child’s school and state use.   In any report, you will find your child’s reading skills and Lexile level. Some reports may indicate whether your child’s reading performance is well above, or on grade level.

If the report does not provide additional information, you can use the below chart to interpret your child’s reading proficiency level.

Beginning of Year (BOY) Scores

The Beginning of Year (BOY) chart shows the reading level for students at that particular grade level in the fall to be considered on grade level.

GradeBOY – Fall
K50th – 90th
1BR345L – BR40L
210L – 435L
3290L – 675L
4530L – 885L
5735L – 1060L
6900L – 1210L
7990L – 1300L
81060L – 1375L
91125L – 1435L
101180L – 1495L
111230L – 1545L
121270L – 1590L

Middle of Year (MOY) Scores

The Middle of Year (MOY) chart shows the reading level your child should reach in their particular grade level in the middle of the school year.

GradeMOY – Winter
K50th – 90th
1BR250L – 55L
285L – 505L
3355L – 735L
4590L – 935L
5790L – 1110L
6925L – 1235L
71010L – 1320L
81080L – 1390L
91140L – 1455L
101195L – 1505L
111240L – 1555L
121285L – 1600L

End of Year (EOY) Scores

While the End of Year (EOY) chart shows the reading level,, your child should reach in their particular grade level at the end of the school year.

GradeEOY – Spring
K50th – 90th
1BR160L – 150L
2165L – 570L
3425L – 795L
4645L – 985L
5850L – 1160L
6950L – 1260L
71030L – 1340L
81095L – 1410L
91155L – 1470L
101205L – 1520L
111250L – 1570L
121295L – 1610L


A 1st grader with a Lexile level of 40 or below would be considered below grade level in reading at the beginning of the school year. However, that same grade level with a score of 148L ends the school year on grade level in reading. 

When to use these charts

Parents can use these charts to understand and verify their child’s reading level any time during the year. You may also use the above charts to obtain and provide kids with appropriate grade level books. Providing kids with appropriate grade level books facilitates reading development.

I will caution that research about reading development indicates that kids should read books that are their grade level. Lexile level charts should be used to ensure that you are not providing your child with books that are well above their Lexile levels.

To find reading materials, you can try your local library or use an online database. One reputable online database to use is Lexile Find a Book. In this online database you can search books of different categories, by grade level, and by Lexile.

Source: https://hub.lexile.com/lexile-grade-level-charts

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