Science classes are the bane of many students. Big words, convoluted processes, and a lot of math don't really make a pretty combination. They are, however, unavoidable. Everyone, at some point in his life, has to take at least one science class and feel the dread of academic difficulty. Fortunately, there are ways to get good grades in science classes without resorting to plugging your brain into a computer a la The Matrix. It's all a matter of smart schooling. Here are a few tips that'll help you improve your science grades.
Write it down. Yes, the art of taking down notes may seem passé in the days of the Internet, teacher handouts, and class forums, but writing down what is being taught helps a lot more than you would imagine. You're free to write things in a language that make the lesson understandable to you. You'll have something ready to refer to if you need a quick refresher. You'll also be able catch things your professor might say that won't be in your textbooks and handouts.
Maybe the best thing about taking notes is the psychology behind it. Since you're taking the time to write the lesson down, you're instinctively more focused on it and will thus be able to absorb it more easily.
Pay attention. Your professor will do or say things that aren't in the reading materials. Usually, these provide the professor's personal insights on the matter. These enrich your learning and help you apply the theories to everyday life. Some professors even give you shortcuts to solving certain problems, or share mnemonic devices that will help you memorize certain terms.
Practice. Science, like math, is a matter of practice. The best way to drive the facts into your skull is to repeatedly work on them. How? It may sound like your mother's nagging from your elementary school days, but do your homework! Professors give homework for many reasons, and giving you the opportunity to practice is one of them.
Read. Of course, the foundation of whatever you take up in your science class is the textbook. No matter what, the lesson will always take you back to that thick stack of bound paper. The trick is to manage your reading time. It always helps do your reading in easily digestible nuggets spaced out over a period of time. It's much easier to retain several pieces of information and then time them all together than it is to cram 50 pages worth of scientific fact.
Socialize. Learning is a lot easier when people are helping each other out. Form a study group, work on a tutoring partnership with a friend, or even just study in the same room as a bunch of your classmates. If ever you hit a roadblock, someone will be around to clarify things for you.
This also applies to your professor. Take some time to get on your teacher's good side and treat him like a fellow human being rather than an F-giving vampire. You'll find that a good student-teacher relationship will make your professor a lot more receptive to helping you out.