Friday, August 5, 2011

Free Online Readability Tool to Acquire Lexile® Scores

I have been approached lately about the topic of Lexile® scores. I wrote a previous blog post about readability tools available on the web, including StoryToolz (a tool that averages several different Grade Level Equivalency [GLE] measures and provides an average GLE), and VocabProfiler (a tool that generates the percentage of high frequency vocabulary used in a text). I wanted to add one more web-based resource available to determine a Lexile® score. A Lexile® score takes into account the frequency of the vocabulary used within the text, as well as sentence length. This is an alternative to a Grade Level Equivalency measure. 

The Lexile® Analyzer is a tool developed by MetaMetrics that you can use to determine a Lexile® score for text that you write or select to ensure that the text is at an appropriate reading level for your students. After submitting your text on the Lexile® Analyzer, the tool will generate a Lexile® measure. To do this, you first have to register on the Lexile® website with your email address and password. Then you prepare your text by saving your text as a plain text file (using a ".txt" extension). Then you upload the file, and the analyzer tool will generate the Lexile® score.

The following information provides more detailed step-by-step information on how to use the Lexile® Analyzer and is available on the Lexile® website here:

Something to keep in mind is that if you want to publish Lexile® scores for material you have written, you need to have the text professionally analyzed by MetaMetrics for a cost. I have personally worked with the folks at MetaMetrics for this purpose and have found them to be extremely friendly and helpful. In fact, I was able to connect with one of them at the TESOLConference in New Orleans this past Spring.

Another resource available on the Lexile® website is the correlation of a range of Lexile® scores with grade level equivalencies, which is available here. It is important to note, however, that there is no direct correspondence between grade level equivalencies and Lexile® scores. These correlations are used for illustrative purposes only. Take note: The MetaMetrics website states that "This information is for descriptive purposes only and should not be interpreted as a prescribed guide about what an appropriate reader measure or text measure should be for a given grade."


  1. Do you know of a free resource to measure students lexile level?

    1. Aimee, I don't know of a free tool. However, if your child or students happen to have access to assessments offered by publishers who utilize Lexile assessments, that is the most practical solution. Part of the issue with offering an assessment free of charge is that MetaMetrics requires a royalty for every student who receives an assessment, so it's difficult for publishers to offer the assessment for free. A list of publishers who utilize such assessments include those on this website: Another is Reading Horizons who is launching a new assessment next year. They're beta testing the assessment right now for free, so let me know if you want in on that. This would be the free option you're looking for.