About Lexile® Measures

A Lexile measure is . . .

. . . the standard for matching readers with text. Millions worldwide use Lexile measures to enhance their reading in English. With Lexile measures, readers at every age and level can find the right books to read and improve.

What is a Lexile Measure?

A Lexile measure is a unit of measure for reading in English based on a scale that measures both reading ability and text complexity. When the Lexile measures of a reader and a text are matched, reading practice is more effective because the text is not too easy or too hard. A Lexile measure is shown as a number followed by the letter “L,” such as 1000L. The Lexile scale ranges from below 0L for beginning readers and text to above 1600L for advanced readers and text. Beginner-level readers and texts have low Lexile measures. Advanced-level readers and texts have high Lexile measures.


What Does a Lexile Measure Mean?

The Lexile measure of a reader describes his or her English reading ability. Materials at the right level for most readers range from 100L below the reader’s Lexile measure to 50L above it. Thus, the right level for a 900L reader is generally 800L to 950L.

The Lexile measure of a text describes its level of complexity. Software evaluates the difficulty of the language in the text to calculate a Lexile measure. Thousands of books have Lexile measures, and more titles are being continuously measured.

Lexile measures can illustrate the typical reading abilities and demands observed in English-based settings, such as U.S. grade levels. This can help developing readers set goals and track progress. The Lexile Map provides sample books and reading passages at various Lexile levels.

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How to Use a Lexile Measure

Like any skill, reading ability requires practice and commitment to improve. Lexile measures make it easy to find the right books to make reading practice more effective.

  • Use the Library to browse recommended titles in the Lexile Book Database based on the Lexile measure and interests of a reader.
  • Create, manage, and share a Bookshelf of preferred titles to guide ongoing reading practice.
  • Spend at least 20 minutes reading per day. Choosing books at the right level helps ensure practice is not too hard or too easy. Choosing books on topics of interest helps make reading practice more fun.
  • As reading ability improves, gradually increase the reader's Lexile measure to maintain the right amount of challenge. However, do not increase a Lexile measure too quickly. Improvement will take time.

Some books have Lexile Codes, which appear as two-letter designations (e.g., AD580L.) Lexile Codes provide useful information that describes the content of a book. A Lexile Code is included when a Lexile measure may not be enough information to match a book with a particular reader.

See Lexile Codes


The People Behind Lexile Measures

Lexile measures are a product of MetaMetrics, a research-driven organization based in Durham, North Carolina, USA. Our team is made up of experienced scientists, educators, consultants, and developers who share a common goal to improve teaching and learning. We are passionate about research and technology that increases student achievement.

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How to Get Your Lexile Measure

A study to match the TOEFL® JuniorTM Reading scores with Lexile measures was conducted in 2010, and one to match the TOEFL® PrimaryTM Reading scores with Lexile measures was completed in 2013. Now both TOEFL Junior and TOEFL Primary score reports include Lexile measures!

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How to Read Your TOEFL® Junior TM Score Report

TOEFL Junior Sample Report

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