Manage Your Student’s Multiple Lexile Measures

What is the Multiple Measures Tool and how does it work?

The Multiple Measures Tool helps educators determine a student’s optimal reading range. Sometimes multiple interim and/or summative assessments, that both report Lexile® measures and are administered within 30 days of each other, show significant and unexpected differences. Simply select the state you are in, the student's grade level and the tests that contain the differing measures, along with each measure. The tool will produce a range that likely contains the student's true reading ability, based on the underlying properties of the assessments.

Why might students receive unexpectedly different measures and should I be concerned?

There are three main factors that may cause students to receive unexpectedly different measures from two or more tests -- the student, the test, and the test administration.

A student’s performance can be highly influenced by motivation, alertness, fatigue as well as overall state of mind. And, while all tests serve to assess information about a student’s learning, different test types are specifically designed for different purposes and contain unique properties that support these purposes. These different test types often result in a variety of inconsistent test practices.

  • Student factors: A student’s performance can be highly influenced by motivation, alertness, fatigue as well as overall state of mind.
  • Test factors: While all tests serve to assess information about a student’s learning, different tests are specifically designed for different purposes. For example, a progress-monitoring test will provide different information about a student than an end-of-year test.
  • Administration factors: A student’s performance can also be affected by distractions, environment, or test security.

An example of combining these 3 factors is as follows. Consider a student’s increased motivation in taking a high-stakes test that is designed to evaluate a broader spectrum of their learning and which is administered under regimented guidelines. Compare that scenario with a student’s motivation when taking an interim (generally low stakes) test that is designed to assess a smaller and more targeted set of learning objectives under more relaxed test administration practices. For these reasons, score variation is inevitable and is considered natural. It’s quite normal for a student taking the same test, within a defined period of time, to see some movement in their scores. It’s also true for a student taking different tests, within a defined period of time, to see variation in their scores, either upwards or downwards.

Recommendations for reducing inconsistencies in multiple measures

To reduce inconsistencies in multiple assessment results and more confidently identify a student’s optimal reading range:

  • Collect more score data over time, across a variety of assessments
  • Maintain consistent test practices across all test administrations and avoid days or times where there will be known distractions
  • Encourage students to do their best on all tests and communicate with parents about tips for setting their student up for success when taking tests of all kinds

For additional information on multiple measures and available resources for how to best manage them, visit our Managing Multiple Measures Resource Center, located on Lexile.com.

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