Each school year, our students are expected to excel on various forms of Reading Comprehension assessments and exams.
We’ve collected some of the most important strategies and tips you can share with your students as they embark on their reading comprehension assignments.
1. SCAN THE PASSAGE
Often, students struggle with time management on these types of assessments. Many get bogged down with the reading. Have them scan the passage first to understand the main idea; then look at the questions.
2. LET THE QUESTIONS GUIDE THE READING
After scanning the passage, students should now look at the questions. Combined with what they learned from scanning the passage, they can use the questions to focus in and read the parts where they can find the answer.
3. ALWAYS REMEMBER THESE ARE OPEN-BOOK TESTS
The advantage to reading comprehension exams is the answers are there in the passage. At the very least, context clues are provided for the student to infer the answer. Students should use this to their advantage and hunt for the answers from question to question.
4. PREDICT THE ANSWER
Attack each question and search for the answer in the passage BEFORE you read the multiple choice answers. When a student finds and is certain of an answer, they should compare it to the choices, and see that it most likely is an option to choose. It will help eliminate wrong and misleading answers designed to fool them.
5. JOT DOWN NOTES
As students go back and forth from the questions to the passage, have them write short notes regarding the main idea of the paragraph. This will help them when they work on later questions. This, combined with their initial scan, will give students a working knowledge of the entire passage and its content.
6. DO THE QUESTIONS YOU KNOW FIRST, THE ONES YOU DON’T LAST
Again, the wonderful truth about reading comprehension exams is it’s open-book. You don’t have to answer the questions in order. Have students seek out the questions they find easier and quickly work through them first; save more difficult questions for the end. This is key to saving time on the exams.
Do you have any tips and methods you teach students to use when tackling Reading Comprehension assessments? We’d love to hear them!