Study Smart, Study Less: Earn Better Grades and Higher Test Scores, Learn Study Habits That Get Fast Results, and Discover Your Study Persona Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1607740001
ISBN-10: 1607740001
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anne Crossman attended Stanford and Duke Universities, earning a BA and a Certificate of Education, before launching a career as a high school English teacher, private tutor, and college instructor to students ranging from academic underdogs to honor society prodigies. These experiences, coupled with her desire to see her students aim for and achieve their best, were the inspiration for this book. Visit www.studysmartstudyless.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Maniacs, Brainiacs, Geeks, and Slackers
 
Identifying your study persona
 
We all wish studying were something we could do in our sleep, or that plugging a computer chip into our brains would do the trick. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but here it goes--success requires work. I know that’s just an awful thing to say, but becoming a successful student requires a lot of sweat, sacrifice, and diligence. No great shocker there. However, that doesn’t mean work can’t be fun. With the right outlook, tools, and expectations, you might be surprised how enjoyable academic success can be.
 
Very few people are naturally organized or get good grades without trying--and the few who are true natural geniuses in contrast have to work harder at things that seem normal to the rest of us. Everyone has different talents. As we work through this book, I intend to help you discover your learning strengths so that you will not only know how to make the most of them, but will also feel more confident as you tackle areas where you may not be as strong.
 
Wanting to do well but not knowing how is enough to drive anyone batty. Like the title of this chapter alludes, if we’re truly honest with ourselves we will admit that we all have a little bit of slacker in us. I mean, let’s be real. . . . Who is genuinely 100 percent thrilled to work? That said, work is one of those unavoidable realities, and when it comes our way it turns some of us into maniacs, some of us into geeks, and a lucky few into pumpkins--I mean, brainiacs. Fortunately for you, you are reading this book and are, therefore, well on your way to the latter.
 
Before we can begin to maximize your strengths (that’s the next chapter), we need to first identify your study persona. The whole reason you’re reading this book is because you think you could be doing better in class than you currently are. As a former high school English teacher I can tell you that, when faced with work, students tend to veer toward one of the four following study personas. Understanding which one you resemble most will help you pinpoint your study needs better. So, read on and mark the one that fits you best (we’re going for the most similarities here).
 
The Unperfected Perfectionist: You try really hard, you pull all-nighters, and you get nowhere. How frustrating. You seem to be doing everything right (and sometimes you have the grades to show you’re trying), but the end result isn’t meeting your expectations. Maybe the grade wasn’t high enough. Or, you can’t seem to remember what you studied so hard to learn earlier in the quarter when it comes time to take the final. Either way, you’re wishing you could throw in the towel because your hard work is just not paying off.
 
The Deadline Daredevil: You think you work better under pressure and insist on waiting until the night before the deadline to start your project, hoping all your lucky stars will align and the printer won’t go on strike. It seems like a good plan. After all, when have adrenaline and sheer terror not been good motivators? Still, you find yourself having to repeat the cram session all over again when it comes time for the midterm, and then again for the final. And, when you tried to impress that good-looking someone last week with your knowledge of the Han Dynasty, you drew a blank. For the short term your plan seems to be working. But some days it feels like all you’re doing is putting out one deadline fire after another, which is causing you to sprout gray hairs prematurely.
 
The Mack Slacker: You have perfected your art of doing nothing and doing it well. When it comes time to see the scores, you are the only one who really knows what you’re getting and you put on a fairly convincing show that you don’t really care. Classmates seem to love you for the fact that you don’t study, don’t pass, and don’t care. But--though you wouldn’t admit it to them--you are starting to wonder how to get from “chill” to “millionaire,” and you aren’t sure if your Aunt Tilda bought enough lottery tickets for your plan to pay off.
 
The Brain Trainer: You have a balanced amount of time and play that allow you to learn the material, pass the test, and actually have a life. You have a variety of effective study habits and techniques at your fingertips that make your time behind the desk efficient and, most important, memorable. When a deadline or exam comes, you are pretty relaxed because you know that you know the material. If this is you, maybe you should write a book! Seriously, though, even if this is you, keep reading--I have more tools to add to your arsenal.
 
