The authoress presents the outcomes of her own survey (as well as of others) on pupils' reading abilities. The results indicate that their achievements are unsatisfactory. The worst results apply especially to the text understanding. They show that the process of building reading abilities in an early school education is ineffective. Consequently the following remedial measures should be taken: (1) - introducing change in work style of teachers of early school classes; (2) - introducing an additional subject on building reading abilities among the pupils into the curricula of teachers' of early school classes; (3) - equipping the teachers of Polish language and literature with the necessary instruments that enable systematic evaluation.