If your test will cover readings (for example, from a textbook or novel), you want first to complete the readings when they're assigned. Second, take notes on the reading. Then you should be prepared to study.
When reviewing what you've read, consider the following suggestions:
Read through your reading notes and quiz yourself. What do you remember without too much effort? What facts or elements stand out?
Ask yourself the six main journalism questions and see whether you can answer them about the topic. The questions include the following: What? Who? When? Where? Why? How?
Look at the review questions (if any) in the book to get an idea of what the textbook author thought was important. See whether you can easily answer these. Flag any questions you don't know.
If you're able to highlight in your book, read through the highlighted parts to get the main ideas. Think about how you may be tested on these ideas.
Imagine that you're the instructor. What questions would you ask? What facts would you stress?
Think about what you don't know about the subject. Are there any gaps in your information? Do you have any questions? If you start studying early and notice a gap, you have time to ask the instructor for clarification in class. If, on the other hand, you start studying the night before a test, you may want to look up the information yourself — in your textbook, in another resource, online, and so on. Take special care to do this if you've missed class(es) or feel there are key points you don't understand.