I do not fully understand the process of understanding of a material one reads. Suppose someone reads a chapter from a physics book. How does one make sure that one had really understood what she/he had read? I must confess that at times I read from text and I even feel that I had understood the content but later (may be at the time of exams or solving assignments or when somebody raises a question from that topic), I realize that the feeling was illusory and I feel so stupid. At times I feel that my understanding is incomplete even at basic levels. I am eager to know from experienced people in this forum if there is any method to test whether one had really understood the content of what one had read. I am talking of advanced level physics courses. May be one can also suggest useful skills one can develop for better grasp of items one studies. Thanks.
I have some other related thoughts. Perhaps this is not just a problem with me but with many others, including even researchers. I have seen during one seminar given by an well-known faculty member of an institute, another well-known researcher from audience started asking questions and making comments which revealed lack of understanding of the speaker and he was almost in tears! Not that the speaker was dishonest but this shows that even experts like him can have "illusory" sense of understanding of a topic (not only what he/she had read but done some research work). So may be there is nothing like full understanding of a topic but deeper and deeper understanding of topics. So the question now becomes, how can one attempt to understand a topic deeply and keep going deeper? And for students, how can they be sure their understanding of a topic is good enough?