Ten Free Reading Comprehension Exercises Online

Classroom Resources Updated June 11, 2015

When a student has difficulty comprehending what he or she is reading, nearly all subjects in a school career are affected.

There is a link between poor reading comprehension skills and crime, as well as poverty:

  • Sadly, 85 percent of the juveniles in prison are functionally illiterate.
  • More than 40 percent of the adults living at the poverty level or lower have extremely low reading skills.
  • More than 60 percent of U.S. prison inmates have reading skills that are at the fourth-grade reading level or lower.
  • Almost two-thirds of the students who start fourth-grade without possessing proficient reading skills end up in prison or on welfare.

To help students develop their reading comprehension skills, teachers can utilize the free reading comprehension exercises detailed below.

Online M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Reading


This site offers numerous reading comprehension exercises that are unique, colorful and interactive. Exercises include:

  • Informational Passages. These passages provide engaging information to students with a wide range of topics from which to choose. These passages help students learn about intriguing subjects while expanding their vocabulary and improving their comprehension skills.
  • Short Stories. Students read a short story and answer questions about the story’s details. Each of the available exercises contains vocabulary and reading comprehension questions.


The materials available on this site are unique because they have been created by a team of award-winning teachers, professional writers and published authors. This exceptional staff enables this site to offer engaging content that is applicable to every ability level.

There are numerous reading comprehension exercises for beginner, intermediate and advanced readers. The majority of the questions in the exercises on this site require the student to use the following skills:

  • Logical inference
  • Conclusion-making
  • Sequential analysis
  • Deductive-reasoning
  • Tonal awareness
  • Understanding of scope

The critical reading comprehension worksheets available here teach students how to think and read critically. Students read a passage and are then tested on their ability to understand scope, draw inferences, deduce the meaning of practical vocabulary words and find or recall details from the story.


This site is the sister site to englishforeveryone.com. On this site, online quiz forms are available. There are exercises here that have been tailored for students who are reading at the high school-level or beyond. These exercises are especially helpful for those students interested in taking the standardized tests (SAT, ACT), as they mimic the way these tests format and present their questions.


It is essential for students to be able to read quickly and comprehend what is being read. If this skill is not mastered, a student’s life will be much more difficult. He or she will have problems learning in school, taking standardized tests, applying for jobs and more. Scribd.com offers reading segments to assist students in mastering their reading comprehension.


There are numerous reading comprehension exercises available on this site. Search options make finding the exercises you are looking for simple. These options include collections, books, authors, genres and readability.

East of the Web

This site offers hundreds of stories for students to read online. Some of these stories are accompanied by reading comprehension worksheets that can be printed and used in the classroom. This site is aimed at students in grades K-8.


This site allows teachers to browse stories by category. Following each story is a reading comprehension exercise. Users who register can access even more free materials.

Super Teacher Worksheets

Super Teacher Worksheets offers reading comprehension exercises for students from first-grade through middle school. The categories of content include biographies, fiction, non-fiction, poems and more. This site offers some free reading comprehension exercises, but teachers will be able to access more by purchasing a membership. For an individual yearly membership, the cost is $19.95.

RHL School Reading Comprehension

This website includes reading comprehension exercises in the form of poems, original stories, articles and essays. The site is best suited for students in grades 4-8. The site also offers short reading comprehension exercises tailored to specific skills. For instance, there are exercises that target a student’s skill at mastering word meanings from context, antonyms, synonyms and understanding inferences.


Teachers can become members on this site for free. Members receive a certain number of reading comprehension exercises each month. However, for less than $50 a year, teachers can receive unlimited access to workbooks and worksheets for nearly every subject.


Learn More: Click to view related resources.
We are devoted to improving both student and teacher achievement, inside and outside the classroom. Our articles help examine the relationship between what to teach (curriculum) and how to teach (instruction). K-12 teachers will find resources that help foster a deeper learning environment and better student engagement.

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