There is no direct correspondence between a specific Lexile measure and a specific grade level. Within any classroom or grade, there will be a range of readers and a range of reading materials. For example, in a fifth-grade classroom there will be some readers who are ahead of the typical reader (about 250L above) and some readers who are behind the typical reader (about 250L below). To say that some books are "just right" for fifth graders assumes that all fifth graders are reading at the same level. The Lexile® Framework for Reading is intended to match readers with texts at whatever level the reader is reading.
MetaMetrics® has studied the ranges of Lexile reader measures and Lexile text measures at specific grades in an effort to describe the typical Lexile measures of texts and the typical Lexile measures of students of a given grade level. This information is for descriptive purposes only and should not be interpreted as a prescribed guide about what an appropriate reader measure or text measure should be for a given grade.
The tables below show the middle 50% of reader measures and text measures for each grade. The middle 50% is called the interquartile range (IQR). The lower number in each range marks the 25th percentile of readers or texts and the higher number in each range marks the 75th percentile of readers or texts. It is important to note that 25% of students and texts in the studies had measures below the lower number and 25% had measures above the higher number. Data for the reader measures came from a national sample of students.
Typical Reader Measures, by Grade
|Grade||Reader Measures, Mid-Year
25th percentile to 75th percentile (IQR)
|1||Up to 300L|
|2||140L to 500L|
|3||330L to 700L|
|4||445L to 810L|
|5||565L to 910L|
|6||665L to 1000L|
|7||735L to 1065L|
|8||805L to 1100L|
|9||855L to 1165L|
|10||905L to 1195L|
|11 and 12||940L to 1210L|
Data for the first column of text measures came from a research study designed to examine collections of textbooks designated for specific grades (MetaMetrics, 2009). The "stretch" text measures (defined in 2012 through studies related to the development of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts) in the second column represent the demand of text that students should be reading to be college and career ready by the end of Grade 12.
Typical Text Measures, by Grade
Text Demand Study 2009
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 and 12||1070L to 1220L||1185L to 1385L|
*COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS FOR ENGLISH, LANGUAGE ARTS, APPENDIX A (ADDITIONAL INFORMATION), NGA AND CCSSO, 2012
New research was released on August 15, 2012 concerning text complexity. The updates refer to the three-part model defined in Appendix A of the the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects, which combines the quantitative and qualitative measures of text complexity with reader and task considerations. The goal of the quantitative study was to provide information regarding the variety of ways text complexity can be measured quantitatively and to examine text complexity tools that are valid, transparent, user friendly, and reliable. We continue to update our tools to be aligned to the CCSS. Most recently, we updated the Lexile Map to include CCSS text exemplars and the new CCSS ranges.
Notice that there is considerable overlap between the grades. This is typical of student reading levels and texts published for each grade. In addition, the level of support provided during reading and reader motivation have an impact on the reading experience. Students who are interested in reading about a specific topic (and are therefore motivated) often are able to read text at a higher level than would be forecasted by the reader's Lexile measure.
Although a student may be an excellent reader, it is incorrect to assume that he or she will comprehend text typically found at (and intended for) a higher grade level. A high Lexile measure for a student in one grade indicates that the student can read grade-level-appropriate materials at a very high comprehension rate. The student may not have the background knowledge or maturity to understand material written for an older audience. It is always necessary to preview materials prior to selecting them for a student.
It is important to note that the Lexile measure of a book refers to its text difficulty only. A Lexile measure does not address the content or quality of the book. Lexile measures are based on two well-established predictors of how difficult a text is to comprehend: word frequency and sentence length. Many other factors affect the relationship between a reader and a book, including its content, the age and interests of the reader, and the design of the actual book. The Lexile measure is a good starting point in your book-selection process, but you should always consider these other factors when making a decision about which book to choose.
The real power of The Lexile Framework is in matching readers to text-no matter where the reader is in the development of his or her reading skills-and in examining reader growth. When teachers know Lexile reader measures and Lexile text measures, they can match their students with the texts that will maximize learning and growth.