Take what I am saying with a grain of salt, but I was awful in high school. I have always been strong in math, but being in class bored me so I avoided it as much as possible and put effort only into classes that I did like. Needless to say, I was nervous when I decided to pursue higher education and took the time leading up to school starting to motivate myself. I watched some videos on YouTube and took a couple of guidance classes as well. I tested into Trig/Pre-Calc so I avoided Intermediate Algebra. I literally aced my math classes. I put time into understanding the formulas. did the homework, and practice problems closer to the exams. If you need to, rent or purchase the "For Dummies" book on Algebra and just start reviewing.
For Biology, I took an honors section of it despite many students telling me to avoid falling into the trap. While they did not do as well as they wanted to, my lowest test grade was a 99%. I talked to past students who had done well and they gave me some tips about how to approach the class. My professor also gave us a list on how to succeed in his class. His list is pure gold. My lowest test grade was a 99%, I had the highest exam scores throughout the semester, improved on each exam. It was not difficult for me because I put in the time.
Some of my study tips:
1. Get help early on if you're struggling and visit the professor's office hours even if you do not actually need help to build rapport. If he or she knows you want to do well in their class, they tend to help you get to where you want to be.
2. Do practice problems for math and try to understand why you're using a certain formula (if there are any). You may find that all you need is to do is simply have the formula in mind and known when to use it/how to use it, or you may need to have a particular problem in mind. I hope that makes sense.
3. Do NOT cram!!! In regards specifically to Biology, I would read over the notes before coming to class to get an idea of what we would be talking about that day. I would take my own notes on his PowerPoint slides I printed out and review the notes within 24 hours. I paid attention during lecture, made connections between the material, asked questions when I had them (or wrote them down later if I had a feeling the answer was long or may be boring to other students), and answered his questions. Come test time, the first exam I actually did not have a chance to study for (emergency popped up), but my constant review saved me. The one question I did miss was simply because I assumed that the professor was asking a certain question and he was asking another. If you're final will cover all the information over the semester, I would encourage you to review your the lectures from your previous tests throughout the semester. I was the only person I knew who was not stressed out about finals or needing to study because I needed 50% or higher on the final to still have an A.
4. Plan ahead. Seriously, do not put off studying. Life happens.
5. Do your homework in general and any extra assignments.