College and Career Readiness: Through the Lens of Lexiles (2023)

Gina Massengill, M.Ed., Coordinator, VDOE Region 5 TTAC @ JMU

Regardless whether a student aspires to postsecondary education, a job, the military, or just to be an informed citizen, the reading ability required is likely to be higher than what is typically required in high school based on texts that are widely used in this country (Williamson, 2004).

Have you ever thought about what the reading demands are for your students beyond high school? Or better yet, do you feel that they are equipped to meet the demands of what they are required to read as citizens, employees, post-secondary education learners, and/or in their personal activities? Would you like to have valuable understanding into your student’s readiness for these reading demands, like to predict the level of comprehension they need to experience success with these texts, and have a valuable tool for teachers, parents, and students that connects your students reading ability level and how difficult those texts are with a common measure? The Lexile® Framework for Reading, a scientific approach to reading measurement that matches readers to text, provides this.

What is a Lexile Measure?

  • A standard score developed by MetaMetrics®
  • Include two kinds of measures: the Lexile reader measure and the Lexile text measure. Students receive a Lexile reader measure as a score from a reading test – it describes his or her reading ability. Books and other texts receive a Lexile text measure from a software tool called the Lexile Analyzer – it describes the book’s reading demand or difficulty (The Lexile® Framework for Reading, 2012)
  • Lexile measures are included in the Stamdards of Learning (SOL) score reports
  • A score interpreted as the level of book that a student can read with 75% comprehension - 75% comprehension is the level identified by experts as offering the reader a certain amount of comfort and yet still offering a challenge
  • The most widely adopted reading measure in use today
  • Available for tens of thousands of books and tens of millions of articles
  • Available by all major standardized test to report student scores in Lexiles
  • Part of reading and testing programs at district, state, and federal levels (Williamson, 2004).

What is the Lexile Scale?

  • Lexiles typically range from 200 for beginning readers to 1700 for advanced readers
  • Lexile text below 200 represents beginning-reading material, and a student’s Lexile score may have a number in the 100s or the code of BR. BR is a code that stands for Beginning Reading.
  • Applies to both reader ability and text difficulty
    • When reader and text measures are the same, the student is expected to read with 75% comprehension
  • Can be used to track reading growth over time
    (Georgia Department of Education, 2012)

What are the reading demands of the post-secondary world according to Lexile Measures?

Median Text Measures (Williamson, 2004):

  • 11th/12th grade (LA/SS textbooks): (1090L)
  • GED Test Materials:(1060L)
  • SAT/ACT Test Materials:(1180L)
  • Military (training/field manuals): (1180L)
  • Citizenship (newspapers, voting, jury): (1230L)
  • Workplace (Daggett study materials): (1260L)
  • Postsecondary - first two yrs. (textbooks): (1355L)
    • University (1395L)
    • Community College (1295L)

Newspapers (Daggett, 2003):

  • USA Today (1200L)
  • Associated Press (1310L)
  • Chicago Tribune (1310L)
  • Wall Street Journal (1320L)
  • Washington Post (1350L)
  • NY Times (1380L)
  • Reuters (1440L)

Personal Reading - Citizen Reading Materials (Williamson, 2004):

  • CD-DVD Player Instructions (1080L)
  • GM Protection Plan (1150L)
  • Microsoft Windows User Manual (1150L)
  • Installing Your Child Safety Seat (1170L)
  • Federal Tax Form W-4 (1260L)
  • Application for Student Loan (1270L)
  • Medical Insurance Benefit Package (1280L)
  • Aetna Health Care Discount Form (1360L)

Entry-level Occupational Reading Materials - Career Clusters (Daggett, 2003):

