Well I haven't really had any classes in the field you are talking about but maybe you could clarify on how much time you have to read these 500 pages, how are they subdivided, how many subjects do they cover, what kind of book it is, how are they related to what you see in class, etc.
Maybe someone could give you some tips/methodology they use regarding this kind of class setting/examination. Maybe it could also help if you give us what kind of preparation you do for your exam. Do you do summaries of these 500 pages, do you try to draw links between what you read and saw in class, etc..
Well from my social science University course (Behavioral Science), the following seems applicable:
Go hard out at the start with your readings and note taking. Most major principles will be introduced in the first week if you build a sound theoretical framework the first few weeks point 2 becomes easier.
Focus on the general ideas and theories with special attention to the way they connect and interrelate with each other. Build a 'cognitive map' where you can start with any principle and eventually trace your way through it to any other thoerist/principle. I believe as an Intuitive you may already do this subconsciously. This part is a lot easier if you have a good broad framework from the early week sin which to slot ideas into.
When it comes to specifics they will be easier to remember once you have the framework in place as they should, theoretically, become self-apparent to some extent.
This approach allows me to literally sit-listen and not take notes/study for the second semester and get good grades much to the chagrin of my classmates.
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