7 Signs of Poor Reading Comprehension (Explained)

Do you struggle to understand what you read? It could be due to poor reading comprehension.

In this article, you’ll learn the signs of poor reading comprehension and why it’s important to have good comprehension skills.

You’ll also discover the factors that can affect your reading comprehension and how to improve it.

So, don’t miss out – read on to learn more about the signs of poor reading comprehension.

Low Vocabulary

You may struggle with reading comprehension if you have a limited vocabulary. When reading, understanding the various contexts, tones, and moods of words is essential. Without a broad vocabulary, recognizing the differences in meaning and inferences becomes difficult. This can lead to misinterpretations or omissions of key details.

What’s more, understanding the subject matter helps extract meaning from the text, but a lack of knowledge can impede comprehension. To improve reading comprehension, focus on expanding your vocabulary.

Lack of Background Knowledge

Without prior knowledge of the subject matter, you may struggle to comprehend the text. Lack of background knowledge can lead to difficulty understanding, even if you have a good vocabulary. Here are four signs that you may be struggling with reading comprehension due to a lack of background knowledge:

  1. Not understanding the context of the text.
  2. Not being able to make inferences or connect ideas.
  3. Struggling to recognize subtle nuances in the language.
  4. Having difficulty interpreting the tone and mood of the text.

Without relevant background information, you may not be able to comprehend the text. It’s important to understand the subject matter in order to make sense of the text. Understanding the context helps to derive intended meanings from words. In addition, familiarity with the subject matter helps connect ideas and make inferences. All these factors are necessary for reading comprehension.

Weak Working Memory

If you have a weak working memory, you may struggle to process and store information simultaneously, making it difficult to comprehend complex reading material. Poor working memory can have a negative impact on reading comprehension, as it hinders the consolidation of information. This can lead to difficulty understanding and interpreting the text.

You may not be able to make connections between ideas, or recall relevant information from the text. It may also be difficult to retain the information you have read, as a weak working memory affects the ability to remember and process it. Additionally, you may have difficulty understanding figurative language or making inferences from the text.

Working memory is an important factor in reading comprehension, and improving it can help to improve your reading abilities.

Poor Phonological Awareness

Without strong phonological awareness, you may struggle to decode words and transition from written to spoken language, hindering your reading comprehension. Poor phonological awareness can lead to difficulties such as dyslexia, making it difficult to accurately decode words.

Here are four signs to look out for that can indicate problems with phonological awareness:

  1. Difficulty associating letter sounds with written words
  2. Struggling to break words down into syllables
  3. Difficulty rhyming words
  4. Inability to blend sounds together to form words

These signs may indicate a phonological awareness issue, which can make reading comprehension difficult. It’s important to recognize the signs early, as intervention can help improve phonological awareness.

Through targeted activities and practice, you can help improve your child’s phonological awareness and improve their reading comprehension.

Limited Verbal Reasoning

Without strong verbal reasoning, you may struggle to make inferences and connect ideas, hindering your reading comprehension. Limited verbal reasoning can cause difficulty in understanding the context of a text and interpreting tone and mood. It can also impede understanding of figurative language and non-literal meanings. Below are the consequences of inadequate verbal reasoning skills:

Impact Consequence
Context Difficulty understanding the text
Tone/Mood Inability to interpret the text
Figurative Language Difficulty understanding non-literal meanings
Connections Inability to link ideas in the text

Verbal reasoning is an important skill for comprehending written material. If your verbal reasoning is weak, you can work on developing it to improve your reading comprehension.

Inability to Make Inferences

You can’t make inferences without strong verbal reasoning, which can significantly impede your reading comprehension. Here are 4 signs that indicate a lack of verbal reasoning:

  1. Struggling to understand figurative language and metaphors.
  2. Difficulty understanding implied meanings or subtleties.
  3. Inability to draw connections between ideas or concepts.
  4. Difficulty interpreting the tone or mood of a written piece.

Verbal reasoning plays an important role in reading comprehension. Without it, readers are unable to make connections or draw inferences from the text. This can lead to difficulty understanding the text and interpreting the intended meanings.

To improve reading comprehension, it’s important to focus on developing verbal reasoning skills.

Difficulty Retaining Information

Having difficulty retaining information can be a sign of poor reading comprehension. If you find yourself forgetting large chunks of text or facts shortly after reading, you may need to work on your reading comprehension.

Poor working memory can be a major factor in difficulty retaining information. Working memory helps with simultaneously processing and storing information, so if it’s weak, it can be hard to retain what you have read.

Additionally, having a lack of background knowledge on the subject matter can also be a factor. If you’re unfamiliar with the topic, you’re more likely to forget the information as soon as you finish reading.

Lastly, having a limited vocabulary can also make it hard to comprehend and remember information. A broad vocabulary allows for deeper understanding of the text, so if you’re struggling to make sense of what you’re reading, try expanding your vocabulary.


If you’re having difficulties understanding what you read, it’s important to identify the signs of poor reading comprehension.

Low vocabulary, lack of background knowledge, weak working memory, poor phonological awareness, limited verbal reasoning, inability to make inferences, and difficulty retaining information can all be signs of poor reading comprehension.

With the right tools and strategies, you can improve your reading comprehension and better understand the material you’re reading.