(Video) ELA Supervisor 02.11

  • Agriculture/Natural resources(1270-1510)
  • Architecture/Construction(1210-1340L)
  • Arts/AV Technology/Communications (1100-1190L)
  • Business and Administration(1210 – 1310L)
  • Education and Training(1320-1370L)
  • Health Science (1260-1300L)
  • Hospitality and Tourism(1230-1260L)
  • Human Services(1050-1200L)
  • Law and Public Safety(1420-1740L)
  • Manufacturing(1200-1310L)
  • Retail/Wholesale Sales and Service (1180-1270L)
  • Scientific Research/Engineering(1190-1250L)
  • Transportation, Distribution and Logistics (1170-1350L)

An examination of K–12 texts using Lexile levels reveals a gap of 65L to 230L between the demands placed on high school seniors and the difficulty of postsecondary texts. Texts required for many postsecondary pursuits fall within a Lexile range of 1200L to 1400L, while the text complexity of typical high school textbooks for grades 11 and 12 is about 1050L to 1165L. This research provides valuable insight into the apparent disconnect when high school graduates encounter college and career texts. To put this gap in perspective, a 250L difference between reader ability and text complexity can cause a drop from 75-percent comprehension to 50-percent comprehension. This means that high school seniors who can successfully read twelfth-grade texts may enter college or the workplace several months later and encounter texts that result in less than 50-percent comprehension (Williamson, 2008).

How are your colleagues using Lexile levels to prepare students?

Linda Freeman, Speech Language Pathologist, Culpeper County Public Schools, VA
As a speech language pathologist (SLP), access to Lexile scores has helped me to understand how my students are functioning on unstructured reading tasks. It has also helped to give me focus in how to help teachers address students language/reading needs within the classroom. I can take a handout or lecture, scan it into and get a Lexile equivalent. With that information, I can share with teachers how easy or difficult it would be for regular education students (performing above, at, or below grade level expectations) and special education students to decode that information. We can then work together to alter presentation of materials to enhance student understanding.

Testing is conducted three times a year at both the middle school and high school to monitor progress with all students. A team consisting of teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, and the SLP reviews the data from each testing session. Additional data such as grades, attendance, discipline, and SOL testing is also reviewed. After some initial trial and error, we are now able to get a good picture of which students need reading intervention, strategy intervention, or enhanced classroom instruction. Meetings can be time consuming for all involved, but careful review helps to ensure proper placement for all students.

It seems that having access to Lexile information has affected everyone within the school. Teachers are now very aware of the ‘crack’ students. Meaning those students who participate in class, get average grades, and are too high for traditional reading intervention, but who are clearly not reading at grade level. There is new focus to try different things to get these kids over the hump.

As an SLP, my school involvement has grown exponentially. Initially, I really didn’t understand how I would be able to do anything different to help the ‘regular ed’ students within the classroom. Eventually, I came to realize that the SLP does possess a different skill set that CAN enhance classroom instruction. It’s not about the subject matter for me, it’s helping students learn how to ‘take apart’ a question in any environment, use context clues to help learn vocabulary or unfamiliar words, and think through problems to help increase their understanding of higher level material.

Sandra Bennett, High School Science Teacher, Culpeper County High School, Culpeper County Public Schools, VA

Being introduced to Lexile scores through the Content Literacy Continuum™ (CLC) has really helped my students and lowered my frustration level as well. I write my own lab background and instructions for labs and for one particular lab I could not understand why my students were struggling so with the pre-lab questions. These all had answers in the background write-up. What was the problem? Then we had professional development (PD) on Lexile scores and how to interpret our Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) scores using them. I used my lab background to check the level on the website and was shocked to learn that I was writing at about a 1700 level while my students’ average was around 1000.

(Video) Accessibility and Harmful Content Statements: Analyzing Lexile Levels

The problem was immediately obvious. I had learned that the score was based on sentence length, use of complex words, repetition of words and such, so I decided I would try and bring the level down to one that was appropriate for the students I was teaching. It took several tries to do it but I made two versions at two different levels: 1200 and 1000. The information is the same. The concepts are covered. There was such a change in the responses I was getting from my students when they used the “newer” versions. Students were answering questions completely and “getting it.” All it took was a bit of effort to use shorter sentences, repeat some of the definitions, and decrease the sentence complexity and both my students and I were happier.

