Reading is one of the most essential skills that all students must develop. Reading is necessary in every subject in both high school and college. For many students, a reading test can be one of the most difficult tests to prepare for because it can generally cover any topic. Reading comprehension exams often ask you to read and answer a series of questions about a passage of text you may have never seen before. Studying for a reading exam can be done with a little careful preparation.

Step 1

Learn how to speed-read. Speed-reading is a skill that can help you with your reading comprehension. You can increase your mind's ability to assimilate larger amounts of information in a short period of time. If you learn to read at a very fast rate, you can still slow down and read for comprehension when you need to. Various speed-reading systems are available for purchase, or you can check with local community colleges and public libraries to see if they offer courses or have reading material in this area.

Step 2

Practice pre-reading strategies. In addition to reading quickly, learning to read more efficiently is also a critical skill. One way you can do this is by developing some pre-reading strategies. Pre-reading is the process by which you look over the material before actually beginning to read it for comprehension. Some of the strategies include examining the structure of a passage, article or book. Pay attention to the section headings, any keywords and any other distinguishing characteristics of the material. You can then ask a series of questions about the material such as: What does the passage appear to be about? What type of passage is it? Is the material technical in nature? Fiction? Non-fiction? In short, brainstorm.

Step 3

Utilize practice examinations provided by publishers who specialize in test preparation. Even if the material they provide for you to read does not directly correspond with what you will be studying for in your exam, you can utilize the unfamiliar passages and answer the questions at the end of each one. These questions will provide you with some insight as to what kinds of questions you might be asked on your own exam. Many times, reading exams test to see if you can recognize the main idea of a passage or draw logical conclusions from the material. Many of these study guides can be found in the reference section of your local bookstore.