I am by no means a professional study skiller? I just have a ton of experience and have found out that this system helps me be the most successful! Mind you, this is what I do at a college level!
In High School/College, most teachers/professors will give you a syllabus. This is magic. On it teachers will usually say what they are doing that day. So what do I do? Read the chapter(s) before hand! This will give you a good grasp on what will be taught and make it less confusing.
Next, if you're super hardcore, take notes on said chapter. Obviously you can't highlight the crap out of school issued books but just take down some notes. This way you don't need to be scribbling like crazy during class! You'll already have the notes! Because I bought all my books, I do highlight and then just type up what I highlighted.
- Organize! I can't stress how important it is to take notes in an organized manor!
- Keep common ideas together. I like to leave one line in between seperate ideas. Your notes will look less intimidating rather than line after line after line of notes, divide everything!
- Write in shorthand! Pretend your tweeting! Instead saying "without" write "w/o" or "gov" instead of "government", etc. Sometimes I'll right down a key for commonly used phrases in that page of notes. Sometimes I'll do single letter abbreviations. Less to write!
- I'd say don't wait until the last minute but I'd be lying. Haha!
- Make note cards your new BFF. On one side I'll write a word and the other side of the note card, I'll write the definition. Or I'll phrase my notes into a question and put the answer on the back. Or do a fill in the blank!
Example from my notes:
Small depts. don't differ. between patrol + investigations b/c P are considered generalists.
- First, see how I abbreviate an shortened everything? Depts. instead of departments, differ. instead of differentiate, etc. and I say "P" instead of police (its a criminal justice policing course so of course I'll be using writing police a lot!)
- Second, on a note card I would write on the front: "Why don't small depts. differ. between patrol + investigations?" and on the back I'd write "Because P are considered generalists"
Its kinda almost not really like a game.
And thats all I do for tests! I usually only go over my notecards 1 or 2 and I'll get it! By doing everything I mentioned, it becomes almost set in stone. Now, I get a little notecard happy and can easily make 200-500 for one midterm or final! Do what you think you should!
Finally, don't be afraid to talk to your teacher/professor. It shows them a lot when you show them that you're concerned and care about your grades! Sometimes they'll bump up your score a little ;)