I used the higher-level lexile score version in my honors class and the general students used the one that is a bit less complex. I even took it one more step and created a lower score for one of my students who had a very low level. No one had to know they weren’t doing exactly the same work as everyone else since the papers appeared to be the same.

Since that first time, I routinely check whatever I write or use to make sure that I am challenging my students but not expecting them to read at levels far beyond their present one. We do SRI testing three times a year so it is easy to check where my students are and adjust as needed.

Cathleen Beachboard, 6th Grade English Teacher, Floyd T. Binns Middle School, Culpeper County Public Schools, VA

Everyday in the classroom I use Lexile levels toprovide scaffoldingfor reading assignments, to help students choose books, and to make my classroom a place where reading flourishes. In the past, I found getting students to read daunting and forcing grade level material on them was not helping the matter. No one would ever walk into a shoe store and ask for a “sixth grade shoe.” Shoes are fitted according to each person and not all shoes will fit the same student. As I’ve learned, the same is true with books. No “sixth grade book” meets the needs of all sixth grade students because students are at various stages of development and knowledge in sixth grade.By knowing students’ Lexile scores, I as a teacher have the ability to match students to reading materials that appropriately challenge, but do not frustrate, each student.

Through the use of Lexiles, studentscan be monitored for their reading progress and matched to instructional materials at their level. When students read comfortably they are excited about reading and it encourages them to read more.By adapting the content I found out studentsare not only able to understand the material better, but theyare growing in leaps and bounds in the area of reading comprehension. The most amazing thing is that students not onlyare starting to get excited about reading, butthe individualized instructionis causing students Lexiles to increasequickly and dramatically. Students who were below basic in readingare quickly becoming grade level readers and I finally feel like Iam truly helping my students succeed. Lexiles are the key to helping readers.

One of the most successful things I have done with the Lexiles in my class is used the students Lexile scores to motivatestudents to read more. I show students the giant chart of professions from the real world like doctors, lawyers, scientists, etc. and the average Lexile for each profession. Students quickly get motivated by this real world data to do better in reading. Students then set goals for themselves and start pushing themselves to read more material.

(Video) MLIS Colloquium: the Common Core and its' relation to libraries (Marc Aronson & Margaret Freedson)

Lexiles really push the individualized education each student needs to succeed. Lexiles help differentiate instruction and provide scaffolded support for each student. With Lexiles and content to back up the student’s level, success is inevitable for the student.

What resources are available to help implement the Lexile framework in the classroom?

Virginia Department of Education Web site

The Lexile Framework for Reading: A Web Session for Educators

Virginia Lexile Framework Map

Parents Guide to Lexile Framework for Reading

Lexile Find A Book, Lexile Analyzer, and Lexile Calculator

(Video) MO LEAP Resources Overview

Lexile Framework Frequently Asked Questions


Daggett, W.R. (2003). Achieving reading proficiency for all. Rexford, NY: International Center for Leadership in Education.

Georgia Department of Education. (2012). Lexile framework for reading. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from

The Lexile Framework for Reading. (2012). Frequently asked questions. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from

Virginia Department of Education. (2012). Lexile framework for reading: Information for educators. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from

Williamson, G.L. (2004). Student readiness for postsecondary options. Durham, NC: MetaMetrics.

Williamson, G.L. (2008). A text readability continuum for postsecondary readiness.Journal of Advanced Academics,19 (4), 602-632.

(Video) Using NWEA MAP Growth As An Instructional Coach


What are the 4 components of college and career readiness? ›

Components of College and Career Readiness
  • Academic and Content Knowledge.
  • Cognitive and Higher-order Thinking Strategies.
  • Social and Emotional Intelligences.
  • College and Career Preparedness.
  • Employability and Life Skills.

