If you’re like most people, you cringe at the thought of having to take a test. But if you want to become a better reader, comprehension tests are critical. In this article, we’ll give you the how and the why that’s true and show you some good ways take them.
Your baseline scores are:
1) the speed at which you read before you’ve started to learn how to read better and
2) the amount of material you understand while you move through the text. These are important numbers. After all, if you don’t know where you started, it will be difficult to figure out how much you’ve improved because of your work. And in order to get those numbers – you guessed it – you need to take a reading comprehension test.
To set your baseline, choose a reading that is relatively easy to use. Good places to look would be a newspaper or a popular magazine. The passage should have no more than 600-700 words. That way you will not tax yourself too much or become easily distracted. Read the text as you normally read. If you try anything fancy or different, you will not get accurate results.
It’s also important to remember that it doesn’t matter how fast or how slow you read this passage. It also doesn’t matter how high or low your comprehension scores may be at this point. The sole purpose of the baseline results is to tell you how well you read and understand – your reading fluency – before you learn anything new.
Reading comprehension tests are also an important way to measure your progress. As you increase your eye span – read more words at a single glance – or learn to move your eyes more easily across the text, you should take a new test every so often. This will show you just how much you’ve improved after learning each new technique.
Make sure you record your results for both speed and comprehension. That way you’ll have a visible chart to measure how much you’ve improved.