When you study, you have to either put information into your short-term memory or your long-term memory. If you are studying flash cards, see if you can answer a question days later. If not, then that wasn't long term memorization. Anyone can review flash cards and know the answers that day, but if you are still missing a lot after a few days, then you haven't learned it. Memorization is all about repetition. If you look at flash cards over and over, it will eventually click. When it does click, that's long term memorization. Try to get as much info into the long term. If you keep forgetting, it's still short term.
If you are trying to learn multiple processes, put all the terms on a piece on paper and say the answer out loud without looking at the answer. Your ability to say the answers all the way down will mimic what an exam will do to you. That will also give you an assessment of how well you are studying. If you can't recall an answer on your paper, you won't answer it on a test....under stress.
There is one great trick with flash cards. So what do you do with flash cards? You write the term on front and write the answer on the back. Try this. Write the term on one card and write the answer on completely different card. Put all of the term cards on one side of the table and put all the answers on the other side. See if you can pick out a term and place it with the answer. That also mimics a test because you are picking out an answer among other answers...like a multiple question test.
Try not to highlight a lot in the book. Your job is not to pick out the important part of a sentence. Your job is to understand the paragraph. Once something is highlighted, then you are only going to concentrate on that. You should concentrate on the whole picture. Plus, the act of highlighting can take up a lot of time. You read a sentence, then highlight it, then read a sentence, then highlight it. It's better to read in a continous, flowing manner. Even if you are reading a whole paragraph and then highlighting, you are still breaking the train of thought. Before you know it, the whole book is highlighted and there's no point in it. I was taught to never highlight until you have read everything. Then, highlight only what you keep forgetting or what you keep misinterpretting. It's a flag saying "Hey, you need to study this again."
Find out how long it takes you to review your notes. If you are studying your notes for a while, then you can say that you don't know it yet. If you look at a page, and it only takes a minute, then you know there's nothing to learn. When you are getting ready to take your test, you should feel like your notes are repetitive and boring. If you can say, "I know that, I know that, I know" then you do know it. It should come to a point where there's no need to review your notes. There's nothing new there. It's redundant. If you are able to flip, flip, flip through your notes before an exam, that will give you an idea of how ready you are. If you are still studying and trying to memorize, you are behind. You should feel like there's nothing else to really study when you walk in the door.
You can't necessarily memorize physiology. You have to understand it, meaning know the why, the where, the when, the how, not just the what. Read, understand, test yourself. Test yourself under stress. You may be able to do your flash cards. But can you do it under 5 minutes? Put a time clock in front of you and watch it count down. How many can you answer? Drop the time limit down with each testing cycle.