What is that new LVL (Level) thingy in my EE avatar?

Published on
14,210 Points
28 Endorsements
Last Modified:
Editor's Choice
Community Pick
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVE
50+ years in computer industry. Everything from development to sales. CIO. Document imaging. EE MVE 2015, EE MVE 2016, EE FELLOW 2017.
EE introduced a new rating method known as Level, which displays in your avatar as LVL. The new Level is a numeric ranking that is based on your Points. This article discusses the rationale behind the new method and provides the mathematical formula showing the relationship between Level and Points.

I've replied to several members this week (in both private messages and group discussions) who asked the question in the title of this article. I suspect more of the same may be coming, so rather than posting the same answer each time, I decided to write this article, and will simply send along its link to members when the question is posed.

What they're talking about is this:


LVL is short for Level, and is essentially another way of rating members at Experts Exchange. The current scheme, with which we're all familiar, is based on the concept of a Rank. The Ranks are determined by the number of Points and are defined as follows:


Master           50,000
Guru            150,000
Wizard          300,000
Sage            500,000
Genius        1,000,000
Ace           2,500,000
Prodigy       5,000,000
Savant       10,000,000
Elite        25,000,000
Technocrat   50,000,000
Legend      100,000,000

The purpose of the new Levels is twofold. First, although there is an excellent article that clearly documents them, it is not obvious to members, unless you search out the definitions, what Rank is "better" — Guru, Wizard, Sage, Genius, etc. In other words, the rankings are arbitrary — there's no reason to think that a Sage is more highly rated than a Wizard. It could certainly have been defined the other way around. The Level system makes it clear — a higher number is better!

Second, the next Level is closer (easier to achieve) in the numeric scheme than the next Rank is in the Master-to-Legend scheme. So the next accomplishment is more within reach — good inspiration to get there! All of that said, the Ranks (also known as Certifications) are not going away.

Points and Level are related by a simple formula, as follows:

Points.gifThus, of course:

Level.gifWhen the result is not an integer, Level is truncated, not rounded. Using that formula, here are the Levels for all the Ranks:


Master         5
Guru           8
Wizard        12
Sage          15
Genius        22
Ace           35
Prodigy       50
Savant        70
Elite        111
Technocrat   158
Legend       223

Combining the Level chart with the Rank chart results in a chart where it is easy to see at what Levels the Ranks/Certifications occur:


Master           50,000  Level 5
Guru            150,000  between Level 8 & 9
Wizard          300,000  between Level 12 & 13
Sage            500,000  between Level 15 & 16
Genius        1,000,000  between Level 22 & 23
Ace           2,500,000  between Level 35 & 36
Prodigy       5,000,000  Level 50
Savant       10,000,000  between Level 70 & 71
Elite        25,000,000  between Level 111 & 112
Technocrat   50,000,000  between Level 158 & 159
Legend      100,000,000  between Level 223 & 224

Here's one more chart that shows how many Points are required to achieve Levels 1 through 100:


1       2,000   26  1,352,000   51   5,202,000   76   11,552,000
2       8,000   27  1,458,000   52   5,408,000   77   11,858,000
3      18,000   28  1,568,000   53   5,618,000   78   12,168,000
4      32,000   29  1,682,000   54   5,832,000   79   12,482,000
5      50,000   30  1,800,000   55   6,050,000   80   12,800,000
6      72,000   31  1,922,000   56   6,272,000   81   13,122,000
7      98,000   32  2,048,000   57   6,498,000   82   13,448,000
8     128,000   33  2,178,000   58   6,728,000   83   13,778,000
9     162,000   34  2,312,000   59   6,962,000   84   14,112,000
10    200,000   35  2,450,000   60   7,200,000   85   14,450,000
11    242,000   36  2,592,000   61   7,442,000   86   14,792,000
12    288,000   37  2,738,000   62   7,688,000   87   15,138,000
13    338,000   38  2,888,000   63   7,938,000   88   15,488,000
14    392,000   39  3,042,000   64   8,192,000   89   15,842,000
15    450,000   40  3,200,000   65   8,450,000   90   16,200,000
16    512,000   41  3,362,000   66   8,712,000   91   16,562,000
17    578,000   42  3,528,000   67   8,978,000   92   16,928,000
18    648,000   43  3,698,000   68   9,248,000   93   17,298,000
19    722,000   44  3,872,000   69   9,522,000   94   17,672,000
20    800,000   45  4,050,000   70   9,800,000   95   18,050,000
21    882,000   46  4,232,000   71  10,082,000   96   18,432,000
22    968,000   47  4,418,000   72  10,368,000   97   18,818,000
23  1,058,000   48  4,608,000   73  10,658,000   98   19,208,000
24  1,152,000   49  4,802,000   74  10,952,000   99   19,602,000
25  1,250,000   50  5,000,000   75  11,250,000   100  20,000,000

The Level that displays in the avatar is your Overall Level. If you hover over it, a fly-out box shows your Level in three of the question's Topics (hovering on a mobile device is a known issue that EE is working on):

Level-when-hovering.gifWhile a question may have up to ten Topics, hovering displays at most three — the three shown are the member's highest three Levels among the question's Topics.

An interesting visual effect with the LVL ribbon is shades of blue, that is, the higher the Level, the darker the blue. Here are three LVL ribbons next to each other clearly showing the effect:

LVL-shades-of-blue.gifAnother feature in the avatar is a small symbol that appears in the upper left. It looks like a circle at first glance, but upon closer inspection, you can see that it's actually a thought/comment symbol:

Live-bubble-on-avatar.pngA green one means the member is Available in EE's Live product; a yellow one means the member is Away; when the symbol is not present, the member is Unavailable. The LVL ribbon and the Live status may appear together:


I am not in an administrative capacity at Experts Exchange — I wrote this article based on what I've learned from various messages, threads, group discussions, and personal observation. My thanks to many of the folks at EE for providing relevant information, with a special thanks to Brenae Noack and Christopher Rourke.

