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Professors' Guide to Getting Good Grades in College Paperback – June 27, 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“This book is Chicken Soup for any college student’s soul who is serious about getting better grades with less stress.” (Jack Canfield. Co-creator, #1 New York Times best selling Chicken Soup for the Soul® series. Author, The Success Principles™)

“It’s a book about how to do Life better. Hugely important! Very well done. I recommend it to everyone.” (Richard N. Bolles, author, What Color Is Your Parachute?)

“Give this book an A for the authoritative inside scoop on getting the most out of your college education.” (Edward B Fiske, author of The Fiske Guide to College)

“The advice is refreshingly sensible. Students who follows these recommendations are practically certain to get very good grades.” (Harry Frankfurt, author of the national bestseller, On Bullshit)

“A very helpful and quite humorous guide for students wanting to get the most out of their college experience.” (Harold T. Shapiro, Former President, University of Michigan)

“I really enjoyed the book and only wish I could’ve read it before second-semester senior year!” (Christen Martosella, Editor-in-Chief, The Insider's Guide to the Colleges 2007)

“I wish professors would read this book so they can give away the mysteries to their students.” (Robert J. Gross, Dean, Swarthmore College)

“Every student who uses the tips and techniques in this volume is virtually guaranteed a grade increase.” (-- Sharon J. Hamilton, Director, Indiana University Faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching)

“Deserves an A+. Must reading for any student wants to learn more and earn better grades.” (Eric R. White, Executive Director, Division of Undergraduate Studies & Associate Dean for Advising, The Pennsylvania State University)

About the Author

Dr. Lynn F. Jacobs is associate professor of Art History at the University of Arkansas. A specialist in Northern Renaissance Art, Lynn previously taught at Vanderbilt University, California State University, Northridge, University of Redlands, and NYU.

Jeremy S. Hyman is manager of Professors' Guide projects. An expert in Early Modern Philosophy, Jeremy has taught at the University of Arkansas, MIT, UCLA, and Princeton University.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Collins Reference; 5/28/06 edition (June 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060879084
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060879082
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. Spencer Garrett IV on July 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am torn between three and four stars for this book but Amazon won't give me a 3.5 option. I have taught at the university level for the past five years and certainly most students can benefit from what is in this book. I want to encourage students to buy (and read) this book. The mythbusting that the authors engage in is certainly worth the price of the book. You can pay now with a little cash or pay later with a low grade to find out the truth about grading. Almost every chapter has good information. I especially liked Chapters 2, 4, 5, and 9.

I also enjoyed how they disparage B's as grades -- what does a B prove to anyone? An A indicates excellence in a course and a C indicates trouble but a B is essentially worthless as a predictor or indicator of anything. As the authors say, not even professors get excited about B's.

However, I do have some complaints.

First, and most important to students is that the authors treat grading opportunities as singular events. This prevents students from treating grades strategically. My advice to students about achieving the best grades possible is for them to strive to earn an A on the first exam of each course they take. Because the material on the first exam is usually much easier than on the Final Exam, holding a grade up is easier than pulling one up. The authors touch on the lack of time to study properly for all of the Finals at the end of the term but don't really offer a solution to the time crunch. By learning early in the semester where they stand in each course, students can allot their time better. An early A enables them to focus their efforts on the courses that they have a shot at pulling up or on those that they can hold -- particularly when they know they gave the first test their best shot.
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Format: Paperback
Perfect for those already in college, those getting ready to attend a university, or even teens who are beginning to think about which college they'd like to attend, the PROFESSORS' GUIDE TO GETTING GOOD GRADES IN COLLEGE is a must-have! This is a book filled not just with advice, but with actual facts on how to take good notes during a lecture, how

professors grade papers, and even how to prepare for tests and exams.

The book is broken down into five parts, with additional chapters in each:

Part 1: The Start--10 Common Myths About Grades in College; How Do Professors Grade, Anyway?; and FAQs About Picking Courses with an Eye to Grades.

Part 2: The Class--Your Action Plan for the First Week of Class; Top 10 Tips for Taking Excellent Lecture Notes; and Why Prepare? Why Attend? Why Participate?

Part 3: The Exam--13 Best Ideas for A+ Test-Preparation; Acing Exams by Adjusting Your Attitudes; and The Hidden Value in Going Over Your Test.

Part 4 The Paper--Understanding the Assignment; Doing the Analysis, Doing the Research; Do's and Don't's for Going to See the Professor; and Top 10 Tips for Constructing the Perfect Paper.

Part 5: The Last Month--The 4 Hazards of the Last Month of the Semester; and 17 Strategies for Acing the Final.

With great mini-quizzes, notes from visiting professors, and checklists to keep track of your strategies, this is a book perfect for any older teen. If everyone had a copy of the PROFESSORS' GUIDE TO GETTING GOOD GRADES IN COLLEGE before setting off for that first semester, college would be a whole lot less stressful!

Reviewed by: Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius"
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Format: Paperback
Why didn't anybody think of this before? There are dozens of guides on how to get into college, but the publishing world has left millions marooned there once they get in. And it can be quite bewildering. Finally, these two extremely well informed and clear-headed professors have demystified the art of staying in college and doing well there. Once, such advice was available only to a lucky and privileged few with personal or family ties to faculty members. Too many bright and capable students figure out how to do well over four years--they only learn the ropes by the time it's too late. Their overall college record suffers unnecessarily because nobody bothers to tell them what this book finally makes clear is so simple and straightforward. In particular, this book's advice on writing papers will give its readers a huge advantage, and get them on track to success in college right from the start. The authors know all the tricks of the trade and explain them clearly without any intimidating jargon or preaching. They want you to do well and lay out the path toward doing well step by step. You could not spend your money more wisely at the start of your college career than on this book--I only wish it had been available earlier. I have been teaching college at a major state university for l4 years--I will recommend this book to my students, which will save them-- and me--a lot of time and unnecessary grief.
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Format: Paperback
This book is one I wish all my students would read. This isn't paternalism, but rather self-interest, at work. I'd be reading higher-quality work, and wouldn't be dogged as much with the suspicion that my students are not working to anywhere near their potential. The book is clearly written, transparently organized, and thoroughly engaging--it moves along briskly and efficiently, is dotted with numbered tips and illustrative anecdotes; its tone is light but not frivolous, prescriptive but not preachy. There's nothing in it that a reasonably serious and observant student blessed with a generous helping of common sense couldn't arrive at by the end of her or his senior year in college--in other words, too late to put into practice. For those who'd like to know how to get good grades while they're still in college, the book is a great guide. Through its thorough and systematic treatment of such topics as lecture attendance and participation, notetaking, test taking, doing research and writing papers, and strategies for that crucial last part of the course, it encourages students to adopt a thoughtful and methodical approach to their coursework. This is not a book with shortcuts for achieving educational results, and grades, without doing all the work. Instead, it encourages students to maximize their learning, and shows them exactly how to go about achieving this goal, which has the attendant benefit of boosting the GPA. If they put the program of this book into practice, they won't work any less hard, but they'll work smart. This is a great graduation gift to any college-bound high school seniors or an any-occasion gift to students in college, and it's a gift that keeps on giving, since the professors and teaching assistants with whom these students will study will also greatly, if indirectly, benefit. (I said it was self-interest at work.)
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