Deciphering Reading Counts! Lexiles


Each elementary school in Orange Unified utilizes Scholastic's Reading Counts program to create a personalized and engaging learning environment that supports independent reading accountability. Students choose from thousands of popular and engaging titles, read the books, and take the corresponding quizzes. This program:

  • PERSONALIZES suggested reading choices to match student interests and reading levels
  • EMPOWERS educators with reports and actionable data at the student, school, and district level
  • REINFORCES comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency skills
  • MOTIVATES students to meet and increase their achievement through positive reinforcement when they reach/exceed measurable goals, such as points earned or words read


A Lexile measure is a unit for measuring text difficulty based on the syntax and semantic difficulty. Semantic difficulty refers to the level of vocabulary used, and syntax refers to the level of difficulty in terms of sentence length. The Lexile scale is a developmental scale for reading that ranges from below 200L for beginning-reader level to 1700L for advanced level. All students take the Reading Inventory at least 3 times per year to monitor progress of their Reading Lexile score:

Grade Level Year-End Proficiency Ranges


2 420-650L
3 520-820L
4 740-940L
5 830-1010L
6 925-1070L


Students may check their progress both before and after taking a quiz. When students click Check Your Progress on the Home Screen, the Student Reading Report opens in a browser window. This is the same report teachers may send home, which shows the following information on student quiz history:

  • Current Annual Goal: Students’ personal goal for the year, expressed in either points earned or books read. Teachers may set goals for each individual student in the Program Settings in SAM
  • Progress Toward Goal: The number of points students have earned or books they have read for the year
  • Total Points Earned (YTD): The number of points students have earned for the year
  • Avg. Attempts per Book: The average number of times students have taken a quiz for each book
  • Date: The date students took the quiz
  • Book: The title of the book students have read and took the quiz on
  • Author: The author of the book
  • Lexile: The book’s Lexile measure
  • Reading Level: The book’s reading level, an alternate method to Lexile measures to gauge a book’s readability, expressed as a grade equivalent
  • GRL: The book’s Guided Reading Level. Each letter corresponds to a grade, as described in the chart below (some letters apply to two grades):
Grade Letters
1 B–I
2 H–M
3 L–P
4 O–T
5 S–W
6 V–Z
  • Score: The percentage of questions on the quiz that the student answered correctly
  • Points: The point value for the book, which students earn when they pass the book’s quiz. Teachers may change the passing  grade for a student through SAM. They may also set a points multiplier for a student (if they wanted to double the points earned for a struggling reader, for instance, in order to boost that student’s confidence)
  • Words Read: The number of words in the book

Source:  Scholastic Reading Counts! ® v2.2 Software Manual Updated 05.01.13 
TM ® & © Scholastic Inc. All rights reserved. PDF0480(PDF)

For additional information about Reading Counts!, please visit

To learn more about your child's lexile scores, please contact your child's teacher or visit