What are college and career ready stretch Lexile bands? ›

The Lexile® Framework helps to describe the text complexity necessary for students to meet the demands of colleges and careers at each grade level.
Lexiles Measures & State Content Standards.
GradeCollege & Career Ready “Stretch” Lexile Bands
81010L to 1185L
91050L to 1260L
101080L to 1335L
11 and 121185L to 1385L
7 more rows

What is CCR in Lexile? ›

Text Ranges for College and Career Readiness.

What Lexile level is college and career readiness? ›

Texts required for many postsecondary pursuits fall within a Lexile range of 1200L to 1400L, while the text complexity of typical high school textbooks for grades 11 and 12 is about 1050L to 1165L.

What are examples of college readiness? ›

Essential Soft Skills for College Readiness
  • Time management.
  • Critical thinking.
  • Communication.
  • Networking.
  • Goal setting.
  • Collaboration.
  • Problem-solving.
Sep 17, 2021

What 3 major skill areas does career readiness involve? ›

Career readiness involves three major skill areas: core academic skills and the ability to apply those skills to concrete situations in order to function in the workplace and in routine daily activities; em- ployability skills (such as critical thinking and responsibility) that are essential in any career area; and ...

What is a good Lexile growth? ›

Keep Your Child On Track for College and Career with The Newly Updated Lexile® Growth Planner. Years of research have shown that 1300L is the ideal Lexile measure for students to reach to be prepared for college-level reading.

What grade level is 400 Lexile? ›

Kindergarten-First Grade
Grade LevelLexile Rating & RangeDRA Level
23 more rows

What Lexile score is needed for college? ›

Research shows that 1300L or above is the target Lexile measure for students to be ready for college and career in reading. Lexile measures provide a scientific approach to improve reading. For more information on how Lexile measures can help improve your students' reading, visit

What grade level is 225 Lexile? ›

Grading Scales / Lexile Level Bands / MAP RIT Ranges
5< 204> 219
6< 209> 225
7< 214> 232
8< 220> 239
6 more rows

What does Lexile 740 mean? ›

However, it has a Lexile text measure of 740L, which is around the average reading ability for a child completing fourth grade. When you look closely at the text, you can see why it gets a “higher” Lexile text measure than the intended audience.

What grade level is a 1300 Lexile? ›

NOTE: By the end of the 11th grade, students should reach the college- and career-ready reading level (1300 Lexiles).

What's a good Lexile score for a 10th grader? ›

When looking at data from a national sample of students, you should expect the average student to score between 905L and 1195L in the 10th grade.

What are the 5 college readiness skills? ›

Just as important as academic learning, these five soft skills are necessary to increase college and career readiness:
  • Self-Motivation. Most students know that college will challenge them to become much more self-motivated and self-disciplined. ...
  • Critical Thinking. ...
  • Communication. ...
  • Knowledge Integration. ...
  • Perseverance.
Aug 13, 2019

How do you measure college and career readiness? ›

The most common CCR measure is advanced coursework, which is used by forty-one states. Thirty-nine states utilize a career-based measure, which could include CTE course-taking, work-based learning, industry credential completion, or apprenticeships.

What skills are needed for career readiness? ›

  • Career & Self-Development.
  • Communication.
  • Critical Thinking.
  • Equity & Inclusion.
  • Leadership.
  • Professionalism.
  • Teamwork.
  • Technology.

What are the 3 most important skills you need in order to be career ready? ›

Here are five career readiness skills that are essential in fostering a successful career path:
  • Written and oral communication. ...
  • Leadership capabilities. ...
  • Teamwork and collaboration. ...
  • Problem-solving skills. ...
  • Work ethic.
Nov 8, 2022

What is the importance of college readiness? ›

If a student is unprepared, he can fail an assignment or class, which leads to stress and hopelessness, which only serves to perpetuate academic troubles. Instead, proactively seizing control of the educational experience before it begins can help a student build positive momentum from the onset.

