College is an entirely different situation than high school. Classes consist of far fewer grades, but they are worth it when you are done. Some classes have only a midterm and final. This being said, it is important to stay caught up. Do not tell yourself, "I'll read the assignment later," because often times you merely end up cramming right before the test; research indicates that cramming is not the best (nor is it the worst) method of studying.
Review the lesson plan prior to class. Skim through the textbooks. Try to buy your textbooks a few weeks before the semester begins for a glimpse of your classes.
Take quick notes in class.
If you read the material before class you will have an idea of what doesn't make sense, and concentrate on your professor's explanation. Why are you buying the textbook for it to collect dust? They have textbooks and lab manuals for a purpose. You will be graded mostly on the book because this is mainly the bulk of the class. Professors are usually here to interpret and clarify the text, and sometimes give their opinion; you are to learn most of the material yourself.
Don't make notes on what's already in the book, it wastes your time and attention. Highlight the parts emphasized, and listen to the way your professor relates it to what you've already learned. Remember that the professor may be biased so if you tend to not agree with the professor, just stick to the facts.
If it's repeated more than twice it's going to be on the test.
Study for at least a total of an hour every day before the next class. For each lecture hour you should expect at least 1-3 hours needed for study- more if it's a challenging class. Studying could involve reading the book, checking out your notes, assignments, using the DVD with the book, browsing the web for information on your class, etc. Many colleges have online learning tools and assignment portals that help you learn your stuff.
Don't let social activities take priority before studying. If you have to be social, it is great to have a study group. More shy college students benefit with this.
Plan your breaks in the short and long term. If you must make the Saturday night party, know you'll have to spend the afternoon at the library. If you're spending the day hitting the books, plan an hour off at suppertime, and a treat for dessert.
Study groups help some remember material, and clarify difficult points and is a great way to have a social life in college at the same time as studying.
If your friends are in different courses plan on getting together for stress busting periods, especially during exam week. Midnight power walks make great memories.
If you are not the person to concentrate, try to lighten your load of classes. 12 credits is a good amount of credits to schedule for each semester. That will ensure up to 12-24 hours of studying, assuming that each class has at least 1 hour of studying per credit.
Always memorize bold vocabulary words in the textbook. These might not be covered by the professor because he'll assume that you're already reading the text. So beware, even things not lectured on may appear on the test
Pretend each test you take in college is going to be a make it or break it test for your job. This is not high school, where you can just get on the honor roll. The grades you get may affect the amount of money you get in your paycheck, or the chances of even getting a job in this economy.