- Paperback: 193 pages
- Publisher: Three Rivers Press; unknown edition (April 12, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0767917871
- ISBN-13: 978-0767917872
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 131 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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How to Win at College: Surprising Secrets for Success from the Country's Top Students Paperback – April 12, 2005
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“Smart and sensitive advice.” —Jay Matthews, The Washington Post
“This book is the perfect high school graduation gift…. Highly recommended because it is full of practical tips that will help high school grads take the next step in life. Young readers will find many of the insights counterintuitive, refreshing, and funny too.” —Money
“This deliberately provocative book is a good way for a smart student to see how out-of-the-box thinking can lead to success in college.” —Kimberly Marlow Harnett, The Seattle Times
“Clear, concise and organized information that every soon-to-be or present college student should read and use . . . an excellent choice for your college-bound teen.” —Denise Witmer, About.com Guide for Parenting of Adolescents
“Every college student, or every parent of a college student, must buy this book!” —Jeffrey J. Fox, author of How to Become CEO and How to Become a Rainmaker
From the Inside Flap
The only guide to getting ahead once you've gotten in--proven strategies for making the most of your college years, based on winning secrets from the country's most successful students
What does it take to be a standout student? How can you make the most of your college years--graduate with honors, choose exciting activities, build a head-turning resume, and gain access to the best post-college opportunities? Based on interviews with star students at universities nationwide, from Harvard to the University of Arizona, "How to Win at College presents seventy-five simple rules that will rocket you to the top of the class. These college-tested--and often surprising--strategies include:
- Don't do all your reading
- Drop classes every term
- Become a club president
- Care about your grades, Ignore your GPA
- Never pull an all-nighter
- Take three days to write a paper
- Always be working on a "grand project"
- Do one thing better than anyone else you know
Proving that success has little to do with being a genius workaholic, and everything to do with playing the game, "How to Win at College is the must-have guide for making the most of these four important years--and getting an edge on life after graduation.
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I didn't feel there was much overlap between his books. "How to Win at College" is composed of 75 two-page "tips" that cover a very wide range of topics. This is the book I originally fell in love with and ordered copies of for many friends, and I recommend reading it first. His second book, "How to Become a Straight A Student," focuses on a few key skills: the trap of "pseudo-studying," time management, how to actually study, conquer exams, and write papers. However once I read it, I liked it almost better than the first one!
In short, they are both indespensible, easy reads, hard to put down, and completely different from any other "study skills" books you might read. They are basically "myth busters" of conventional wisdom about school success. If you want to know the "secrets of the universe" regarding succeeding in and loving college, look no further.
Among the gems I found, Newport reminds students to "Study in Fifty-Minute Chunks" and "Learn to Listen." In these short chapters there are ideas to help the student better utilize their time by minimizing distractions and knowing exactly what to listen for in a lecture. By far my favorite and most memorable line from this book is "A good analogy is that writing is to a college student what shooting hoops is to a basketball player." Wise advice indeed. I would recommend this book to high school an college students alike. The chapters are short and jam packed with good advice.
The book is seventy-five pieces of advice, each with about two pages of explanation. The advice is pretty simple, as you can see from looking at the table of contents ("Dress Nicely for Class," "Never Nap," "Eat Healthy," "Always Go to Class"). But the reason this book is effective is that it serves as a quick-reference manifesto for some of the more important (to me) advice.
For example, I'm taking a grad-level fiction writing class. No due dates (except the final deadline at the end of the semester) and no class. You just write at your own pace and turn in a portfolio. This is incredibly difficult for me to do, and I'm unbelievably far behind in the work for the class. I was really quite worried about how I would ever pull it off. The whole semester, my fiction work has been priority #75, and I usually crash between priorities #14 and #20. But with some of the advice in this book ("Keep a Work Progress Journal," "Set Arbitrary Deadlines," "Avoid Daily To-Do Lists," "Don't Take Breaks Between Classes"), I actually feel pretty confident about being able to finish on time. By reading this book (and [...] and Newport's more recent book, How to Become a Straight-A Student: The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less) I've adopted some strategies and habits that have actually yielded results.
Before Cal Newport, I was up late every night, angrily doing my homework until I couldn't drink any more tea, without any free time. Now, I'm getting my homework done before sundown (for the most part), feeling enormously more relaxed, and regaining a good amount of the excitement that I had about college before I got here.
If you're on your way to college, and you're the sort of person who can stomach (and listen to) advice, do yourself a favor and read this book. Newport admits in the introduction that not every piece of advice will be for you (for me: "Exercise Five Days a Week" and "Use a Filing Cabinet"). If you want to be more than an average student without being a "grind," this book has a good deal of solid advice.
If you're already in college, and you're looking for more in-depth and practical advice, I recommend also reading How to Become a Straight-A Student: The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less. It has more thorough advice for confronting the terrors that you have come to know in college.
Other than that, the book gives good general advice. The examples that are seen in the book description are pretty much how it goes. A Tip, a few pages why, and then another. It all seems very practical to stay organized, plan ahead, do work when you are assigned, etc. This book covers mainly Academic issues, I would recommend The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College if you are looking for the social aspect of College life.