Below are the reading/testing strategies students use in our classroom on a daily basis.  I firmly believe that these strategies, used consistently, will increase a students chance for a successful school year. 
Mrs. Kinion's 
1.  Picture Walk/Read The Questions FIRST. (Just the questions, not the possible answers)
Decide if you need to go back in the story to find the answer.  Remember that any question asking "Why the author wrote the story," or "What is the main idea or purpose of the story," will NOT be found in the story.  These are questions that pertain to information and details found throughout the entire passage.  Ask yourself "what does the beginning, middle, and end have in common?"  Pay close attention to the TITLE , it may give you a hint to help you answer these questions.  Make sure you underline any important or KEY words found in the questions.
2.  Read The Passage (story).
Remember to # or underline any part of the story you think will help answer the questions you just read.
3.  Go Back To The Questions and Answers.  Mark Yes, No, Maybe's. 
Many times when answering a multiple choice question students can tell right away if an answer is INCORRECT.  The Yes, No, Maybe, strategy helps them to narrow down the number of possibly correct answers. 
4.  Short Answer Questions.
These type of questions will usually ask for INFORMATION AND DETAILS that come directly from the story, or they will ask the student to EXPLAIN their answer.  This is generally one of the harder questions for my students to answer completely and correctly.  The first thing a student must do when answering these types of questions is to RESTATE The Question In The Answer.  Below is an example
Question: What is your favorite month of the year? Explain.
Incorrect answer: December because of Christmas and my birthday.
Correct Answer:  My favorite month of the year is December.  It is my favorite because the weather is cold and I don't have to go to school over Christmas vacation.  My birthday is December 10th which makes it the best month of all.
The correct answer has the question restated as well as multiple reasons WHY December is my favorite month.