Understand the Right Reading Level by Age

It’s crucial to pick the right level of reading for…

It’s crucial to pick the right level of reading for your child because children of different ages have varying reading requirements. To find the right level for your kid, you’ll need to know their grade level and specific reading ability. Here is how to fine-tune your child’s reading level by age and maturity.

What Is a Reading Level?

Reading levels are a thorough method for matching your child’s reading ability with books they can effectively read and comprehend. It is a reliable indicator of a child’s reading development. Your little one is more likely to enjoy reading if they read books that are predominantly at or just above their identified level.

The Reading scale is an education system that helps to assign books, articles, and other material to a specific grade level student. It has two parts: the grade and the number.

The grade represents any level from K, K-2, 3, 4, 5, and more. And the number means how many levels of reading there are in each grade.

Why Are These Levels of Reading Important?

These levels are a way to gauge a student’s degree of decoding and comprehension. This is important because they provide a way for parents and teachers to determine appropriate reading for their students.

When young reader attempts to read a book that is beyond their level of proficiency, they may conclude that reading is too difficult. And this dissatisfaction may lead to a general aversion to reading and literature.

Therefore, understanding the level of reading is vital to your child’s language learning and comprehension.

A little girl sitting on a chair while reading a book.
Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

Understand the Right Reading Level by Age

Children go through each stage of development at a different rate and for varying lengths of time. It is helpful to get advice from a child’s teacher or another reliable adult to determine the appropriate level of reading.

You must support your little reader in the development stage and make reading easy for them. To determine if your kid is reading at the right level, you must understand the reading level by age to help them at home.

Infancy: Below Age 1

Infants start to understand that sounds and gestures convey meaning. Additionally, you’ll notice that they respond when spoken to, and you can direct them to specific people or objects.

They start to vocalize and pat pictures in response to stories and photos. This is the time when these little kids are not readers yet but are learning the concept of language.

Toddlers: Ages 1–3

Typically, toddlers start identifying objects and responding to questions like “Where’s the boy?” regarding characters in books. They can name familiar images and point to named objects.

These children will be found scribbling on papers and finishing sentences they are familiar with. They are also familiar with book titles and can recognize them by the image on the cover. Toddlers usually have a favorite book that they ask to be read repeatedly.

Early Preschool: Age 3

Early preschoolers are children that are 3 years old. They can listen to longer stories out loud and independently explore books. You may also encourage kids to sing the alphabet song with prompts and cues.

They start to recognize the first letter in their name and understand that creating a picture and writing are two separate things. Additionally, you’ll notice that they mimic the act of reading aloud from a book.

Late Preschool (Age 4)

Late preschoolers understand words that rhyme and identify familiar signs and labels in a book or other objects. They can recognize some alphabets and compose their names.

At this age, they can recognize the starting letters of words and match letters to their sounds. They start to comprehend syllables and try developing terms using familiar letters. They are also aware that print is read top to bottom, from left to right.

Kindergarten (Age 5)

Students in kindergarten can match certain spoken and written words in a book and form rhymes. These kids can distinguish between the beginning, end, and medial sounds in short words.

They should be able to recognize and control progressively smaller speech sounds. They can read straightforward terms both alone and in context. Kindergartners can recall the main idea, remember details, and order events.

First and Second Grade (Ages 6–7)

First and second-grade students are between 6-7 years old. You can expect them to read stories and decode familiar terms. Moreover, they can use pictures and context to help pronounce or decode unfamiliar words.

You can guide them to some general usage of punctuations and capitalization. They will correct themselves as they read aloud if they pronounce something incorrectly. They also begin to organize details from start to the end logically.

Second and Third Grade (Ages 7–8)

Children aged 7 or 8 are usually in the second and third grades. They read aloud longer books independently with proper emphasis and expression.

They also begin to comprehend paragraph concepts and apply appropriate punctuation. These children can use the new words and expressions learned and understand the humor in story books. These young readers acquire the skill of revising their work as they develop and present the content of their stories.

Fourth Through Eighth Grade (Ages 9–13)

Comparatively speaking, these students struggle less with reading multiple genres of material, such as poetry, biography, and fiction. They begin to explore narrative, argumentative, and descriptive essays.

They can extract precise information from books and comprehend how various objects relate to one another. These children gain knowledge of literary devices like metaphors and similes.


Each child has unique intellectual requirements. Therefore, what one child needs to learn won’t be the same as what another child requires.

The answer to determining the level of reading for a child is to first identify what a child’s current developmental level is. This article lists the reading level by age and explains the reading comprehension required from each grade level.

