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Coming to the realisation that I'm not as intelligent than I have been led to believe watch

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    This is a long read so I'm grateful for people who read it and reply well.

    I was always told at school I was intelligent by people and teachers. I did get good marks in work when I was younger and I think that led to a false belief that I was intelligent. GCSE work I found very easy and I ended up with almost straight A*s without too much effort. Part of the reason I looked more intelligent than I was is because prior to GCSEs, many people didn't put in much effort into their work so my high marks gave me and my teachers a false belief that I was intelligent but really I wasn't.

    Looking back, I don't think it was intelligence at all. I think GCSE was easy because things were spelled out for you so to speak. There were revision guides, notes in class were helpful, textbooks had all the information, you could do well just through exam technique.

    When it got to A Level, you could rely less on these things to help you find answers. I struggled compared to many people in my classes. I took longer to get concepts that other people got quite quickly. In Maths lessons at A Level, I was one of the worst in the class because I didn't get things very well and when we answered questions from the textbook, I would be on question 2 while other people would already be on question 8. I got a B in C2 and a low A in C1 first time round when the rest of my class (apart from one person) literally all got high A's. The same was true for many of my other Maths modules.

    I only managed to scrape onto my first choice course with my A Level results. My lack of intelligence has become even more apparent at university. At university, you have to figure a lot of things out on your own based on your own intelligence and intuition. The lecture notes and textbooks do help somewhat but they only give half the picture. You have to fill in the rest of it. I suck at this big time compared to most of the rest of my course and my marks show this.

    We would have things like Maths Challenges, Physics Challenges, Maths Olympiads, Chemistry Olympiads etc. at school. These were tests of intelligence which went beyond the normal syllabus. I always ended up with terrible marks compared to everyone else. Other people would get silver and gold awards but I would end up with fails every single year (I think I got a bronze in one Maths Challenge and silver in one Physics Challenge but that was bad compared to what other people got). This shows all I was good at was learning from a textbook and learning from markschemes to do well in exams. I didn't have raw intelligence and the ability to solve problems or think outside the box.

    I feel like I have been living a lie all my life. I have been led to believe that I'm intelligent but in actuality, I am not. Not at all. Exam results are not a sign of intelligence and I have been falsely led to believe that I am intelligent because of a few exam results. I inherit my mum's genes unfortunately. She is not very bright.

    Oh and browsing the academic sections of TSR also confirms to me that I am nowhere near as intelligent as I thought I was.

    I'm not sure what I'm asking in this thread. I'm looking for people who have experienced a similar thing.
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    The fact you've come to this realisation means you're actually more intelligent then most of the people out there who are still deluded.
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    Working hard is more important than intelligence.
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    "Read more of the literature!!"
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    :hugs:
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    (Original post by yo radical one)
    Hmmmm

    In some ways you remind me of a male version of im so academic

    interesting
    I take it that's not a good thing.

    At university I will have conversations with people are genuinely intelligent and they feel like a whole level above me in terms of intellect. They get things I don't. It makes me realise that my apparent intelligence when I was younger, was not intelligence at all.
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    I went through a similar thing not too long ago.
    I've come to the realisation that we're all total morons.
    Rough, huh?
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    You're part of the mediocre of this world, Bassets. Come join us, take a seat.
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    Don't worry, most teenagers experience this in one form or another. It can be quite unnerving, but it's a natural part of growing up - at least you're one of the lucky people who had that self confidence early on, when it most mattered.

    I don't know how intelligent you are, because I've never met you. However, here's some general advice.

    1. Self-confidence goes a long way, and you do have control over that, no matter what anyone tells you. The act of believing something is possible will get you further than not believing so, even if you don't meet your original target.

    2. "Don't judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree". I'm not saying 'everyone's special', because that's just not true - some people are useless - however, the average person can boost their achievement level significantly by being clever about where to direct their energy.

    3. Intelligence and achievements are not single acts. People who really achieve tend to do it via lots of boring daily routine that gradually builds up into something unrecognisable.

    4. You can boost your perceived intelligence, and real problem solving skills, significantly by practice. This could be solving maths challenge problems, or it could be something as simple as reading for an hour a day. Your brain is shaped by your environment - make sure it has something good to work with.

    In other words, you have no control over your intelligence, but if you can gain control of your self-belief, dedication and overall direction then you are doing better than plenty of virtual geniuses, and the results will show.
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    you know what, this is the same as me!

    I studied hard at school, revision tips etc. And it's like the more I progressed in school and uni, the worse my grades got, even though I worked and put in all my effort! Someone who got 7A*'s at GCSE easily, then 3A's at A level, after re-takes, then a 2.2 for uni.

    Maths challenges, university challenges etc, just like you, just went over my head, because it was past the syllabus.

    I know what you mean.

    On the bright side, I've managed to get a 20k+ job out of uni
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    Well at least you're self aware, that's a good trait to have
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    (Original post by stargirl63)
    you know what, this is the same as me!

    I studied hard at school, revision tips etc. And it's like the more I progressed in school and uni, the worse my grades got, even though I worked and put in all my effort! Someone who got 7A*'s at GCSE easily, then 3A's at A level, after re-takes, then a 2.2 for uni.

    Maths challenges, university challenges etc, just like you, just went over my head, because it was past the syllabus.

    I know what you mean.

    On the bright side, I've managed to get a 20k+ job out of uni
    I won't be getting a 20k job out of uni.
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    Something like 1% of maths A-level student get gold in the maths challenge and top 2-3% get silver...since the most intelligent people takes maths anyway it would mean you're well above the norm for intelligence.

