You can maximize your learning through lectures if you will do some preparation before it and make a follow-up after it. By doing this, I can guarantee you that you will not need to cram and panic before and during your exam.
Even students need to prepare for lectures by knowing what is the topic or subject matter of your upcoming lectures. Browse the stated chapter of the book so that you will become familiar with the terms that the lecturer may give. Identify or highlight those terms that seems hard to understand so that you could ask them during the lecture.
During lecture, be sure that you listen attentively and actively. Remember that it is more important to listen than to take notes and not understand anything. But do jot down the important terms or significant data for your reference later. If the question or the terms you set aside earlier was not mentioned or still not clear to you, you may ask the lecturer at this time.
After the lecture, it would be better to review the terms and data you jotted down and fill any missing information. The terms you have noted no matter how brief it is will become a valuable review material for your future examinations.