Determine Reading Ability Using a Reading Level Chart

A Reading level chart is an incredibly useful tool in…

A Reading level chart is an incredibly useful tool in the academic setting. It helps you make a lot of important reading decisions and figure out which reading level is right for you.

What Is a Reading Level Chart?

A reading level chart measures the word and sentence lengths based on grade-level ranges. Education experts create this system to communicate the difficulty of a text.

It can be helpful to determine what level of education a reader should ideally have before they would be able to comprehend the text. There are different level reading requirements associated with different age groups.

This chart determines what level a person should be based on their age and ability. It helps teachers and parents serve the children better by indicating how the text is most likely to be comprehended.

How Does Guided Reading Work?

Guided reading employs a standard scale to measure a child’s reading ability and works within a child’s instructional level.

A child is assessed and assigned a reading level based upon word knowledge, comprehension, and fluency. Levels range from A to Z, with level A representing the lowest level of difficulty and level Z representing the highest.

Reading anything above a certain level is frustrating, while anything below doesn’t allow enough learning.

However, teachers can work closely with their students to help them become better readers. They introduce increasingly challenging books that meet the instructional needs of each child based on their ability.

Does Reading Level Measure Intelligence?

Reading level is a tool for determining a person’s reading comprehension. It is calculated using a specific scale based on the standard text. This scale is by no means a measure of intelligence.

It is a guide for measuring which books are appropriate for what age range. As a reader grows older, their reading level increases.

Reading levels can also vary depending on the grade level the book is targeted for. It indicates how much a child knows compared to their peers at a particular grade level.

boy sitting on bench while holding a book ang laughing.
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Different Levels of Guided Reading

The reading level is determined by looking at the approximate grade level required to read a text comfortably. It is determined by how much schooling a reader needs to grasp the text altogether.

Leveled reading utilizes various assessment tools to determine how well a child reads. It then matches kids to books that are challenging enough for them to make progress.

Teachers carefully select leveled texts for students using their current literacy behaviors and previous knowledge of content. They often use a conversion chart to show the correspondence of different reading levels to the parents.

The four most common leveled reading methods are:

  • Guided Reading Level (GRL)
  • Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA)
  • Lexile Measures
  • Accelerated Reader Level (AR)


A reading level chart is a tool to measure an individual’s reading ability. It provides them with appropriate reading material based on their age, developmental stage, and comprehension skills.

There are different approaches for measuring reading ability. The Guided Reading Level method is the most popular approach. It employs small guided reading books followed by reading levels for subsequent readings of large texts.

This chart is also helpful to determine appropriate materials to aid further development and reading efficacy of a child.

Frequently asked questions

What is a level 6 reading level?

6th Grade: 50 – 60

How do you determine reading level?

Your child’s teacher usually selects books that match their Lexile reading level and then matches one with the others. The Lexile score is a measure that allows you to match your child’s reading ability to books and other reading materials. The range of this measure is from 0L to 2000L.

How do you determine student independent reading level?

  • To determine the accuracy level, calculate. Divide the number of words that the student correctly reads by the total word count.
  • Compare the Percent Accuracy Level with reading levels. With a Percent Accuracy Level greater than 95%, the book can be considered within the child’s independent reading level.

What level is DRA 4?

GradeScholastic Guided Reading LevelDRA Level
3J-K L-M N O-P Q16–18 20–24 28–30 34–38 40
5Q-R S-V W40 40-50 60
6T-V W-Y Z50 60 70

What is DRA level A?

A/1-24 requires oral responses from students. In levels 28-62, students write their responses. In terms of DRA, teachers use the DRA information to group students for guided reading and to plan appropriate reading instruction that is differentiated to meet their needs.

What are the four levels of meaning with example?

The Four Levels of Meaning: Formal, Subject, Context, and Iconography. We can immediately see the form of an object when we see it: for instance, size, shape, and mass.

How do you evaluate students reading level?

  • Levels Aa-J should be assigned a benchmark book.
  • Levels aa-Z2 must be assigned a benchmark passage.
  • Your students can listen to recordings of reading aloud a book or passage.
  • Online running-recording tools allow students to score all student recordings.
  • Retellings recorded by students.

What level should a Grade 4 be reading?

4th Grade: 38-40

What level should a Grade 3 be reading?

Learning A-Z Text Leveling SystemGradeReading Recovery

What reading level should a 2nd grader be on?

An elementary student should read 50 to 60 words a minute to begin the school year and 90 words per minute to end the school day. Try to test this by giving your child a story from her reading list she hasn’t read, but will pique her interest.

What DRA reading level should a 1st grader be at?

Reading levels in DRA First Grade: 3-16. Second Grade: 18-28. Third Grade: 30-38. Fourth Grade: 40.

What are the reading levels?

  • Accelerated Reader (AR)
  • Lexile (LEX)
  • Reading Level (SRL)
  • Reading Level Guided (GRL).
  • Reading Assessment (DRA) for Developmental Reading.

What is the average reading level for a 5th grader?

Fifth grade reading levels are important to both be aware of and understand. Reading Recovery and PM levels range between 22 and 30 or up to level 50 on DRA levels on average. However, outliers will vary by student.

Are reading levels important?

Reading levels are an important aspect of a complete reading assessment. Reading-level assessments are one way to measure students’ comprehension and decoding.

What are the different reading levels for kids?

Readers enjoy guided reading levels, accelerated reading levels and developmental reading assessments.

Determine Reading Ability Using a Reading Level Chart

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.

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