Determine Reading Ability Using a Reading Level Chart

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.

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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