Are You Actually Studying?
I remember during my freshman year of college I would spend hours with my book open and my laptop on. Needless to say, my laptop got more attention than my textbook and the two hours that I thought I spent studying actually equated to about 15 minutes of true study time. You may also have this problem if you are spending time studying but not getting the results that you expect. To solve this problem get a stopwatch to see how much time you actually spend studying and how much time you spend screwing around on YouTube. Use a stopwatch to make sure that you are spending your time wisely.
Repetition is the Key
Go over the work until you have it down cold and study periodically. If you take the time to know the concepts on the PowerPoint slides and important information in the textbook and lectures then you should have no problems doing well on an exam. Many of my classmates will cram the night before a molecular biology exam and fail because they tried to memorize too much at once and they did not go over it enough times. Save yourself the trouble and go over the information multiple times periodically. You may want to create a study schedule to remind yourself when to study a particular subject.
Where Does the Professor Pull Most of the Exam Questions From?
Doing well in school is college is less about what you know and more about what the professor wants you to know. If you notice that a professor takes all of the exam questions from the PowerPoint slides then you should focus less on learning information from the book and only use it to receive clarity on concepts that you do not understand. Also, if your professors focus on diagrams or writing then you should focus on these topics as well. I remember when I would focus on the textbook but miss a lot of important information from assigned research articles or the PowerPoint and my grades would suffer. Notice any patterns on your professor’s exams then take advantage of them and also learn how to study free.
Which Way do You Learn Best?
There are so many ways to learn information and you should focus on the methods that yield the best results. If you learn best from highlighting and writing in your book then focus on that. Focus on your strengths and stop doing anything that does not work for you.
Are You Wasting Time in Your Lectures?
In undergrad I hated lectures and I still do till this day. I was the guy who struggled to stay awake during lecture and would find myself staring blankly at random objects in the classroom instead of paying attention. I would have skipped my lectures but my university required students to attend them. I knew that I could finish the lecture twice as fast on my own and if you feel the same way that I did then do not waste your time going to lecture unless you are required. You can even go once a week just to see where the rest of the class is at.