I hear you with the whole mindset thing. The approach at my new school is a lot different in that I've gone from completely closed book memorization exams to all open book exams where the prof wants us to focus more on analysis and less on rule spewing. It's defintely a change, but I kind of like it. I don't feel as pressured to cram my brain. I can just learn the material and how to appy it. If I need to do a quick flip through my notes for reference, then I can. It's a little more comforting.