For leaning taught course material I usually go for the deep understanding approach. I don't like to learn things without understanding them, but having said that, I do resort to rote learning for some things. I tend to re-read lecture notes after I've made them to make sure I understand what I've written, and I annotate them during revision to cross reference to other work. It usually takes me three go's at reading something for it to sink in, for an exam. Once, to facilitate, and twice to try and remember it.