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How it works: Zinc Level Placement
How it works: Zinc Level Placement

Details on how the placement tests work in Zinc

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Written by Zinc Learning Labs
Updated over a week ago

Update: New name, less questions!

Level Placements now range from 15 to 20 questions with 5 to 7 short passages and take 15-30 minutes, typically, to complete. Previously, there were 20 to 30 questions and up to 10 passages.


With Zinc Level Placement, you can easily assess which Zinc difficulty level is ideal for each of your students. The Zinc difficulty levels correspond to grade and Lexile levels. The Level Placement is made up of short passages with multiple-choice questions and should take students between 15 and 30 minutes to complete.
Once students finish the Level Placement, they’ll be told their levels, and their “Articles” home page will default to that level. Students should use their given level as a baseline for growth, while also exploring easier and harder articles that interest them.


Teachers can assign a new Level Placement every 90 days, which should allow you to check in on your students' levels 3 to 4 times each school year. You can keep track of when the next Level Placement will be available to assign to each of your students in the Class Level Placement Report. If a student doesn't begin a Level Placement assignment for an entire month, the assignment will expire, and you can reassign one.

Students who do well on the initial passages will see a slightly longer Level Placement. Students who struggle initially will see a slightly shorter one.

Note: Reading Sprints begin with a Level Placement as a pre-assessment and end with a Level Placement as a post-assessment. If your students have taken a Level Placement in the last 60 days, the Reading Sprint will base their levels off of that score. If not, they'll be assigned a new one. They will take their post-Sprint Level Placement after the three or six weeks of the Sprint have passed.


Zinc Level Placement is a great tool for students in both middle school and high school. With between 15 to 20 questions with 5 to 7 short passages, it covers the full range of Zinc reading levels and is suited to both high schoolers and middle schoolers.

As students take a Level Placement, they will read passages on a variety of topics and answer two to three questions about each. The passages themselves are one to two paragraphs in length and fall into one of four categories: humanities, social science, science, or prose/literary narrative. Difficult vocabulary words or terms are defined within the passages (as one would see on a standardized test). As students progress further in a Level Placement, the passage difficulty levels will become more challenging.

The questions on the Level Placement are multiple choice and test a range of Zinc skills. Multiple choice questions offer four answer choices, with one correct answer.

There are a limited number of Level Placements. Teachers can assign a new Level Placement every three months to check in with students’ growth.

To assign new Zinc Level Placement or manage previously assigned ones, click the “Level Placements” menu option from the main site navigation.

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