- Attend all your classes,
- Do all your assignments on time,
- Take good notes and study them,
- Complete all reading assignments,
- Ask the professor for help with anything you don't understand,
Again this is not about how to learn anything or to do well in a class. This is about how to do what you can to pass your final.
- First look through your notes and see if there is anything underlined or that has stars or arrows next to it that you may have put their to remind you that it was important. If it is a word or a phrase look in a high quality dictionary, the glossary in your text book, adn the index in your text book and read up on the note,
- Next most text books start with an introduction that summarizes what the chapter is about and ends with a conclusion that does the same thing. Go through your text and read the first and last paragraph or section for each chapter,
- Most quality text books do not add images or charts arbitrarily, but use them to emphasize important points. As you go through the chapters look at the images and charts and study the captions, if necessary read some of the text until you understand the point they are trying to make,
- If your text has a glossary study that next, you can record your reading and listen to it the next day before class if you have time,
- If it is an essay final after completing the steps above, look up your topic in a good encyclopedia like Britannica, thoroughly learn the entry about President Lincoln or the Cold War or whatever your topic is, you can also record this to listen to before class, there are few if any professors that will expect you to know more than what is written in Britannica unless it is a very specific or arcane topic, if you can write the equivalent of an encyclopedia entry for an essay exam, you will most likely get a decent grade,
- Again Read the first and last paragraph of each chapter,
- Read any image captions,
- Look in article databases for other reviews of the book, You must not copy these reviews but they can guide you to the major themes of a book,
I make no promises about any of this working. The only way to be sure is to do the work when you are supposed to as first mentioned in this post. However, if you have to cram this systematic approach may be your best hope.