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Reading Performance-Level Descriptions

The skills demonstrated by students at each reading performance level are described below. The five performance levels are applicable at all three age groups (9-, 13-, and 17-years-of-age); however, the likelihood of attaining higher performance levels is related to a student's age.

LEVEL 350:  Learn from Specialized Reading Materials

Readers at this level can extend and restructure the ideas presented in specialized and complex texts. Examples include scientific materials, literary essays, and historical documents. Readers are also able to understand the links between ideas, even when those links are not explicitly stated, and to make appropriate generalizations. Performance at this level suggests the ability to synthesize and learn from specialized reading materials.

LEVEL 300:  Understand Complicated Information

Readers at this level can understand complicated literary and informational passages, including material about topics they study at school. They can also analyze and integrate less familiar material about topics they study at school as well as provide reactions to and explanations of the text as a whole. Performance at this level suggests the ability to find, understand, summarize, and explain relatively complicated information.

LEVEL 250:  Interrelate Ideas and Make Generalizations

Readers at this level use intermediate skills and strategies to search for, locate, and organize the information they find in relatively lengthy passages and can recognize paraphrases of what they have read. They can also make inferences and reach generalizations about main ideas and the author's purpose from passages dealing with literature, science, and social studies. Performance at this level suggests the ability to search for specific information, interrelate ideas, and make generalizations.

LEVEL 200:  Demonstrate Partially Developed Skills and Understanding

Readers at this level can locate and identify facts from simple informational paragraphs, stories, and news articles. In addition, they can combine ideas and make inferences based on short, uncomplicated passages. Performance at this level suggests the ability to understand specific or sequentially related information.

LEVEL 150:  Carry Out Simple, Discrete Reading Tasks

Readers at this level can follow brief written directions. They can also select words, phrases, or sentences to describe a simple picture and can interpret simple written clues to identify a common object. Performance at this level suggests the ability to carry out simple, discrete reading tasks.

Explore the long-term trend performance levels for mathematics.

Find out how long-term trend performance levels are established.


Last updated 25 June 2013 (FW)
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education