Typical Reading Demands of Materials in English
The diagram displays the typical English-language reading demands (in Lexile® measures) of university textbooks (U.S.), online reference articles, worldwide online newspapers and workplace documents (U.S.), which are described in more detail below. The blue bars correspond to the distribution of the readability measures of these materials from the 25th percentile to the 75th percentile. For example, if your Lexile measure corresponds to the value at the top of a blue bar, you should be able to read about 75% of the materials in that category with confidence. Therefore, the higher your Lexile measure in relation to the blue bar, the more likely you will be able to manage the reading demands of these materials.
University Textbooks (U.S.)
MetaMetrics research into the reading demand of textbooks used in higher education began in 2004. Since this time, MetaMetrics has expanded this research to total 200 textbooks, and has narrowed its scope here to include only textbooks typically used in freshman and sophomore courses at four-year institutions.
Also see MetaMetrics, Inc (2008). Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: Text Measurement and Analysis . MetaMetrics Technical Report Update.
Online Reference Articles
In 2009, MetaMetrics measured the Lexile level of 1,030 featured articles on the English Wikipedia site. Featured articles are considered to be the best articles in Wikipedia, and undergo a unique review process for accuracy, neutrality, completeness, and style.
See a complete listing of featured articles on the English Wikipedia site . A list of the specific articles is available from MetaMetrics upon request.
Worldwide Online Newspapers
To examine the Lexile level of worldwide newspapers, MetaMetrics analyzed 31 online newspapers from 22 countries. Articles were selected from each section of the newspaper, with about 10,000 words collected each day. Once 100,000 words had been collected, the articles were aggregated and measured with the Lexile Analyzer.
A list of the newspapers is available from MetaMetrics upon request.
In its investigation of workplace reading, the International Center for Leadership in Education independently examined the Lexile level of 1,401 examples of occupational reading material, classified into 16 career clusters. This database was reviewed by MetaMetrics and is summarized in "Student Readiness for Postsecondary Options ."
Also see: Pennsylvania Department of Education. (2004). Pennsylvania reading requirements for school, the workplace and society: Executive summary of findings .