The ultimate goal of reading is the extraction of information — for meaning, entertainment, wisdom, etc. As students read for information, their abilities to read actively, to form and compare concepts, and to use strategies to increase comprehension become paramount. When students are asked to interpret sentences and passages for meaning and what they have learned, they must depend upon their abilities of higher order thinking.

This chart describes some important cognition skills related to reading comprehension.

Necessary SubSkills Common Obstacles Helpful Tips
Student is able to grasp the concepts involved in his/her readings.
Student is able to compare and contrast ideas while reading.
Student has difficulty understanding abstract concepts when reading.
Student has difficulty comparing or contrasting ideas while reading.
Student uses active reading strategies to enhance understanding, such as forming inferences, or rephrasing text into his/her own words.
Student is able to self-monitor his/her comprehension, i.e., is aware of how well he/she understands what has been read.
Student does not use reading strategies, such as predicting or paraphrasing to aid comprehension when reading.
Student does not self-monitor his/her comprehension, and isn’t aware of his/her level of understanding while reading.