What are the benefits of college and career readiness? ›

Benefits of being college – and career-ready

Access to a career that provides sustainable wages and pathways to advancement. Greater income opportunities that support the ability to purchase healthy foods, gain access to physical activity opportunities, and pay for health support services.

What is the average college graduate Lexile? ›

The average high school gradu- ate reads at 1150 Lexiles. College graduates can reach 1400 Lexiles. For many of us, the last grade of school we successfully complete defines our reading ability for the rest of our lives.

How many Lexile points should a student gain in a year? ›

While gains around 100 Lexile points may be typical for grades 3-5, reading progress slows with age. By middle school, the average Lexile increase is closer to 70 points per year.

What is the highest Lexile score ever? ›

The highest possible measure is 2000L. Anything below 5L is assessed as a BR or Beginning Reader. A book's Lexile measure is analyzed by MetaMetrics©.

Is 500 Lexile good? ›

2nd Grade: 451L-600L

2nd grade Lexile levels: 451-500L: best level J books. 501-550L: best level K books. 551-600L: best level L books.

What is a good Lexile score for a 13 year old? ›

What are Lexiles and how do they support the Common Core Standards?
Grade BandAgeCurrent Lexile Band
4-59-11 years old645L-845L
6-811-14 years old860L-1010L
9-1014-16 years old960L-1115L
11-CCR16-18 years old1070L-1220L
2 more rows
May 10, 2021

What does a 600 Lexile mean? ›

For example, if a reader has a Lexile measure of 600L (600 Lexile), the reader will be forecasted to comprehend approximately 75% of a book with the same Lexile measure (600L).

What is the average Lexile for a high schooler? ›

Another MetaMetrics study found that individuals typically encounter texts around 1300L in their initial postsecondary college and career experiences, higher than high school textbooks that are around 1100L.

What books have a Lexile of 2000? ›

Lexile measure: 1400L–2000L
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared M. ...
  • Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life (Ballantine Reader's Circle) by Alison Weir.
  • On Liberty by John Stuart Mill.
  • Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States by Kenneth T.

What is the average Lexile for a 9th grader? ›

National Average for Lexile

According to national studies, the typical 9th grader should score on Lexile between 855L and 1165L over the course of the year.

Do Lexile scores matter? ›

A Lexile measure can be interpreted as the level of book that a student can read with 75% comprehension. It is a useful tool for teachers, parents, and students to help gauge where students are reading, where they should be, monitor their progress, and decide on a plan to help them move forward.

What is a good Lexile for 12th grade? ›

Detecting Giftedness Using Lexile Scores

To begin, Lexile score ranges vary depending on grade level. A proficient first grader would score between 200L and 300L, while an adequate reader in the 12th grade would earn a score in the range of 1060L and 1320L.

Is 1600 a good Lexile level? ›

A Lexile range of 1555–1700 puts you in the 90th percentile of grades 9–12+. It's good.

What Lexile level should a 7th grader be at? ›

In the 7th grade, studies using a national sample of students have shown that typically readers will score at a Lexile level between 735L and 1065L over the course of the year.

What Lexile level is Harry Potter? ›

The series is written at a Lexile level of 870L, meaning that an average 8th grader should be able to read these books with moderate ease.

What is Lexile level 560? ›

Lexile levels: 560- 740 - targeted at 3rd and 4th grade students. 750-890 - targeted at 5th and 6th grade students. 900-1040 - targeted at 7th and 8th grade students.

What grade is a Lexile of 900? ›

These titles are suggested for third through eighth grade.

What books have a Lexile level of 1000? ›

Lexile 1000 Books
  • The Hobbit (The Lord of the Rings, #0) ...
  • The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (The Wolves Chronicles, #1) ...
  • The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, #1) ...
  • The Case of the Missing Marquess (Enola Holmes, #1) ...
  • Homer Price (Paperback) ...
  • Lockdown (Escape from Furnace, #1)

Why is my Lexile so high? ›

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.

