The beginning of the semester is a great time to form new habits and try out new strategies. Establishing strong note-taking skills is a good step toward a successful semester.
I recommend reading the book chapters and additional lesson material before each class starts. Take notes and leave lots of room to add the lecture notes into the appropriate sections.
By continually supplementing the same notes you end up reviewing the material several times without even realizing it. Pay attention to what information your professor emphasizes as it might give you clues as to what might be included in the exam.
Another neat note-taking trick is to include diagrams and drawings of class material in your notes.
Studies show that you create different mental associations with images than with words, by tapping into your artistic skills you make information easier to recall and understand when you start reviewing for the test.