Hey all, This is a really embarrassing question, but one that I feel is necessary. I am not too intelligent, but feel as though for most of my life it could be made up for by work ethic. My senior year, when having an honest discussion with my advisors about my capability for grad school, I was "rated" as a 3/2/9 for knowledge/intelligence/work ethic - completely meaningless, but it's well-agreed that I'm not the most intelligent is the point. So I have been working really hard my first semester in grad school as a result. I'm taking one core class (QM) and have been doing everything right - extra problems, preparing for lectures well, and I felt like my understanding of the material was exceptional. The day of the exam (yesterday) I sat down and did the previous year's exam that was posted online, and flew through it scoring a 100%. I got less than a 40% on last night's exam, which no one else considered to be difficult. I don't have testing anxiety (at least, no more than anyone else). I was told by previous TAs for the course that exams in graduate school require intelligence beyond what was tested in class or on the homeworks - not just understanding of the material. I'm going to discuss this with the professor and see where my misunderstandings lie (you don't fail that spectacularly without a fundamental misunderstanding) and take the usual steps to perform better on the final exam, but in the meantime I'm wondering if I'm really cut out for graduate school if it requires intelligence that I simply don't have. On a very practical level, the program I'm in does not fail out students for poor GPA's so I'm not in danger of being kicked out (although I will have problems passing the preliminary exam), but I don't imagine that my GPA will look great when I'm applying for positions in industry/academia (probably the former). I know that this sounds like just another "I failed an exam, should I drop out" post to throw in that pile, but in undergrad the solution is generally "work harder". I'm just wondering if graduate school requires a little something more.