Here's my method...
First of all I never take notes in class I find it distracts me from really listening and understanding what the teacher is talking about. I give 100% attention to the instructor. I do not do homework unless it is taken for a grade. Unless its math then I do a few problems of each type until I fully understand them. When the material is something really complex with lots of details for instance anatomy and physiology I'll speed read the chapter, look up any unknown words, read it again this time trying to "wrap my head around it" or get an understanding of the overall process. If its a really difficult section I will write a summary of the entire chapter on paper, then revise it again and again until the paper consists of just a few words like a words list! almost like definitions. At this point I can tell you everything in a chapter by visualizing those key words. I can't remember everyword from the chapter but I can remember the keywords which remind me what that section was about. I found that starting out its hard to "wrap your mind around" certain topics until you get further into the subject and can put all the peices together. For me understanding is the key and not memorizing. Somtimes I ask myself why and then find the answer even if its something we are not currently studying just because I want to know. I continously ask why. I do not accept one persons explanation I look things up from several sources and come to my own conclusions. One more point I'd like to make about my method of studying is this: At one time I found myself becoming lazy and unmotivated to get to work trying to understand topics that I didn't find interesting so I came up with a rule.. That rule is: No Matter What, The order in which I do things that need to be done will be in from what what I least want to do to what I most want to do. For instance... say I had or wanted to do the following events in a days time: Check the mail, Do math homework online, Play a video game, Work on my english essay, feed the dogs, and wash the car.
My order would be:
1) Work on my english essay <-- what I want to do the least
2) math homework
3) wash the car
4) feed the dogs
5) check the mail
6) play the game <-- what I want to do the most.
I find doing what you want to do least first gives you a since of accomplishment and you just feel better at the end of the day. Oh and to minimize the time I waste I ensure that I do not delay in taking action. An object in motion has a tendency to stay in motion
Its funny that the things you want to do the least are the things that matter the most in achieving your overall goals. Meh... I could talk about this forever Im gonna stop here.