Do the benchmarks align with grade levels?

No. They were designed based on research from International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) which uses a 5 point scale. It introduces an alternative way to measure adults’ reading skills.  Rather than the K-12 grades, which are often inaccurate descriptions for adult reading, Benchmarks offers a more complete description of adults’ reading skills. The benchmarks range from mid-level 1 to low-level 3 of the IALS scale.