These reading comprehension worksheets provide practice with intermediate level (middle school level up) English reading. They emphasize a variety of comprehension skills as well as recognizing the author’s main points and understanding key vocabulary.
Several of these worksheets include the same questions as the interactive exercises linked from Reading Strategies and Comprehension Practice, allowing online practice as well as with the worksheets (printable pdfs) here.
ESL teachers of intermediate or advanced classes (or even high school or AP English teachers) should find these worksheets useful as a follow up to the reading given.
(In many cases, as in the TED talks, an audio recording or video with transcript can be used for either reading or listening comprehension, as well as for a discussion starter or writing prompt, possibly in a following class.)
These pdfs are available for individual or class use, but they are copyrighted and may not be sold, posted on another website without permission, or distributed without the copyright notice.
Jump directly to the worksheets (or read how to use them first, below.)
Reading comprehension requires several skills: word recognition and decoding skills as well as some familiarity with English sentence structure and the ability to construct meaning from the words set on paper-- to think about what the author is trying to communicate.
Good comprehension also requires knowing your purpose for reading, and the abilities to skim, scan headlines, call-out boxes, and other text structure for the information you need, or slow down and analyze dense text in which every word matters.
Academic tests and tests like the TOEFL, IELTS, or SAT (as well as the Common Core standards and the needs of the workplace) also look for critical thinking and the ability to make inferences and to recognize the implications of a reading selection. The questions in these worksheets give practice with those skills as well.
If you have questions, comments, or suggestions about the worksheets, I’d be happy to hear. Use the Contact me button on the left navigation bar and fill out the short form. You don’t need to leave an email address unless you want an answer.
Intermediate (and up):
> Practice for the TOEFL and Other Reading Tests (with a reading selection about early American agriculture)
> Reading Comprehension Worksheet on Education’s Death Valley (a TED video with transcript to read.)
> Reading Comprehension Test Practice on another TED video: "Where Ideas Come From."
High Intermediate or Advanced:
> A Comprehension Test on a TED talk on motivation. (It tests either reading-- if students first read the transcript-- or listening/watching.) This is the pdf version of the interactive Comprehension Test page. It's also connected with a Lesson Plan on Motivation.
> A Practice Reading Test (on psychodynamic therapies)
> Check Your Reading Skill (with a selection on mental illness)
See also these modestly-priced reading comprehension lesson plan and worksheet packets:
> Medical Mysteries, The Impact of Disease on History, and The Mystery of Scurvy on Reading Comprehension Lesson Plans.
> the "Words for Success" packet in Academic Vocabulary Worksheets. It has a two-page reading comprehension worksheet on an outstanding commencement address on the meaning of success, as well as practice with goal-setting and success-related vocabulary.