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It's the problem of studying for the test vs studying to learn. Some knowledge will transfer, but the further the test is removed from reality, the lesser the transferable knowledge will be. When I look back at the interviews I had and what I actually needed to know at work, the difference is massive.



One important way that all tests are removed from reality is that the direct motivation for solving the test problem is to score well on the test rather than to understand the problem better. In real life we are sometimes motivated by factors such as curiosity or survival which marshalls our internal resources more helpfully.

(And maybe evolution gave us curiosity to save on battery power with the new knowledge it produced!)




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