Article Update 13-Sep-2016: As documented in the 12 September 2016 Release Notes, there is now a variant of the ribbon to highlight the moderators in comment threads. It is an orange ribbon, as shown in these screenshots of an Administrative Comment and a Private Editor Comment:


Article Update 26-Sep-2016: EE released its definition page today for Levels:

Find out how your level works

If you find this article to be helpful, please click the thumbs-up icon below. This lets me know what is valuable for EE members and provides direction for future articles. Thanks very much! Regards, Joe

LVL 67

Expert Comment

by:Julian Hansen
Nice one Joe, explains it very clearly and succinctly.
LVL 63

Author Comment

by:Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVE
Thanks for the compliment — I appreciate it! Regards, Joe
LVL 71

Expert Comment

Thankyou Joe, nice contribution, good article.
All the Best
Exploring ASP.NET Core: Fundamentals

Learn to build web apps and services, IoT apps, and mobile backends by covering the fundamentals of ASP.NET Core and  exploring the core foundations for app libraries.

LVL 63

Author Comment

by:Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVE
You're welcome, Merete. And thanks to you for the kind words. Cheers, Joe
LVL 71

Expert Comment

Hi Joe, I thought I understood it for sec your 49 indicates 4 million 9 hundred thousand ?
but then I looked at mine 69 darker blue?  but my over all points is 9 million 700 thousand or there abouts?
hahhha I'll get it eventually
I'll keep re-reading, thankyou so much again for writing it.
Hopefully more will have a discussion on it here and in the Groups for dummies like me
LVL 102

Expert Comment

I haven't done any research but my thought would be the formula should truncate to get the level. Thus a calculated level of 4.123 and 4.955 both give level 4

A good article that explains it quite nicely.

LVL 63

Author Comment

by:Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVE
It just so happens that the formula results in 49 for 4.9M points (and 50 for 5M points), but it is non-linear, so when you get up to your neck of the woods, 9.7M points results in a Level of 69 — 69.64 to be precise, but I'm still unclear on rounding/truncating (hope to clarify that soon). But one thing that I'm perfectly clear on is that nobody with 9.7M points (#50 on the Hall of Fame all-time list) is a dummy!

I think you're probably right about truncation, but it's impossible to tell by observation because EE's background tasks that calculate metrics run at different times. So you can't tell what number of Points the current LVL was based on. For example, the number of Points in a Profile is often different from the number of points in the Top Experts list. I'm going to investigate the rounding/truncating issue and will update the article when I find the answer. And thanks for the kind words — means a lot coming from someone with very close to 20M points and #6 on the all-time list!

Regards, Joe

Expert Comment

by:Ali Eslamifar
Great read, simply clarifies everything about LVLs. Thanks Joe.
LVL 63

Author Comment

by:Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVE
Confirming that you are correct about truncation! Christopher Rourke provided that confirmation and numerous other suggestions for enhancements to the article that I'll incorporate into my next set of edits. A huge thanks to Rourke for his input! Thanks, too, to Brenae Noack and Rob Jurd for additional corrections and suggestions.

Thanks for the nice words — I appreciate it!

Regards, Joe
LVL 67

Expert Comment

by:Jim Horn
Outstanding work Joe.  Voted Yes.  Gotta like this action..
LVL 63

Author Comment

by:Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVE
Thanks, Jim — I appreciate the upvote and the compliment.

One other comment. Although I thanked him privately, I'd be remiss not to thank Morgan Condict publicly for replacing my blurry, fuzzy LVL ribbon at the top of the article with a superb, high-res version of it — a very nice enhancement! Morgan mentioned that the creative team provided it, so my thanks to them, too.

Thanks again to all who have helped improve the article. Regards, Joe
LVL 37

Expert Comment

I saw the level icon and didn't know what it was.
I searched for it and found your article.
Good work.

PS. It's a shame that EE didn't provide us that information.
LVL 63

Author Comment

by:Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVE
Hi zzynx,
Good to know that you were able to find the article via Search. And thanks for the nice words! Regards, Joe
LVL 50

Expert Comment

by:Ingeborg Hawighorst (Microsoft MVP / EE MVE)
Good job. Thanks for writing this all up.
LVL 63

Author Comment

by:Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVE
And thanks to you, Ingeborg — I appreciate hearing that.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:Blue Street Tech
+1 Thanks for the great explanation of it all Joe. Great presentation!
LVL 63

Author Comment

by:Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVE
You're welcome, Blue Street Tech, and thanks back at you for the kind words and article endorsement — both appreciated! Regards, Joe

Featured Post

Build an E-Commerce Site with Angular 5

Learn how to build an E-Commerce site with Angular 5, a JavaScript framework used by developers to build web, desktop, and mobile applications.

Saved searches can save you time by quickly referencing commonly searched terms on any topic. Whether you are looking for questions you can answer or hoping to learn about a specific issue, a saved search can help you get the most out of your time o…
Did you know PowerShell can save you time with SaaS platforms? Simply leverage RESTfulAPIs to build your own PowerShell modules. These will kill repetitive tickets and tabs, using the command Invoke-RestMethod. Tune into this webinar to learn how…

Keep in touch with Experts Exchange

Tech news and trends delivered to your inbox every month