The decimal point in the grade level can be perceived as denoting the number of months. To elaborate, a grade level of 5.8 can be interpreted as a 5th-grade level with 8 months of progress.

However, it would be misguided to assume that a student with a grade level of 5.8 has comprehensive knowledge of all the preceding topics. Each student may have missed learning specific concepts, making it imperative to review all the standard proficiencies and review the completed skills of the student to get an accurate assessment of their knowledge. While the grade level is a useful metric for comparing students, it is critical to understand the specific areas of strength and weakness of each student to provide effective support.

The calculation of the grade level score involves determining proficiency in each of the grade standards. The proficiency is determined by the initial placement test and then updated by subsequent benchmark or placement tests and the mastery of skills during practice sessions. For instance, a student who has a proficiency score of 80% in the kindergarten standards will be considered proficient at the kindergarten level by 80%. The completion of 80% of the standards for a particular grade level indicates progress equivalent to 8 months into that grade level. Additionally, if the same student has a proficiency score of 50% in grade 1 standards, their overall grade level would be 1.3 (80% + 50%).