This is gonna sound dumb and obvious, but it is true. Just keep doing practice problems. And more importantly, CHECK the answers and see why you got them wrong (I know so many people who will just check their own work, put a red X on a problem, and not care). Oh yeah, always draw a picture.

Practice, Practice, Practice!!!! Do all the assigned problems and any similar problems. Get REA's "Physics Problem Solvers". The key to physics is doing lots of problems and understanding why you get them wrong when you do.

This is going to sound quite obvious as well, but if practice exams are available, hit those hard! If your physics class is anything like the sequence here, questions (and if not verbatim, at least the general concepts) are often recycled. Good luck.

you should derive all of the equations (those that can be derived) so you understand the assumptions behind them which should help you apply them appropriately.

I second the post about doing every single problem for each chapter. Study groups also help because you can divide up the problems and then share them with the others in your group. This class is very time consuming because of the lengthy problems so you just have to do them. The are also answer guides for some textbooks but only use these to check your answers or if you are really stuck. Also, if math isn't your forte then bone up on your math skills. Good luck!!! This is exactly how I studied (of course, I read all the material) and I was near 100% on every exam. It isn't rocket science, just hard work. Put forth the effort and you will be rewarded. I also keep those spiral bound index cards full of all the formulas and that made studying so much easier.

I would actually AVOID making a formula sheet or index cards, unless you can use them in class on tests. It could just be me, but they seem to be TOO easy to access and thus discourage me from actually learning the formula. This could just be me though. I think its best to work problems while looking at the formula in the context its presented in the book. That way you aren't just memorizing a bunch of letters, but the origin and theory behind that formula. Another thing, break down formulas in your head by thinking about the factors behind them and whether increasing the numerator/denominator results in an increase/decrease in the overall equation. For example. F=G(m1)(m2)/(r^2). If you imagine bigger bodies (sun and earth) versus two people (hopefully), you will remember that there is much greater gravitational attraction, and that masses belond in the numerator. But then if you think about what happens when you spread them out, your gravitation force decreases. Its an easy example, but the thought process can be applied to any equation. I found this especially helpful in EM physics.

Well, the cards really worked for me but I do that for alot of classes because then anytime I get a few minutes I can run through them quickly. I used to have a pretty photographic memory, but as I get older it isn't as sharp, but if I write something down then I have it for sure. In no way am I negating the need to understand how to use the formulas or reading the material.

I used to do all the problems, then do them all again a few days before the exams. We got a legal cheat sheet for exams to put down anything we wanted except worked problems. Usually, by the end of the cheat sheet construction I had memorized it all anyhow. My main advice is re-do problems, especially the tough ones, read the concepts behind the problems you don't understand again, and write down absolutely anything and everything on the exam that might be worthwhile to a problem (partial credit is a beautiful thing!).