Getting Your Money’s Worth
 
Now that you’ve identified your study persona, I’d like to suggest some specific sections to focus on as you read through the remaining chapters. You’ll still want to read the whole book (and in order, preferably) to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth out of the deal. After you’ve finished reading everything from how to make your brain work for you to what Whoopi Goldberg and Albert Einstein have in common, come back to this chapter and read over these suggestions once more to see if anything pops.
 
The Unperfected Perfectionist is someone who clearly has a good work ethic but feels a bit lost about how to make sure all that hard work pays off. If this is you, you’ll want to identify your learning strengths in chapter two and pay close attention to the study tricks in chapter four, as well as various note-taking tips in chapter five. For you, the drive to do well is already there--which for most people is the hardest part. So, take heart.
 
Once you work through the book and figure out your learning strengths and specific study strategies, you’ll be better equipped to beat the books and make the grade in no time. On the off chance all this isn’t enough and your grades are still dropping, don’t panic. Before you get completely frustrated and turn into a Mack Slacker, read through chapter six. You may have some hidden land mines that are hurting your chances for success, simply because you haven’t yet learned how to tiptoe around them.
 
The Deadline Daredevil is someone who needs a monstrous kick in the rear to get work done. If this is you, you might consider tracking down your favorite role model (preferably NOT a parent or peer for this scheme) and ask that person to check up on you (meaning, he should ask you specific questions about how your studying is going). Call it Procrastinators Anonymous, if you like. The point is that you need someone who can look at your assignment calendar with you and help you learn how to restructure your life so you get work done early. (Of course, this requires having an assignment calendar in the first place--look for insider advice on that in chapter three.)
 
Part of what makes learning so unmemorable for you is that you’re studying under stress. Understanding how your brain works (see chapter two) will be critical in motivating you to work ahead of your deadlines. And, creating a dependable study environment (see chapter three) will show you how to use your time more effectively. It’s critical that you feel comfortable with these two chapters (as far as understanding what needs to be done and being willing to do it . . . not necessarily liking it just yet) before you move on to the rest.
 
The Mack Slacker is someone who has convinced others (and perhaps even himself) that he believes grades don’t matter. But he doesn’t know how to meet his goals and so is at least willing to flip through the first few pages of this book. If that is you, thank you. Seriously. For whatever reason, studying is not your thing, but you have given this book a chance and I appreciate it.
 
To be honest, this book will make a lot more sense once you figure out what has made studying so awful for you. Is it a fear of failure (and you don’t bother trying so you won’t feel bad)? Is it that you don’t know where to start (and you feel awkward asking for help), so you have given up? If you answered yes to either of these, check out chapter five, which addresses the most common complaints students have about studying. (You can even skip ahead to it first and then read the rest of the book later, though there might be a few points that won’t completely make sense until you read the preceding chapters.)
 
However, if you don’t know what has made studying seem so irrelevant, read through the book and pay close attention to chapter six. You might even make an appointment with a school counselor. Believe it or not, school counselors are absolutely hoping you will do just that . . . really. You’ll make their day. They may even give you a pass to meet with them during class. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, meet with a teacher during lunch and take this book with you so you can work through it together. Your teacher might have some insights into what is causing your struggles and how to best apply key points in this book to your situation. The bottom line is that someone ate your breadcrumb trail and now you need a bit of help finding your way out of the woods.
 
The Brain Trainer is someone who has mastered the art of studying and feels confident that success is on the way. If this is you, you’ll want to keep reading. Yes, I know I said earlier that you should write your own book, but this one is already here for you so why not make use of it? I’ve known Ivy League graduates (meaning Harvard, Duke, and Stanford types) who have read this book and learned something new about themselves in the process. So, don’t sell yourself short. It’s a quick read, and it’s very likely you’ll learn somet...

