The extent to which a passage has been understood can be quite easily assessed by listening to the child reading a passage aloud. The level of comprehension is revealed by the degree and appropriateness of the emphasis and tonal variations in the child's reading. The problem with this strategy is that it does not make it possible to satisfactorily quantify the level of understanding and therefore to formally assess progress in understanding. There are a number of standardised tests which are available to teachers for the purpose of quantifying progress in comprehension which are quite widely used in schools but they are time-consuming to administer and time is something that is often in short supply.

The Reading Comprehension course in the Literacy Toolbox, in addition to offering a routine of interesting reading experiences, includes a brief test of the extent of both literal and inferential comprehension of each passage. These are not standardised tests. Their purpose is to provide teachers with an indication of the extent to which both the literal and inferential intellectual content of the passages has been understood. The test is an integral part of each comprehension exercise and is completed by children without the formality or inconvenience of a teacher-administered test. A permanent record of the test outcome is appended in plain language on each exercise printout.

It is widely agreed that most of the information in any passage of text is implied rather than formally stated and it is the assimilation of the implied content that is most difficult to promote because it is a consequence not only of the child's innate intellectual capacity but also of the breadth of their reading experience. It is for this reason that the Reading Comprehension course is presented as a very broad range of stimulating reading experiences . Teachers report that one of the main outcomes of completion this course is that it appears to intuitively develop comprehension strategies which are reflected in the child's reports over the period of its completion. It is extremely likely that whatever strategies any individual child acquires will inevitably be significantly enhanced by being routinely exercised.

Reading comprehension and vocabulary are inextricably linked. The ability to decode or identify and pronounce words is self-evidently important, but knowing what the words mean has a major and direct effect on knowing what any specific passage means. Children with a vocabulary which is more limited than others inevitably comprehend less of what they read. One of the most important things a teacher can do is to encourage children to read more but the ultimate motivation to read can only come from the intellectual content of the reading material. It is widely agree that the most impactful way to improve reading comprehension is simply to extend both the quality and quantity of the child's reading. The Literacy Toolbox offers an appropriate gateway for promoting precisely that experience.

Keith Rayner, Barbara Foorman, Charles Perfetti, David Pesetsky, and Mark Seidenberg (November 2001). "How Psychological Science Informs the Teaching of Reading". Psychological Science in the Public Interest 2 (2): 31–74. doi:10.1111/1529-1006.00004.

Tompkins, G.E. (2011). Literacy in the early grades: A successful start for prek-4 readers (3rd edition), Boston, Pearson. p 203.

M. Adams, Marilyn McCord (1994). Beginning to read: thinking and learning about print. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-51076-6. OCLC 62108874.

b Cain, Kate; Oakhill, Jane (2009). "The Behavioral and Biological Foundations of Reading Comprehension". Guilford Press: 143–175.

. Pearson, P. David. "The Roots of Reading Comprehension Instruction" (PDF). University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved 15 March 2013.