Skip To Main Content

Lexile Reading Level


What is a Lexile measure?

A Lexile measure indicates the reading level of an individual or a book. By comparing a student’s Lexile measure with the Lexile measure of a book, you can decide whether its text demand will be too difficult, too easy or just right for a student’s reading ability. To best strengthen his or her reading skills, a student should read books within his or her Lexile range.

What is a student’s recommended Lexile range?

A student’s Lexile range spans from 100L below to 50L above his or her Lexile measure. When a student reads within his or her Lexile range, he or she should be able to comprehend enough of the book to make sense of it, while still being sufficiently challenged to maintain interest and learning.

How does a student get a Lexile measure at CMS?

CMS assesses students three times a year with the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI). 

How can you use Lexile measures to help students find books?

With the free “Find a Book” search tool, you can help students select books that best match his or her reading ability (Lexile measure), interests and goals. It’s easy and fun to use.

“Find a Book” website: Go to

• Enter your child’s Lexile measure - If you do not know your child’s Lexile range, you can search for books based on his or her comfort with grade-level materials.

• Have your child pick interest categories

• View and refine the search results

• Add books to your child’s reading list- You can print or email your child’s custom book list.

Should a student try to read books outside of his or her Lexile range?

A student can read books that are above or below his or her Lexile range. However, books that are below a student’s Lexile range may offer little challenge in terms of new vocabulary and complex grammatical structure. Similarly, books that are above his or her Lexile range may be too challenging and discourage the reader. It is recommended that readers choose text within their range. A Lexile range is 50L above and 100L below a student's reported Lexile measure.

Higher Lexile measures allow an advanced and enthusiastic reader to:

• be challenged with high-interest books above his or her Lexile level

• seek help with a hard but interesting book

• find other books on the same subject but at a higher Lexile level

Lower Lexile measures allow a struggling and reluctant reader to:

• build skills with less challenging books on topics of choice 

• select high-low books based on Lexile and development levels

• find other books on the same subject but at a lower level

Is a Lexile measure the only criteria to consider when picking a book?

A Lexile measure is a measure of text complexity only. It does not address the subject matter or text quality, age-appropriateness of the content or a student’s interests. The Lexile measure is one piece of information that a student can use to select books.

For more information on Lexiles, please visit