Get your mind around some maps. Creating and using visual maps is a great way to understand the relationships between ideas. It also gives your brain an anchor, which will help you recall information later on. Visual maps can be as simple as a table or a flow chart, relating different ideas to each other in straightforward ways that are easy to remember.
When making your own study maps, first identify the key elements of the concept that you’re trying to learn about and write them down for reference. Then figure out how these elements relate to each other in terms of cause-and-effect, contrast or similarity, and chronology — for example, a map might show you how one problem leads to another one; what happens when two things are compared; or what event comes before and after another event happened.
Once you’ve mapped out the information, make sure that you understand it thoroughly: can you draw conclusions from the map? Do causes lead logically towards effects? Can you walk through the chronological order of events? Try going over each step of your own thinking and understanding with someone else if possible — this way they can correct any misunderstandings that you might have had in putting together your map.