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The Secrets of Top Students: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Acing High School and College Paperback – May 7, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-1402280795 ISBN-10: 1402280793

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6 Up-This book highlights a multitude of topics that include getting and staying motivated, taking notes, how to study, test-taking methods, how to write a paper, time-management strategies, etc. The author's conversational tone and practical advice contribute to a relaxed style that makes the information seem easy to apply. Especially helpful are the charts, exercises, and examples. In addition, Weisman includes quotes from top scholars and research-based strategies and tips. She offers technology-based advice from using Google calendar and apps to online databases for research alongside tried-and-true low-tech options such as taking handwritten notes and making flash cards. Although the target audience is high school and college students, the book is a must-read for students in middle school and up, teachers, parents, and guidance counselors as 21st-century students learn to excel in the new educational landscape in which they find themselves.-Tammy Turner, Centennial High School, Frisco, TXα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

"An insightful guide for high achievers-and those aspiring to such status-from an authoritative source. Stefanie Weisman's book about the secrets of academic success is all the more amazing, given the learning disabilities that she overcame to become the ultimate academic overachiever. I believe students can find happiness and achieve great things at any number of schools, and Weisman offers hard-fought wisdom about how to get there." - Alec Klein, Northwestern University professor, best-selling author and award-winning journalist
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402280793
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402280795
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stefanie Weisman is a woman of many interests. From history to art to computer science, she's studied (and aced) it all. Stefanie was born, raised, and still lives in Astoria, New York, across the river from Manhattan. She became valedictorian of Stuyvesant High School in 1999. At Columbia University, she specialized in medieval European history and graduated with the highest GPA in her class. She also received awards for Best Performance in Columbia's Core Curriculum, Best Senior Thesis in History on a non-U.S. Topic, Phi Beta Kappa, and Summa Cum Laude.

After working for several years in corporate America, Stefanie got her M.A. in the History of Art and Archaeology. She was a Craig Hugh Smyth fellow at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts, where she studied ancient Greek and Roman art. Around this time, Stefanie developed an interest in technology and went back to Columbia to get a B.S. in computer science. While there, she decided to write a book to share her wide-ranging academic experience with other students. This book became The Secrets of Top Students (Sourcebooks EDU, 2013).

Stefanie's hobbies include reading ink-and-paper books, watching old films, hiking, getting lost in museums, traveling the world, memorizing Shakespeare, and eating her way through New York City. In addition to writing about education, Stefanie is working on a historical-fiction novel about the ancient Minoans.

You can find out more at her website, www.valedictoriansguide.com. Follow her on Twitter @StefanieWeisman, or Like the Stefanie Weisman Public Page on Facebook.

Customer Reviews

I would recommend this book to both high school and college students.
R. Carole
The book also includes a few helpful exercises to help students practice what they have learned in regards to taking notes, staying motivated, etc.
Alain B. Burrese
Even if they just flip through the book, they'll find lots of practical tips and techniques that they can put into immediate use.
Vince Kotchian

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Richard B. Schwartz TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
Many how-to books are little more than freshly-organized common sense, with bullet points and graphics. That is not the case with this book. While it does have useful graphics and while it is commonsensical, the book utilizes a considerable amount of research. It is written with a light touch and the research does not intrude, but it is there.

One simple example: the book argues against study groups. Study groups are defended by many, particularly in business schools. Study groups (we are told) mirror the real world, where we will be working with other people, possessing different expertise, etc. etc. In the real world, however, there are sticks and carrots. Those who do more than their share can be given bonuses; freeriders can be fired. For an example of `study groups' in the unreal world, think of the `group' competitions on American Idol--a generally hellish experience for the serious competitor, one often resulting in a great deal of useless `drama'. In arguing against the use of study groups Stefanie Weisman is flying in the face of a great deal of contemporary educational ideology. On her side, however, is the research of Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa, whose recent (celebrated) book on educational attainment demonstrates that a great number of students in college are not acquiring the skills that their college websites tout. (Among other Arum/Roksa `detrimentals'--joining fraternities and matriculating in business schools.)

Our brains are bodily organs and while we go to college to learn, our physical needs contribute significantly to that process. Thus, the author talks about physical strategies (including diet) that contribute to learning. (Example: good students don't pull all-nighters.) Should we caffeinate or not? To what degree?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joanna Michelle Heath on November 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
As someone who has read countless books on effective studying and college life, I would label Weisman the "go-to expert" on these topics. With a conversational and straight-forward voice of someone who has been there, The Secrets of Top Students condenses all the critical tips for becoming a pro at time management, note-taking, class selection, writing papers, and otherwise surviving academia into one completely readable paperback.

There's a difference between being highly intelligent and being a top student. While I spent my adolescent and high school years in the Gifted and Talented program with an accelerated curriculum, I lacked the patience and know-how to be a "top student", and eventually I skipped college to go directly into a career that I thought would last forever. When it didn't, I found myself in my 20's with no college education...not exactly where I thought I'd be. In preparing to go back to college as an older student, I became a voracious reader of "surviving college" books, and this was the last one I needed to read. I returned to college and am now an honors student with a 4.0 GPA and was just accepted for transfer to my first-choice university. I honestly believe many of Weisman's tips included in this book helped facilitate that, and I recommend it to the underclassmen that I mentor and tutor. I've even chosen to include this book in a presentation I will be giving to a class of freshman.

This should be required reading for high school students/college freshman. I wish Stefanie Weisman would write a book about graduate school as well!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Davis on June 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
I've read a few books on doing well in school and most of them focus on a few topics. This book however has an excellent balance between all that areas that I've found help with doing well in school.

Although I don't have quite the credentials as the author, I have picked up a lot of things along the way as I go into my final year at college. There wasn't a single thing in this book that I disagreed with, which I thought was pretty amazing.

I felt that the most important chapters were the ones that didn't even have to do with actually being in school. The first chapter is what I'd consider the most important chapter in the whole book. I have yet to meet a student that does really well that doesn't have an intense motivation for why he/she is at college. The other chapters on taking care of yourself health wise, time management, and how to read a book are the other chapters that I felt were really well written with a lot of good information.

I'd definitely recommend this to anyone that is looking to do better in high school or college. At first it might seem like it is a quick read but I've learned that trying to implement all of these ideas immediately after learning about them would be hard to do. It took me a couple years of high school and college before I felt that I was at a point where I was maximizing my experiences in school. Learning is so awesome. I really wish more people in the world loved it a fraction of what I do =D
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Alain B. Burrese TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
"The Secrets of Top Students: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Acing High School and College" by Stefanie Weisman is chock full of strategies to do just what she claims in the title, Ace High School and College. This is an outstanding book for any student who wants to do better in school. Following Weisman's advice won't only help you get better grades, but you'll learn a lot more too.

I did very well in high school and college, but not as good as Weisman. Her accomplishments are very impressive, and besides her own first hand knowledge, she included tips and strategies from many others who also excelled throughout their schooling. (Valedictorians like Weisman, Rhodes scholars, Fulbright scholars, Intel Science Fair finalists, National Spelling Bee champions and others like these.) I read the book because I speak to and work with students, and I also wanted to see how it would be for my daughter to read. It's one I definitely will have her read when she's a bit older, but since she asked why she had to wait, maybe I'll let her read it now and then again when she starts high school.

What I really like is that this book isn't just another "how to study" book. It is much more than that. While it does include advice on how to maximize your studying, it also provides information on the entire learning experience, including why you should want to be a better student in the first place.

There are chapters on motivation, time management, how taking care of your body will improve your mind and ability to study, learn, and get good grades. There is a chapter on navigating the game of academia, which is important.
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