Don’t cram! Break up studying over multiple days (see “Organizing your time” on tips for this!) and build in review daily. Learning happens best over time and with repetition. Plus, the additional stress of attempting to cram inevitably will impede focus and retention.
Vary your method of review. Simply rereading notes or typing up study guides only accesses one part of your brain. Instead, incorporate a few different methods of learning: try talking out information with a classmate, associating content with movements, or drawing pictures and images that connect with what you’re learning. The more ways you engage with the materials, the more likely it is that you’ll remember it because it will have become more meaningful to you.
Create memory tests: Quizlets and paper notecards are great options. Practice for short spurts and often. Repetition here is the key — rather than spending an hour trying to memorize the same thing, spread it over over the day (or, better, over days).
When trying to memorize vocabulary: Rather than associating words with other words, try to connect words to images. This change in medium can help you visualize connections if you get stuck. If you can’t think of an image, try writing a sentence rather than just using a synonym for definition. The more connections you can make between the word and its meaning, the easier it’ll be for you to remember it.
Do practice problems: repetition helps you learn, so doing multiple problems of the same sort will help you see patterns that will assist you with problem-based learning.
Always write down your process for reaching the solution—explain your answers! How did you figure out the problem? What details clued you into the solution? Creating narratives for problems will help you review later. It is also helpful to explain problems to a classmate; remember, varying the way you’re engaging with the material (written, verbal, etc) will help you remember it better.