Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary Practice Exercises

Updated on Aug 25, 2011

Read the following study guide for a concept review:

Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary Study Guide

Exercise 1


Use context to determine the meaning of the italicized words in the sentences below. Circle the letter of the answer you think is correct.

  1. He was so nervous that his voice was quavering.
    1. thundering, booming confidently
    2. trembling, shaking noticeably
    3. quiet, whispering softly
    4. undecided, unsure
  2. By the end of eighth period, I was famished. I'd skipped breakfast and had eaten only a pear for lunch.
    1. famous
    2. exhausted
    3. starving
    4. impatient
  3. The autographed picture of Tiger Woods turned out to be bogus. The man who sold it to me had signed it himself!
    1. fake, false
    2. believable
    3. interesting
    4. overpriced

Exercise 2

In reading comprehension, everything rests on your ability to understand the ideas in each sentence. If you don't know what a word means, you may completely misunderstand an important sentence—and that means you could misunderstand the whole passage.

So, here's another practice. This one may be more challenging, since these vocabulary words aren't exactly real words!

Take a careful look at one of the most famous poems in the English language, Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky." (Lewis Carroll is the author of the classic Alice in Wonderland.) Though you won't be able to determine exactly what the nonsense words in the poem mean, you should be able to make an educated guess based on their context.

Here are the first two stanzas of the poem. Read them carefully and then answer the questions that follow. Read the poem twice, at least one of those times out loud. (The lines of the poem are numbered to make the questions easier to follow.)


1   'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

2   Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;

3   All mimsy were the borogoves,

4   And the mome raths outgrabe.

5   "Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

6   The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

7   Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

8   The frumious Bandersnatch!"


Circle the letter of the answer you think is correct.

  1. What could slithy toves (line 1) be?
    1. some sort of food
    2. some sort of place
    3. some sort of animal
    4. some sort of vehicle
  2. The Jabberwock (line 5) is probably
    1. a mean person.
    2. a dangerous creature.
    3. a harmless bird.
    4. a magical animal.
  3. What does shun (line 7) mean?
    1. to avoid, keep away from
    2. to capture
    3. to make friends with
    4. to take care of
  4. What does frumious (line 8) probably mean?
    1. friendly
    2. ugly
    3. dangerous
    4. poor

Exercise 3


Use your knowledge of word parts to determine the meaning of the italicized words in the sentences below. Circle the letter of the answer you think is correct.

  1. The newspaper will be a credible source for my essay.
    1. authentic
    2. believable
    3. convincing
    4. untrustworthy
  2. The political movement lacked cohesion.
    1. leadership
    2. feeling
    3. validity
    4. unity
  3. Simon was vigorous and brave.
    1. deceptive
    2. courageous
    3. strong
    4. feeble
  4. The postrevolutionary period was difficult for many French peasants.
    1. after the revolution
    2. before the revolution
    3. adjustment
    4. conversion
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