TIP #1: Always have a piece of paper in front of you.
Write the lesson topic at the top of the page along with the date. Take note of what your teacher says and any important points that come up during class discussions. Write down anything your teacher writes on the board. Take all these notes in your own words to ensure you understand what you wrote down later.
TIP #2: Listen actively.
Following Tip #1 will make this step easier. Even if your teacher provides notes, add your own notes to them. These may include connections to what you already know or elaborations on the teacher's notes. You can even draw doodles or diagrams about the topic as long as they are keeping you engaged with the lesson and helping you understand the material more fully.
TIP #3: Ask questions.
If you are unclear about anything, ask clarifying questions. Add the answers to your notes. If you are colour-coding your notes, you may want to use a different colour to show that those notations are answers to questions that you asked. Asking questions will also help you stay engaged with the lesson, so you both understand and remember more of the material.
TIP #4: Review your notes that evening.
Quickly go over your notes that even. Frequent, quick exposure to the information sends your brain the signal that the material is important and worth remembering. If you are using the Cornell Notes method, this is a good time to write your summary and study questions, which you can use later.
TIP #5: Study a little every weekend.
Reviewing material frequently in short bursts increases the amount that you will remember because it encourages your brain to move the material from your short-term memory to your long-term memory. It needs to be in your long-term memory if you are going to use it on tests and future assignments. Besides, studying a little bit on a regular basis is far better than pulling an all-nighter the day before a test. Use active recall study techniques, like Cornell Notes or Flash Cards, to further improve your retention of the information.