    Your tale is *******s anyway.
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    (Original post by Bassetts)
    (1) I was always told at school I was intelligent by people and teachers. GCSE work I found very easy and I ended up with almost straight A*s without too much effort.

    Looking back, I don't think it was intelligence at all. I think GCSE was easy because things were spelled out for you so to speak. There were revision guides, notes in class were helpful, textbooks had all the information, you could do well just through exam technique.

    (2) When it got to A Level, you could rely less on these things to help you find answers. I struggled compared to many people in my classes. I took longer to get concepts that other people got quite quickly.

    (3) I only managed to scrape onto my first choice course with my A Level results. My lack of intelligence has become even more apparent at university. At university, you have to figure a lot of things out on your own based on your own intelligence and intuition. The lecture notes and textbooks do help somewhat but they only give half the picture. You have to fill in the rest of it. I suck at this big time compared to most of the rest of my course and my marks show this.

    (4) I didn't have raw intelligence and the ability to solve problems or think outside the box.

    I feel like I have been living a lie all my life. I have been led to believe that I'm intelligent but in actuality, I am not. Not at all. Exam results are not a sign of intelligence and I have been falsely led to believe that I am intelligent because of a few exam results. I inherit my mum's genes unfortunately. She is not very bright.

    (5) Oh and browsing the academic sections of TSR also confirms to me that I am nowhere near as intelligent as I thought I was.

    I'm not sure what I'm asking in this thread. I'm looking for people who have experienced a similar thing.
    (1) You were told you were intelligent because you probably are. Don't discredit your achievements. You were sharp enough at that age and it showed itself in a form of intelligence. Knowledge. Remembering things might not be as impressive as doing long division in your head but it still is a skill you are evidently very good at.

    (2) You were used to memorising things to get by of course A Levels were harder for you. The top grades weren't handed on a plate like it was in GCSEs. Again this doesn't mean you're stupid it just means your lazy habits had to be changed.

    (3) Once again you need to stop discrediting your achievements. I know in your head you wish you got all A* without trying but truth is that tyoe of achievement takes work. And my impression of you is that your a very smart guy with a lot of potential but thats just it. You have to work at it. Intelligence isn't just innate. It takes practice, life experience and a few mistakes.

    (4) You do have raw intelligence or in other words potential you're just not working hard enough. Also don't diss your mother. It's tasteless and you should know better than to disrespect her.

    (5) I have experienced this. I did amazingly well at GCSE. But I failed my A Levels and dropped out. Thankfully due to doing an access course uni is still in my sights.

    What I learnt by failing is that it's not a big deal. I used to be like you. I wanted that sherlock holmes style of intelligence where things just came to me. Also a sharp wit. But these depictions aren't real. In reality just like evrything else it takes work. If you don't fancy yourself a mathematician try your hand at philosophy. I loved science all my life. I was good at it. But my true passion is literature. The time I've spent outside of education reading history books, learning theology and philosophy has taught me how to reason and debate. Though I have a long way still. Long story short you're smarter than you think you are but you have to put in some effort.
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    Don't ever confine yourself to thinking you are not intelligent. If you don't understand something or something is not familiar then work on it! Really work hard to fully understand the things that trouble you. I think the main barrier to a lot of people is accepting defeat before they've even tried.
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    Rubbish. Only a minority of people truly have raw intelligence, the rest are quite average and have to work to get where they are. If someone tells you they did little revision and did well, they're probably lying. If you genuinely believe they are more intelligent than you, that should be an incentive to work twice or thrice as hard as everyone else. If they do 3 hours, you should be doing 6.

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    Hard work and determination is more important in the majority of jobs these days, plus school/uni.
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    I had a very similar experience. When you're a kid and do well at school, people want to encourage you -- so they spur you on and tell you how clever you are and the like and though you feel so brilliant at the time, eventually you end up realising years down the line that you're thick as gravy, and you have no clue how you got by all those years.
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    OP, I've had a similar experience but from a different perspective.

    A realisation has hit me over the past year or so. I am a perennial underachiever in nearly every aspect of my life - in fact, I don't know a single person who even comes close in wasted ability. Initially I wanted to blame a weak disposition, but now I realise it's more of a habit of laziness built around the fact that I was fortunate enough to be born with enough natural ability in enough areas to basically rest on my laurels from relatively early childhood. So now, finally, at the age of 21, in my final year of university, the reality of my situation has finally started sinking in as the people with the work ethic but without as much natural ability are starting to catch up to me / overtake me.

    What I'm trying to say, OP, is that when talking about intelligence (or any other 'natural' ability - athleticism for instance) you have to include work ethic as part of the equation; if you don't work and underachieve then, regardless of your aptitude, your natural ability is irrelevant and, as other people improve, you'll become more and more average. You simply don't learn how to grit your teeth and work hard when the motivation isn't there to do so: you have no foundation to build your abilities on. I had it all so easy - to be honest I still do - but I'm not improving. I'm not living. I'm wallowing in self-pity thinking about what I could have accomplished by now with a better work ethic.

    Talent never out-does hard work. It's a cliche, but it's true. So OP, you may not be as naturally intelligent as you thought you were, but if you have a stronger work ethic for it then you've got the one skill that matters most.
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    Those people who know they are not intelligent should be called idiots? I don't think so. People's life just needs that intelligence? Intelligence brings true happiness? Do you think so? Why there are so many intelligent people in jail then? Do you know things about unabomber? Just use Google if you really want to know that intelligent man.

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