Learning a concept in my opinion is nothing but relating it to something you already know. Every theory, every concept is centered around a single idea. If you can understand and relate that idea to the knowledge you already have, you’ve learned it. Rest of it is just an elaboration and collection of relevant facts.
So, today’s tip is to break down the concept you need to study in the categories mentioned above. Start by learning the central theme/idea and relate the examples to understand it more clearly. Follow by remembering facts, definition, properties and finally the applications.
Studying by this method you will actually understand the concept instead of cramming. And trust me, it takes much less time this way because you are focussed on one central thing. If you are running out of time, study the basics only because as I said earlier, you can always elaborate on topics you understand.