You definitely need to identify what the question is asking for. If you don't do that correctly, you're bound to answer the question incorrectly!
Learn key concepts first, thoroughly, then go through the guided exercises, then try the practice exercises on your own and check your work. Textbooks are very helpful, even though paying attention in lecture may seem easier. If you learn the concepts, you're better off for exams, period.
Google is also your best friend. Google your problems if the book doesn't work. Watch YouTube videos that go through the specific type of problem you need to solve.
The bottom line: if you know what kind of problem you're dealing with, and then you know how to do it, it's only a matter of execution. Execution is certainly the hardest part, but it's a million times easier when you better understand the foundation upon which you're solving your problem.