Lexile Level Blog Post #3: Unit Tests

Feb 18, 2020
Teaching Strategies, Tips for Teachers

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On an online PD recently a teacher asked for the lexile levels of our unit tests, so for this week’s lexile level blog post we are going to analyze SC-1.0 Taxes unit test! Before we dig in, remember that a lexile level is a text’s difficulty for the reader. 

Multiple Choice Questions

NGPF’s unit tests begin with 25 multiple choice questions. These questions have four possible answer choices and cover the key takeaways from the unit’s lessons. Here is an example of a multiple choice question: 



According to our research, the average lexile level for this section of the unit test is entry college level and fairly difficult to read due to the inclusion of financial terms. 

Teacher Tip: We suggest reviewing key vocabulary terms as a part of test prep/review because this will ensure students are familiar with some of the words they will see in the test’s question stems. In addition, if you believe your students will struggle with the multiple choice questions we suggest reducing the number of multiple choices so there will be less to select from. For example, if everyone else has a test with 4 possible multiple choice answers, your students who need assistance might only have 2 or 3 options to choose from. 

Short Answer

The next part of an NGPF unit test is the short answer section. The short answer section is made up of five questions that require students to provide 1-2 sentence answers. Here is an example of a short answer question:


  1. Jill is 16 years old and worked at her local grocery store over the summer earning $5,600. Is Jill legally required to file a tax return? If no, should she? Explain. 


According to our research, the average lexile level for this section of the lesson is grade level 6 and fairly easy to read. Students are applying more of their critical thinking skills to answer these questions since the questions are easy to read students should be able to answer to the best of their ability without much vocabulary assistance.  


NGPF unit tests end with an essay portion allowing students to apply what they’ve learned to a real-world situation and to expand upon their new personal finance knowledge. Here is an example of an essay question:



According to our research, the average lexile level for this section of the lesson is grade level 9 and fairly easy to read. Once again, students are thinking deeper and more critically to answer this question while practicing their English Language Arts skills.

Teacher Tip: If you believe your students will struggle with understanding the prompt we suggest annotating the prompt to identify key pieces of information students will need to answer the questions. You can do this whole-group or require students to do it on their own first and then check their work. Annotating the prompt should help students answer the question as well as identify information to expand upon in their essay. 


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About the Author

Tori Mansfield

After graduating from the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications in 2011, a documentary internship on master teachers led Tori into education. She taught English Language Arts for five years receiving high test results and accolades like Teacher of the Year. In 2017, Tori left the classroom and moved to the Bay Area to focus on helping school districts utilize technology to improve classroom instruction. While training educators on how to use learning management systems and educational software Tori discovered a passion for facilitating professional developments. This passion led her to Next Gen Personal Finance where she is excited to help spread financial literacy to teachers and students all over the country.