Frequently asked questions

What level should a 2nd grader be reading at?

The reading level of second graders typically ranges from 6 to 20. Take time to read for fun, decode, and comprehend.

What reading level should a 1st grader be at?

An elementary student should have a reading level between 3 and 12. Reading higher indicates that they’re nearing the top of their class, but there’s always room for growth. Your child may drop below or rise above a set range in some cases. Learning how to read with proper tutoring and practice will improve reading performance.

What level should my 6 year old be reading at?

When a 6 year old reads a novel, what is the reading level? However, most kids are starting to string letter sounds together as part of reading short vowel words at the age of 6.

Can most 7 year olds read?

Although most children have learned to read by age seven, they are still rebuilding their fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension skills as they develop into strong readers.

What level does a 7 year old read?

Many children (usually between 6 and 7 years old) are able to decode what they see on the page when they enter first grade. A child in intermediate reading can pair letters with sounds and match written words to their written counterparts.

What is Hyperlexic?

Children have advanced and unexpected reading skills and abilities beyond their chronological age. There is a relatively recent description of this condition (1967), although earlier descriptions are possible.

What reading level should a 9 year old be at?

A decline by nine is the period in which children’s interest in reading wanes once they reach 9 (or thereabouts). The reading frequency among kids falls around this time when reading proficiency and reading milestones are benchmarked. However, 3rd grade is still a benchmark for reading proficiency.

What are the 5 levels of reading?

Development of literacy involves five stages: reading literacy, alphabetic fluency, words and patterns, intermediate reading, and advanced reading.

Do most kids read above grade level?

Although it varied slightly between grade levels and states, they estimated that between 20 and 40 percent of students performed above grade level in reading, and between 11 and 30 percent in math.

What should a 7 year old know academically?

  • Squares and rectangles are perimeters created by adding lengths on their sides.
  • Summarize sentences with equalities and inequalities using symbols like *, =, >.
  • Two-digit numbers’ addition and subtraction problems without regrouping.

How do you determine a reading level?

  • Text Structure. Text structure can determine difficulty of a book in many ways.
  • Content and Theme. Another thing you should keep an eye out for is the content and theme of books.
  • Complex Sentences
  • Phrases and words of vocabulary.
  • Illustrations

What level should a 5 year old be reading?

An older child should also be able to read a few sight words. Many kids learn common words like the, come, some, many, from, where, and were..etc. Learn the lesser common sight words like build, beautiful, group, thought.. Visit our shop for kindergarten book collection.

Are early readers more intelligent?

Reading fluently before first grade is likely for both parents and teachers to perceive as intellectually gifted. This precocious mastery of a complex skill merits a label of giftedness and demands differentiated programming.

How do I know what reading level my child is at?

How do I find out about my child’s reading level? Reading level assessments are usually conducted at your child”s school. The teacher can suggest an appropriate reading list which fits your child’s reading level.

Should kids know their reading levels?

With leveled reading, you can help your kids become better readers by matching them with the right books at the right time. Leveled reading uses various assessment tools to determine how well your child reads, and matches them to books that are challenging enough for them to achieve progress.

Understand the Right Reading Level by Age

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

What is Reading? — Making Sense of Letters and Symbols

When studying the English language, you should familiarize yourself with its different concepts. It includes spelling, vocabulary, grammar, and reading.…

July 4, 2022

What is Readability Score? — a Quick Guide

Your text should cater to all kinds of readers. When you’re writing an article that intends to reach various individuals,…

July 4, 2022

Causes of Reading Comprehension Problems

Reading comprehension is the ability to understand and interpret written words, connecting the information in the text with previous knowledge.…

July 4, 2022

What Is ZPD Reading Level?

Everyone unique and we all have a unique understanding of the world. So what should the level of difficulty be…

July 4, 2022

The Best ELL Strategies for Reading!

Non-native English speakers can be proficient readers in their original tongue. However, those who are enrolled in an ELL (English…

July 4, 2022

These Are the Best Practices in Reading!

Best practices have been a topic of discussion in the reading education community for a long time. Among these best…

July 4, 2022

Best Way to Develop Automaticity in Reading

Numerous frustrated readers lack automaticity, which keeps them from developing into proficient, well-rounded readers. When doing something, we act without…

July 4, 2022

A Guide to Helping Individuals Struggling to Read

Do you have a child still struggling to read? Not to worry, because a significant number of children have difficulty reading.…

July 4, 2022

The SMOG Formula: A Complete Guide

Written communication suffers when people have difficulty understanding what they’re reading. You might want to assess the readability of your…

July 4, 2022