* Passive Understanding vs. Active Mastery: Students sometimes confuse passive understanding with active mastery. Because material makes sense (passive understanding) when they read it, or when it is discussed in class, they think they "know" it and are disappointed when they earn a "C". Active knowledge and mastery require not just that you understand the material when someone else speaks or writes about it; they require that you, yourself, are able to clearly and accurately explain what the material means and what it implies. Just as passive understanding of a word does not guarantee that you can use it correctly, passive understanding of a subject is not the same as knowing it. Passive understanding earns a " C ", at best. Active knowledge earns a " B ". Mastery earns an " A ".