Improve Reading Comprehension Score

Reading comprehension scores can be improved using exercises.

Reading comprehension, the ability to get meaning from text, is a vital part of reading skill. There are many levels of comprehension and students must be successful at all of them in order to do well on reading comprehension tests. Comprehension skills include the ability to recall details, summarize, sequence, make inferences and analyze information. Readers must also draw conclusions from the text and learn to use context clues to get even more information. Teachers, tutors and mentors can help learners to improve comprehension by determining which specific skills are weak and providing remedial exercises to teach or strengthen those skills.

Instructions

1. Assess each reader’s fluency by having him read passages of at least 200 words aloud at grade level. Time the reading, count the number of correctly read words per minute and compare the rate to a standard fluency chart. Continue testing less complicated text to determine the highest grade level of text that can be read with fluency. Begin activities to improve fluency at this level. Practice choral reading – groups reading alternate lines or stanzas in unison. Partner weaker readers with strong readers and repeat reading the same passages several times.

2. Conduct pre-reading activities to activate existing knowledge and help the student prepare to make connections between known information and the text. Use questions and discussion to probe the student’s background knowledge. Point out transition words giving clues about significance of information or sequence of events. Preview vocabulary words that might not be familiar, pronounce and define any difficult or subject-specific words and have students use the words in their own sentences.

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3. Provide a specific purpose for reading the passage. Encourage students to preview or skim the passage, scan subtitles, graphics and captions and generate questions that they believe will be answered by the text. Assign study questions from the end of the chapter to be answered or have students look for points to support a stance in a debate or locate a specific piece of information in the text.

4. Use graphic organizers or outlining to organize information as it is being read. Provide an empty organizer or other guide that will cue students to look for specific points related to main ideas and write them down. For struggling students, provide outlines or graphic organizers that are partially completed. Assign a highlighting task such as marking the topic sentence of each paragraph to help students see the author’s organization of the material.