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Why Is the Initial Placement Exam Given at Grade Level?

Each grade level has a different placement exam, and each placement exam includes a floor (the lowest possible Lexile® level) and a ceiling (the highest possible Lexile® level).

The initial Placement Exam is given at a student's grade level. This is done in order to give the student his or her initial Lexile® number. Benchmark assessments given after the initial placement are given at a student's reading level. The benchmarks are given after a student reads 5 books or three hours within a two-week period. After a few benchmark assessments are taken, the student’s Lexile® will adjust naturally.

In some instances, students are enrolled in a grade that is above their reading level. In these instances, teachers and administrators would like a way to administer the initial Lexile® exam with questions closer to the student’s reading level. Educators can either let the student take the grade-specific assessment and allow the level to self-correct as the student takes benchmarks, or they can increase or decrease the student's grade level to artificially change the Lexile® level range that can be assigned to the student based on the placement exam results.

For more information on Lexile, see the MetaMetrics website.