I was a good note taker, paid attention, and did the assigned readings on time. I organized study groups for any other interested students in the class and meet with professors during office hours. I'm not a complete feckin' eejit.
Then we come to finals week. I spent extra time studying the material, as it was a LOT of material and I had done more poorly than I'd expected at mid-term (the only two grades in the class were the two exams). As the class had focused almost solely on one of the two books, I put the vast majority of my time into studying the notes and reading from THAT book. I did go over notes on the book we'd started with as well, but to a lesser degree.
Imagine my surprise - and utter, gut-wrenching disgust - then to sit down to exam that contained seven essay prompts but only the dealt with the book we'd spent about 93% of the class on. I could barely answer one of the other five questions.
Fighting the equal urge to throw up and/or cry, I walked up to the professor, placed my exam sheet on the desk and quietly apologized to hir and said I could not take the exam. I explained that I had devoted almost all my prep time to the book we'd focused so much of the semester on. The professor offered to let me resit the exam, in one hour's time. I did, and passed with a high B. Without that kindness, I don't know for certain that I'd have graduated on time. To say I appreciate it would be a gross understatement.
I bore the professor no ill will and it was MY fault but I've always wondered if other professors would organize an exam in the same way, especially given the weight it carried in terms of the final grade.
Was I a complete flake for studying this way or what?