i made a's on a&p i (i am taking a&p ii this spring) and microbiology and this is how i did it:
1. i only missed one class because i didn't have a babysitter that morning but i came right after the class let out and photo copied my partners notes so that i could still study that day - btw, i still hand wrote my own lecture notes even though i had her copies
2. i sat in the very front row, as close to my instructor as i could
3. i digitally photographed (with the permission of my instructor) all of my lab models at all kinds of different angles (muscle models, dissected sheep brain, ear model, dissected cow eye, etc...) and i put them into my computer to study
4. i began studying for exams and lab practicals at least 1 week ahead of time--and i always prayed as soon as i was handed my exam and when felt myself blocking up, i stopped and closed my eyes to say a quick prayer for focus and intelligence
5. i made sure i understood the functions of everything - how, what, where, why everything functions the way that they do
6. i did all of my study questions at the end of each lecture every day, and i was prepared to ask questions when we were given the opportunity, but if i couldn't wait, i emailed my instructor and she always very promptly emailed a response to me
7. i made flash cards for all terms, definitions, study questions, etc.
8. i took my lecture notes everywhere--to the dentist, in the bathroom, in the carpool line, in the kitchen while i was cooking something and couldn't leave it--crazy, but it's true!
9. i always got the best studying done, alone, in my office at home--usually when everyone was asleep--at night and early in the morning
10. with my instructor's permission, i sometimes recorded her lectures and listened to them while i was driving
11. i wrote down every example she gave even though there were more than she expected us to know--this way, i could look at things more than one way
12. in my notes, i drew all of the things my instructor drew and copied them down precisely
13. i tuned out everyone around me that complained or was negative about the material
14. i got very lucky and sat next to someone really, really smart and as serious as i am
15. i purchased the optional textbook and read the sections i was confused about
16. i convinced myself that i could not settle for anything less than an a because i feel that as a future nurse, it is my responsibility to learn everything i can about the human body, correctly, because i want to be able to envision the places in the body, the physiology, or the diseases, etc., that other nurses or doctors or patients are referring to
studying like this takes a great deal of effort on my part. i do not have a photographic memory, nor, do i have even a remotely good memory. i am one of those whom must learn by repetition upon repetition. but, once i get it, i've got it for the longterm.