Reading Comprehension Tests and Exams

One of the most important skills students can refine is reading comprehension, and one of the best ways to improve is by reading often. Encourage your child to read outside of the classroom and provide comprehension tests to evaluate how he or she is doing. Read on for more assessment ideas.

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Can I Find Reading Comprehension Tests Online?

If you would like to assess your child's reading skills, you may want to give him a comprehension test. Although you can use any reading comprehension worksheet as an assessment, there are also several free reading tests available on the Internet. Typically, teaching, tutoring and education sites offer free reading comprehension passages, questions and assessments to print; however, you might have to register with the site. To get started, try the options below.

Options for Comprehension Assessments

Multiple Choice

Most reading comprehension worksheets and exams feature multiple-choice questions, especially for younger students. When creating a comprehension assessment for your child, incorporate at least a few questions with multiple-choice answers at the beginning so that she is not overwhelmed with writing and more difficult analysis.

Multiple-choice questions typically focus on a few reading skills. You can ask your child to select the definition of a tough vocabulary word based on context clues, recall the correct piece of information from the story or select the option for what he predicts will happen next.

Short Answer

As students progress and advance to higher grades, reading comprehension tests might include a combination of multiple-choice and short answer questions. For example, you may ask your child to select from four answers where the story takes place. Then, as a follow up, ask her for a sentence or two describing how she thinks the main character feels about the setting. Short answers are a great evaluation tool because they require students to think about their answers before writing them out, as opposed to simply selecting from a predetermined list.


Reading comprehension assessments will become more difficult as your child advances through the grades, and older students are often asked to write short essays as part of their exams. These essays can be as short or as long as you choose. First, you might use a question similar to those in the short answer section but ask for additional elaboration and details in the text that support the answer. A second option is to ask a simple question about the overall theme of the story and require a 3-paragraph structured response. Not only do essays assess reading comprehension, they also provide writing practice.

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