Learning vs memorising
I tell people I have a bad memory. That isn't actually true.
A hangup from my education days was that I felt that having to look something up was like admitting to a lack of knowledge.
At University I tried to get a complete understanding of what was covered in the lectures. When it came to the end of the year I, like everyone else, would spend weeks revising to then try to memorise all of the details. It was very time consuming, tiring and boring.
Unfortunately, it also accounted for a very large part of passing an exam. Your ability to memorise and recall information was being tested far more than your understanding. This may not be the case in many subjects but it certainly was for Maths.
In my last year at University and jaded by poor results in my second year, I decided to stop trying to get a full understanding and instead focused on memorising notes specifically to pass exams.
It did little from the perspective of actually learning the course content and I wasn't as happy, but it was more efficient way to get the results.
In real life, getting things done is nothing like sitting an exam.
Focus on the big picture and if you forget some detail like the syntax of a SQL statement or a grep switch, just look it up. It really isn't cheating.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard Holloway is a PHP developer and System Administrator based in West Sussex