How to Improve Reading Comprehension Skills Effectively

Comprehension is essential to any reading process. Admittedly, some key reading strategies can help you understand specific piece of content. But how to improve reading comprehension is always a vital big question.

What Is Reading Comprehension?

Reading comprehension means understanding something written in a text through the decoding skills you have learned. It can be used in the context of junior high school, high school kids, or adult learners.

The goal would be to improve your ability to comprehend text and extract its meaning. Besides extracting meaning from text, you’ll also better understand what the author intends to convey.

Reading comprehension can be divided in two parts:

  • Text comprehension – Analyzing the text to develop a consciousness of the whole passage and its underlying meaning. 
  • Vocabulary knowledge – This is the ability to comprehend the meaning of a text’s language. Also, the capacity to utilize the words in a situation that is appropriate.

When you comprehend the context and meaning of a piece, you can read it more effectively. Vocabulary aids comprehension of what is being said in a text.

Importance of Reading Comprehension Skills

Reading comprehension is an important life skill that you cannot underestimate. It is the process of interpreting written text—such as a book, newspaper, or blog article — to understand its meaning.

It can be considered the “elephant in the room” and at times ignored because it is an iterative and sometimes tedious process. But, it can make all the difference in college, or even in the workplace.

Developing reading comprehension is essential for several reasons and can provide many benefits.

For instance, your ability to read effectively may improve both your personal and professional life and your enjoyment of reading. Texts can also help improve your knowledge of specific topics and speed up your learning process.

Benefits of Advanced Reading Comprehension Skills

Reading comprehension is the ability to read, comprehend, and extract the primary messages from written content. You become a better reader and writer when you can deduce meaning from a variety of written texts.

It becomes much easier to stay sharp as you age by improving your reading comprehension skills.

Let’s look at some of the key benefits of improved reading comprehension:

  • Strengthens your ability to write clear and concise content that draws the attention of the audience.
  • Enhances your ability to analyze, understand, and engage in written and verbal communication.
  • Enables you to make more informed decisions while using digital reading tools.
  • Improves your ability to stay focused on a piece of content for a long time without difficulty.
  • Motivates you to read and write online with enjoyment.

These factors can help you gain an increased ability to think and write.

Advanced comprehension skills aren’t something you’re born with; you need to strive for them. A few effective practices will help you acquire the skills your need.

A small black board that says 'Remember why you started'
Photo by Cristofer Maximilian on Unsplash

How to Improve Reading Comprehension: 6 Simple & Effective Techniques

Reading is an essential skill in a person’s life and the benefits of good reading comprehension skills cannot be overstated. The skill is not limited to what you read but also involves understanding how a video, movie, or video game works.

In general, if you have better comprehension skills, you are then better able to think critically, reason, solve problems and make important decisions.

Today, you can begin implementing several reading strategies to improve your reading comprehension. Practice is essential to understanding what you are reading.

Below is a list of six simple but effective strategies to improve your reading comprehension.

Enrich Your Vocabulary

Only knowing the words in a text is not enough, but comprehending the text’s meaning is important. Also, an accurate understanding of texts and a vocabulary of intent are required.

As an extra benefit, doing these things can also help you understand how to use a text in various ways. This will be useful when you’re reading text on a different topic.

Don’t be intimidated, just get started now.

Pose Questions About What You’re Reading

Reading comprehension starts with a foundation of vocabulary specific to the subject area and helps to ensure you understand its vocabulary.

The best way to develop your vocabulary is by reading books and magazine articles.

Asking questions about what you’re reading can improve your comprehension of the text and make you more invested. In addition, it allows you to explore themes, motifs, and other components of text you wouldn’t otherwise inquire about.

You are welcome to pose questions whenever you read something.

Focus on the Main Idea

Reading comprehension is about learning information and understanding it better. Finding the main idea is more important than reading long text, such as stories or novels.

Taking the time to read a text and formulate the main idea is one of the most important techniques for improving reading comprehension skills.

The main idea of a paragraph or article can help you determine its importance. Understanding why what you’re reading is important can give you a better sense of what the author is trying to convey.

Improve Fluency by Reading the Text Again

Reading comprehension influences students’ ability to comprehend quickly, attentively, and effectively different types of text or message.

The ability to improve fluency requires you to read quickly and smoothly if you want to gain meaning from text.

Reading familiar, simple books will help you practice decoding words quickly so that you will become more fluent in your reading comprehension. Rereading text will enhance your vocabulary and build confidence.

Split Into Smaller Sections and Summarize

Reading is not just about passively absorbing information. It is about actively analyzing and understanding print for comprehension. Improving reading comprehension skills means developing your skills.

When reading a longer text or reading challenging materials, break it down into smaller sections. You can read two paragraphs at a time and then quickly summarize what you just read in your mind.

Having a summarizing system allows you to acknowledge what you have read and helps to remember what you’ve read in the long run.

Read Your Content Out Loud

Learning how to read has never been more accessible. With online materials and technology, most people have no excuse for not learning how to read well.

You should try reading the text aloud to allow your ears to hear what you’re saying. This will encourage the brain to think, capture, and process the information to make comprehension easier.

The more you do, the better your reading comprehension skills will be.

You’ll find that you are better at reading in general, but you’ll also understand the reading material better. These improved reading comprehension skills are well worth the effort.


Reading comprehension skills are necessary for many people to succeed in college and beyond. You need to understand how to master reading comprehension, whether you are a beginner or an advanced student.

This article is meant to get you started on the right path to better reading comprehension. The next time you see anyone struggling with how to improve reading comprehension — you know where to lead them.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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