How do you increase Lexile level? ›

The ideal strategy to improve the Lexile scores of your class is to focus on weaker areas through inquiry-based and question-centered interactions and activities. Reading and comprehension can also be made more fun and engaging through online learning platforms.

What are the 4 factors that affects our readiness? ›

This article describes four major factors that influence learner readiness in short one-to-one interactions. The factors include information processing capacity, affective state, prior learning and experience, and the learner's "way of knowing" or philosophy of learning.

What are the four stages of career exploration? ›

Career Exploration Process
  • Step 1: Engage in Self-Assessment.
  • Step 2: Evaluate Majors and Careers.
  • Step 3: Research Careers.
  • Step 4: Gain Experience.

What are Conley's four dimensions of college and career readiness? ›

multidimensional, and is organized by what he calls the Four Keys to College and Career Readiness. The Four Keys are: 1) key cognitive strategies, 2) key content knowledge, 3) key learning skills and techniques, and 4) key transition knowledge and skills.

What are 4 things you can do in high school to prepare for your career? ›

High school can't give you all of the answers to life's questions, nevertheless you will gain many skills that you can apply to life after you graduate.
  • Meeting Deadlines. ...
  • Critical Thinking. ...
  • Teamwork. ...
  • Attendance and Punctuality.
Nov 17, 2016

What are the 4 types of readiness to learn? ›

Before teaching can begin, the educator must find the time to first take a PEEK (Lichtenthal, 1990) at the four types of readiness to learn—physical readiness, emotional readiness, experiential readiness, and knowledge readiness.

What are the three critical factors of school readiness? ›

According to the National School Readiness Study, there are five important factors that influence school readiness. These include motor skills, cognition and general knowledge, language and literacy, social-emotional interactions, and approach to learning.

What are the three elements in school readiness? ›

School readiness is currently defined by three interlinked dimensions: a) ready children; b) ready schools; and c) ready families. Children, schools and families are considered ready when they have gained the competencies and skills required to interface with the other dimensions and support smooth transitions.

What are the three 3 types of career stages? ›

The five career stages are:
  • Exploration. Typical age range: 21-25. Exploration refers to the stage before gaining permanent employment. ...
  • Establishment. Typical age range: 25-35 years old. ...
  • Mid-career. Typical age range: 35-45 years old. ...
  • Late-career. Typical age range: 45-55 years old. ...
  • Decline. Typical age range: 55-65 years old.
Dec 7, 2020

What are the 5 areas of career development? ›

Areas of improvement are skills, qualities or abilities that an employee could develop or enhance. Areas of improvement could include time management, delegation, organization, communication and engagement. Many of these skills and abilities are those that employees use daily at work.

How do you start a career exploration essay? ›

1) Identify 1 similar occupation to the one you're writing about. 2) Briefly (2-3 sentences) explain how this alternate profession is similar to the one you are exploring in your paper. 1) Describe your vision for your possible future in this profession.

What are the 9 dimensions of e learning readiness? ›

There are eight indicators used to measure the readiness of e-learning, namely the psychological readiness, sociological readiness, environmental readiness, human resource readiness, financial readiness, technological skill readiness, equipment readiness, and content readiness.

What are the 5 dimensions of student development? ›

The Five Areas of Development is a holistic approach to learning for Cerebral, Emotional, Physical, Social and Spiritual development.

What are the four 4 curriculum exits? ›

Based from foregoing discussions, most students are moderately aware on the four curriculum exits namely higher education, middle level skills development, entrepreneurship, and employment.


1. Instructional Strategies to Support Learning Acceleration
(U.S. Department of Education)
2. Text Complexity in Science
(Wisconsin DPI - Resources for the Field)
3. Readability
(Education at Bethel University)
4. Regular Board Meeting 08-02-2021
(South Bend Community School Corporation)
5. Teachers Roundtable: Teaching History in the Classroom Today
(The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition)
6. Introduction to the Quantile Framework for Mathematics
(North Carolina Department of Public Instruction)
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