Student Reading Level

Newsela is adaptive. Over time, Newsela creates customized reading levels for each student and presents them with articles at their current reading level. These levels are determined based on a combination of factors:

  • Lexile level of articles they read and quizzes they complete (set for each article by the student or teacher)

  • Student performance data on Newsela comprehension quizzes

Once a student has a total of five articles read, the student will begin to receive articles at their reading level instead of the grade level of their classroom.

Teachers with a paid subscription can review student reading levels in the Reading Summary tab in the Binder. Students whose teachers have free Newsela News subscriptions still have a Just Right Reading Level that recommends the level of articles they read, although they are not visible to their teachers.

 You can learn more about finding and navigating the reading levels available for each article here.  You can learn more about quizzes here.

Teachers specify a grade level for each of their classes. When students do not yet have any activity history on Newsela, they are automatically set to one reading level below that of their grade level, as students grow to their current grade level throughout the year.

 Teachers can also lock an assignment at a specific reading level for the whole class, which requires students to take the quiz at that level before viewing it at other levels.

Students' actions impact their reading level when they answer Newsela quiz questions and read content. They can decide to read articles and complete quizzes at any reading level, or at multiple levels for the same article, on or on the Newsela mobile app.

How the Reading Level is Initially Formed

The student reading level is formed using the data from the quizzes students complete, at the levels they are taken at, as well as the levels of the articles they read. The reading level is not solely based on the scores of their quizzes. Once a student reads five articles, they will begin to receive articles at their Just Right Reading Level, instead of their grade level.

How Student Work Continues to Develop the Reading Level

Quiz scores and the levels of articles they read will always affect their Just Right Reading Levels. Rather than a diagnostic, Newsela’s Just Right Reading Level is a recommendation  of the best level for the articles they will read next.