Lesson learned - five times out of ten, I missed that point. That hidden key the entire test is based on. Or what the professor really wants on the essay.
I was diligent in and out of class, formed study groups with peers, and reviewed for days on end - anything a motivated student would do.
So of course I was shocked when I received Cs for both my first math exam and my first English essay. And here I am, trying to minor in journalism. You can only imagine how great I felt afterwards, where I was totally not second-guessing my career path.
As many people warned me, what was above and beyond in high school is now the norm, if not the bare minimal, at the university level of education.
I originally thought that the key to success was some magical, invincible powers that only the gifted intellects had.
In some ways, it helps to have a photographic memory. But what I misunderstood was the significance of asking for help from professors. I misunderstood the power of sitting down to have one-on-one conversations in a smaller setting rather than trying to comprehend their scratching-the-surface teachings in lectures.
Scary? Absolutely. Resourceful? Most definitely.
My point is that talking to the "masters" themselves is the only way to you know what you don't know. Or what they are hinting at for an exam.