Attend every class. if you miss any classes, you miss important material.
Do all assignments and give yourself time to do a good job. Start budgeting time for the assignment as soon as it is assigned. Don’t wait until it is due.
Study every day. After class type up your notes. Coordinate them with other class readings. Go over these notes every single day. When test time comes, you will have absorbed the earlier material. You just have new material to memorize.
Be an active reader. Annotate your textbooks. Underline important points and write in the margins. Have some shorthand symbols like “EX” for examples or an * for important material. Pay attention to clues like “Three reasons…” Make sure you get all those reasons. Use a journal to write about what you have read. Reread passages that you don’t at first understand.
Understand the difference between main point and support in textbook readings.
Get copies of textbooks before the class begins. Read and annotate them.
Do more than is expected. If the teacher tells you to do problems 2,4 and 6, also do 1,3 and 5.
Introduce yourself to the instructor and plan on meeting with the instructor as least three times during the semester. These professionals can give you tips on how to get a better grade in their classes.
If you need a tutor, get one.
Form a study group, so you and other students can work together. What one student does not get, another one will. Help each other. Learn some memory techniques like chaining, pegging and mnemonics.
Chaining is telling a silly story and including items you need to memorize. To memorize the names of the U.S. presidents.
You are WASHING a TON of Clothes. See yourself by the WASHING machine with TONs of clothes. The door bell rings. A naked man wearing only a fig leaf is standing there. He must be ADAM, the first man except that there are several other men wearing fig leafs. ADAMS. They want to use the JOHN.
You get the idea. Make the story ridiculous so you are more likely to remember it, and visualize as you go.
Pegging is plugging new material to be learned to a list you already memorized. That might be the days of the week, the months, the alphabet.
To learn the names of the presidents you might use yearly holidays. Picture George Washington as the New Year’s baby. John Adams is Cupid for February and Valentine’s Day. Thomas Jefferson is all in green and wearing Shamrocks.
Mnemonics are memory helpers. To memorize Pi or any long number construct a sentence where each word has the same number of letters and order as the number to memorize.
Pi to the tenth is 3.1415926535. (3) May (1) I (4) have (1) a (5) large (9) container (2) of (6)coffee,(5) cream (3) and (5) sugar. You get the idea.
To remember what happened to Henry VIII’s wives: Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived.
Invent some of your own mnemonics if none are available.
Repetition is important even if using memory helpers.