With Zinc's placement tests, 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. Students can be assigned one of two tests:  the level 1–4 placement test or the level 1–7 placement test. Each placement test is made up of short passages with multiple-choice questions and should take students between 15 and 45 minutes to complete.
Once students finish the placement test, 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 Placement Tests 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 Placement Test will be available to assign to each of your students in the Class Placement Test Report. If a student doesn't being a Placement Test assignment for an entire month, the assignment will expire, and you can reassign one.

Note: Reading Sprints begin with a Placement Test as a pre-assessment and end with a Placement Test as a post-assessment. If your students have taken a Placement Test 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 Placement Test after the three or six weeks of the Sprint have passed.


Zinc’s placement test is a great tool for students in both middle school and high school. The level 1–4 placement test (20 questions) is best suited for many middle school students, some ELL students, and any students who need reading support. The level 1–7 placement test is a longer test (up to 30 questions) that covers the full range of Zinc reading levels and is suited to both on-target high school readers and strong middle schoolers who are reading above grade level.

As students take an placement test, 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 test, the passage difficulty levels will become more challenging.

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

Multiple Placement Tests Available

Multiple placement tests are available on Zinc. As a teacher, you can assign students multiple placement tests throughout the school year as a means to track progress. There are a limited number of tests. Teachers can assign a new placement test every three months to check in with students’ growth.

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

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