Administering the Reading Level Assessment (RLA) in Imagine Language & Literacy


This article only applies to organizations who have chosen the default embedded Benchmarks as their placement/assessment method in Imagine Language & Literacy and who have enabled the Reading Level Assessment for their students. This article does not apply to students taking the Imagine Galileo ELA Benchmark or the NWEA™ MAP® Growth Assessment. 

Both Teachers and Administrators can administer the Reading Level Assessment (RLA) to students. Here's a list of what to do before students log in to Imagine Language & Literacy, how to introduce students to the Reading Level Assessment, and how to monitor students during the test. If you run into problems during the administration of the Reading Level Assessment, check the Troubleshooting section for help.  

The Reading Level Assessment can be administered during the three testing periods throughout the school year. 

Assessment Test Window Dates

Beginning-of-Year RLA

August 1 - October 31

Middle-of-Year RLA

December 1 - February 28

End-of-Year RLA

April 1 - June 30


Students are eligible to take the Reading Level Assessment if they are in Grade 2 or higher and they have completed or placed above Beginning Book 48. The program determines which students meet the criteria and automatically delivers the RLA to qualified students as long as the RLA has been enabled. Students who are eligible for either the Placement or Benchmark test and the RLA will take the Placement or Benchmark first.

Once students begin an RLA, they have 28 days to complete it, even if they begin the test on the last day of the test window. If your student does not finish the assessment within 28 days after starting it, the test's status changes to Expired. Unlike the Placement and Benchmark tests, you cannot reassign the Reading Level Assessment if it expires.

Before students log in to Imagine Language & Literacy

  1. Prepare your device or laptop hardware. Students using Imagine Language & Literacy should be using devices with which they are familiar, if possible. Students will also need headphones to complete the Reading Level Assessment. For more information, see Imagine Language & Literacy System Requirements.
  2. Change students' support language, if necessary. By default, students hear the Reading Level Assessment in English. If you need to, you can change the support language so that a student hears instructions for the test in their first language. To learn how to change a student's support language, see Editing student account information. 

Introducing students to the Reading Level Assessment

  1. Explain to students why they need to complete the Reading Level Assessment. This example script can be adapted to your specific organization or class.

    When you log in to Imagine Language & Literacy, some of you will see a test. It will help me know which books are at the right level for you to read. There will be a few practice questions before the test begins. Keep your eyes on your own screen. If you don’t know the answer to a question, try your best and go on to the next question. If you need help with which buttons to push, raise your hand quietly, and I will come help you.

  2. Show students how to pause the Reading Level Assessment. If students need to close Imagine Language & Literacy before the session ends, show them how to use the Pause button in the lower right corner of the screen to exit the Reading Level Assessment. If students haven't completed the Reading Level Assessment, they'll pick up where they left off the next time they log in.

During the Reading Level Assessment

  1. Allow adequate time for students to complete the test. Students may take anywhere from 10-60 minutes to complete the test, depending on their skill level. We recommend planning on at least 25 minutes to administer the test.
  2. Monitor students as they take the Reading Level Assessment. Encourage students to stay on task and watch for students who are clicking through test questions without reading them. Ask students to read each item carefully and provide their best guess on a question even if they do not know the answer. Ensure that students do not receive help answering test questions. As you walk around the room, you'll be able to tell that students are working on the Reading Level Assessment due to the Testing in Progress message in the bottom left corner of each student's screen.


    Neither educators nor families who are monitoring students at home should help their students during testing. Students who receive help on a Reading Level Assessment may receive a Lexile® measure that does not reflect their true reading abilities. 

  3. Check student testing status. As students take the Reading Level Assessment, you can view student testing completion status.
  4. Allow students to continue their session once they finish the assessment. Some students may finish the Reading Level Assessment before their session is over, so allow these students to continue using Imagine Language & Literacy until their session ends. Students will be automatically logged out of Imagine Language & Literacy when their session time is over.
  5. Check Reading Level Assessment results. After students complete the Reading Level Assessment, you can view student test results.


Here are some solutions to problems you might encounter when administering the Reading Level Assessment.

My student doesn't hear any sound

Check the volume settings to ensure that the volume is turned up. Make sure the student's headphones are plugged into the right jack or USB port.


My student lost Internet connectivity during the Reading Level Assessment.

If your student loses internet connectivity during a test, have them reconnect their device. This may also require restarting the device. Once internet connectivity is restored, the student will automatically begin where they left off when the device lost its connection. 

The computer froze while my student was taking the Reading Level Assessment.

If your student's computer freezes during the Reading Level Assessment, close the current browser window and log in to Imagine Language & Literacy again. Your student will automatically begin where they left off when the computer froze.