Frequently Asked Questions About Lexiles

What does it mean when I am told that someone reads at a certain lexile?

The student has been tested using the Scholastic Reading Inventory. The score for the test is given as a lexile. The lexile indicates the level at which the student reads.

What is a lexile?

A lexile is simply a unit of measurement that is used to determine the difficulty of text and the reading level of readers.
How is a lexile determined?

A lexile is determined by analyzing text and determining its difficulty level based on vocabulary and sentence structure. (Most text falls between 200 and 1800). A reader’s lexile ability can be determined by testing. Then the reader’s lexile ability and the lexile level of reading materials can be matched to the reader.

What does a lexile tell me about a book I have not read?

The lexile can only tell you about the comparative difficulty of the sentence structure and the level of vocabulary. A lexile does not give any information about the age appropriateness of a text. Close attention must be paid to content when selecting books for children. The Firm written by John Grisham and Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White both have lexiles of 680.

Is there a list of lexiles for every book ever published?

At this time MetaMetrics, Inc. has approximately 45,000 books lexiled. To find the lexile level of a book that has been lexiled, you can do a title or author search here. A bibliography by lexile can also be produced at this site.

Is there ever a time when the lexile level of a book should be ignored by a student or teacher?

When a student is reading for pleasure they should be allowed to choose to read any material they wish at any level. When a child selects a book because they are interested in it they should be encouraged to pursue that interest.