Performance-Level Results

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Performance-Level Summary

Long-term trend performance levels describe the range of reading skills demonstrated by students when responding to assessment questions. Results are reported in terms of the percentages of students attaining each performance level. Changes in the percentages at or above each performance level reflect changes in the proportion of students who demonstrated the knowledge and skills associated with that level. 

The five performance levels are applicable at all three age groups (age 9, age 13, and age 17); however, the likelihood of attaining higher performance levels is related to a student's age. That is, younger students are more likely to successfully respond to questions that reflect the lower performance level descriptions. For this reason, only three performance levels are discussed for each age. For age 9, performance-level results are presented for at or above 150, 200, and 250. While some assessment questions are administered at more than one age group, cross-age comparisons in student performance results are not supported by the data and are discouraged. Read more about  the setting of long-term trend performance levels

Performance Levels for Age 9

Level 150 Carry Out Simple, Discrete Reading Tasks
of students performed at or above 150 in 2022
Level 200 Demonstrate Partially Developed Skills and Understanding
of students performed at or above 200 in 2022
Level 250 Interrelate Ideas and Make Generalizations
of students performed at or above 250 in 2022
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Skills Associated With Each Performance Level

Each performance level is associated with a cut score on the long-term trend reading scale. The cut scores for each of the three reported performance levels for age 9 students are indicated in the item map below, which presents a range of skills demonstrated by 9-year-old students in 2022. The descriptions of selected assessment questions indicate what students need to do to correctly answer multiple-choice questions or the level of comprehension students demonstrate when responding to constructed-response questions. For example, 9-year-olds with a score of 228 were likely to be able to recognize the main topic of a short paragraph.


Skills associated with each performance level
LevelScale scoreStudents with a score of......were likely to have this knowledge or skill
Top end of scale300 to 500
Level 250:
Interrelate Ideas and Make Generalizations
250 to 300285Generalize from details to recognize the meaning of a description (MC)
280Recognize the significance of a detail in a story excerpt (MC)
273Interpret story details to recognize what happened (MC)
260Recognize the main purpose of an expository passage (MC)
253Recognize the main purpose of an article describing a process (MC)
Level 200:
Demonstrate Partially Developed Skills and Understanding
200 to 250249Retrieve and provide relevant information about the subject of a biographical sketch (CR)
241Locate and recognize a fact in an expository passage (MC)
235Make an inference to recognize generalization of the main topic (MC)
231Infer the characters' feelings based on the story dialogue (MC)
228Recognize the main topic of a short paragraph (MC)
220Make an inference based on explicit information in a biographical sketch (MC)
210Recognize a supporting detail in a short document (MC)
210Recognize an explicitly stated fact from a short expository passage (MC)
209Recognize the meaning of a figure of speech in a short poem (MC)
205Connect explicit details to recognize the main idea (MC)
203Retrieve and provide a relevant fact related to the main idea (CR)
203Recognize an explicitly stated sequence from an expository passage (MC)
Level 150:
Carry Out Simple, Discrete Reading Tasks
150 to 200194Recognize explicit information in an expository passage (MC)
187Use details and prior knowledge to infer a speaker (MC)
175Choose the best description of a text feature (MC)
172Recognize an explicit detail from a poem (MC)
Below Level 1500 to 150

Legend: MC: multiple-choice question. CR: constructed-response question.

Note: The position of a question on the scale represents the scale score attained by students who had a 65 percent probability of obtaining credit at a specific level of a constructed-response question, or a 74 percent probability of correctly answering a four-option multiple-choice question.

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