Colleges and professional schools want candidates with a well-rounded resume. This means that as students, you have to balance demanding coursework with sports, internships, volunteer service, and most importantly, also find down time to enjoy with friends and family!
Efficient study techniques will help you juggle all this quite well.
Don't record lectures to spend extra hours listening to the same lecture later. Save study time outside of class and learn within class time. Take good notes during lecture! Note topics the instructor spends time on, important keywords, terminology.
When given an assignment, complete it in advance and run it by the instructor a few days before it's due. This will ensure full credit because his feedback will tell you exactly what he wants out of the assignment. You're going to do the assignment anyways, just plan ahead and make time for it early on. Do not procrastinate.
Give a quick read to the textbook on the topic before lecture. This should only take up to 30 mins. It will greatly enhance your learning and consolidate material during lecture. You will end up spending much less time learning the material later.
Participate in class or stay in touch with the instructor over email or talk to him after class. First of all- participation points are the easiest. Second, the instructor will give you inside information on what to expect on tests and how to better prepare for them. Being well-acquainted with the instructor will also serve you well when you need your letters of recommendation!
Get help from a qualified tutor. Instead of spending valuable minutes re-reading chapters, reading endless wikipedia pages or even worse- understanding the topic incorrectly- just work with a tutor once or twice a week to make sure you are crystal clear on topics and confident for your test.
Best of luck!