What is a Lexile Level?

Parent Guide – How to Interpret and Use Lexiles

Reading performance for kids is 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 in reading? I quickly learned that the use of lexile levels by grade is a common way of reporting reading performance.

what is a lexile level
Download a Lexile level tracker

I wrote this post to provide parents and new educators with 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.

Reading comprehension is the ultimate in reading development. Researchers and educators may not always agree about teaching reading, but we all aim for reading comprehension. Giving access to grade-level texts is one way to help students reach and develop reading comprehension.

Assessment Scores

Most reading assessments report student reading proficiency in Lexile levels. 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 allows educators to interpret a student’s reading level. Reading levels can range from a -0- for early readers to above 2000 for advanced readers. 

A Lexile level is determined based on the vocabulary for reading texts or books. 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 Levels Reported

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

Lexile measures provide a scientific approach for matching students with ability-appropriate text and audio resources. The 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. As a parent, you should also understand the importance of teaching kids to read using grade-level texts.

Parent-teacher conferences are a great time to discuss your child’s assessment results and Lexile levels by grade. 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.   You will find your child’s reading skills and Lexile level in any report. Some reports may indicate your child’s reading performance is well above or below grade level.

If the report does not provide additional information, you can use the below chart to interpret your child’s reading proficiency level. This does not mean you should have your child read books at their reading Lexile level. Reading development is best supported when kids are taught using books at a student’s grade 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 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 Lexile Charts

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

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

Try your local library or an online database to find reading materials. 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 Lexile.

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

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