Let me start with my experience from the past, 3 years ago, when I was still in high school. We had a very strong physics teacher then, who understood physics relatively deeply (at least compared to teachers of other subjects, like mathematics). He was famous for his extremely low marks. On a 10 point scale, it was said, that God gets 10, professor gets 9, student genius gets 8, etc. The majority of students were getting 4 or 5, including myself. This teacher had good teaching abilities, his problems weren't too hard, and the students were actually capable of understanding it, so where was the problem? The problem was in the presentation of other subjets, for example, mathematics. Mathematics was presented as a collection of algorithms and equations, which you apply to solve various problems. The application was blind and mechanical, basically it was symbol manipulation, without understanding their meaning. The same strategy was used for physics by the majority of students, including me. When you tried to solve a problem, you would write what is given, for example, m and a. Then, you would write what is required, for example, F. Then you would try to remember any relationships, that would relate F, a, and m. You would remember F = ma and solve the problem! However, this was sufficient only for very primitive problems, and the problems the teacher gave us wasn't like that. Even though they weren't hard, they simply needed something more than this strategy : they needed imagining the situation, thinking about the meaning of the symbols, thinking about the meaning of their relationships. In the last semester, 3 months before the final physics school-leaving exam, my approach to learning changed dramatically. Now I spent quite some time independently reading and trying to understand, tried to imagine everything. My marks in the last semester (from first to last) were 7,8,9,8,10,10 and I got a 100/100 from the exam (which is acquired by the top 1% scorers nation-wide). My main point here is to accentuate the importance the way you see, the way you approach learning. In fact, I think that one of the main differences between the so called "talented" and "non-talented" students is the way they approach learning, their learning habits. When I see some of my current classmates, their lack of understanding, lack of motivation and low marks, I don't see lazy, non-talented people. I see people, who saw a completely wrong presentation of learning, and, sadly, accepted it, conformed to it. It's the system that I blame, not them. Now I'm in university, however, I still see (even though, less) the same problem. An algorithm is presented, no time is spent in trying to understand it, what it computes, why it works. Simply a few similar problems are presented, that require direct application of this algorithm, this supposed to "teach" us the algorithm. Yes, after boring and tedious time applying it, it temporarily gets stuck into your memory, however, understanding an algorithm and remembering it is a completely different thing. Human mind is fundamentally bad at remembering meaningless information, computing something blindly and mechanically, doing everything very precisely, without any arithmetic or similar mistakes. However, in a lot of cases, I see that this is exactly what is required by some of the professors. This makes me angry a little bit, I find myself arguing with some professors (calmly enough), I'm trying to convince them, how useless and wrong it is. Now, one of the reasons I'm writing all this is that I understand, that it is possible, that I'm actually completely wrong. I'm only learning mathematics for a few years, while the professors are doing it for the past 40 years. Maybe I'm just over self-confident, maybe It's I who doesn't have a clue how to approach learning. Maybe I'm just extrapolating my own experience, maybe what works for me, will not work for the majority of others. In fact, when I said, that 90% of my learning is reading and 10% is problem solving, I've felt some pressure. Hence, I'm deeply interested in what do You think about all this, what do You think is the right approach to learning?