Product Details

  • File Size: 758 KB
  • Print Length: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (July 5, 2011)
  • Publication Date: July 5, 2011
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004CFAZWM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #602,387 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Out of the many study skills books I have used in my classroom as a teacher of high school study skills, this book is the the one most likely to be fully used by the average student. Longer books are good but most students will not actually work through all of it: the conciseness of this book encourages me that my students will not get overwhelmed, but instead feel that success is at their fingertips with a load that they can master. The only students that would be willing to work through a longer book are already highly motivated and probably have decent study skills. This is the first book I've seen that is this short and to the point - a book that a student would actually be willing to read through, or even start. I love this idea; it makes study skills concepts truly accessible. And though it is concise, it does not lose the good traits of longer books: it is written conversation style, provides short tests to determine learning styles, etc. I will definitely give this to both high school and college students. In my experience, the key to intelligence is study skills, and this concise book will help students acquire those skills better.
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I'll say it first, it's a great book. Has obvious advice and good guidance. However, this book is much much smaller than I pictured it to be. It has few pages and it's not as in depth as I thought it would be. It's the same advice you can find online. If your looking for a quick read for yourself or for your child, purchase it. However, if your a student like myself who has tried and read everything, I recommend the What Smart Students Know book. It is much bigger and more in depth. I purchased both and that one was my favorite out of the two. Take my advice in mind
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AWESOME BOOK! I couldn't have bought anything better. I wanted to improve my study skills even though I already have straight A's. Now I don't stay up till 1 AM every night trying to get homework done. Its great for slackers and smarties. I used some of the tips inside to help my friends study and now they go to me for advice schoolwork and stuff. I'd recommend it to any fellow student and even teachers. Why don't they teach you this stuff in school?
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I have been looking for a book that covers study skills for junior high or high school students in a form that my kids will be willing to read. This really fit the bill, because it covers all the important aspects of effective studying in a short and humorous way. I enjoyed reading about various standard study skill advice along with other less well known tricks and tips. I highly recommend it.
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By Courtney on September 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
I just wanted to take a quick moment to acknowledge the outstanding tips in, Study Smart, Study Less. Anne's writing is funny and engaging as well as informative. I also enjoyed hearing her point of view as both a student and a teacher. I have just entered into my first year of college and know that this book will be a key factor in my success.
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As a college student, it really bothered me reading something that seemed as though it was best suited for high school students. Well, I stand corrected. I'm taking 18 credits this semester and EASILY finished reading this book within 2 weeks (that's just a guesstimate, because everything's been moving so fast. But AT THE MOST it was a 2 week reading, because I'd read it at least an hour or less every weekday/5 days). And things about how the brain stores information (input & output), note-taking, study tricks for particular learners (visual, auditory, kinesthetic), and foods to eat (and avoid) for that extra boost of energy without crashing were notably HELPFUL and INFORMATIVE. Crossman made me feel as though she and I were simply sitting in a room, all alone ;), talking and that is what made it so ENGAGING for me.

Personally, I would give it a 4.5/5 stars. Only half a point away from 5 stars, because I felt as though she could have touched more on 'thoroughly' explaining how to do the helpful study tricks within the book such as saying, "first, you," "then, you," "if you're doing this and it doesn't turn out like this, then something is wrong, go back to part X" instead of giving the broadness of 'ok this the study trick'. And I understand if she purposely did this so that the reader could possibly modify the trick to his or her own way of practicing it instead of depending slavishly on hers. But for me in a book sense, I prefer that the author gives specificity when giving instructions, rather than evoking creativity. Because once the reader understands the specific method or technique that author uses, then the reader has two choices of either sticking with the formal way (the author's way) or taking their own approach.
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Format: Paperback
Just finished this book, study smart, study less. It was the best self help book I have read. This has opened my mind (and rainbow pens) to a whole new idea of studying. Thanks to this book I got the help I needed for my LD and was able to become a straight "A" student.
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Teaching students is definitely a challenge - but with this book in your bag of tricks - you'll be unstoppable! I can tell you, as a veteran teacher (and parent myself), I have seen a growing trend of students who have lost the will and want to study (you'll hear them say, "studying ha!" - "who studies????" and "why? it's soooo boring!!"). Anne Crossman gives you many real-life examples of her own students (ones you can definitely relate to - as a teacher and as a parent - you may even see some of your own children in it) and although its small, it truly speaks volumes! It's an easy read and you will be re-inspired by the ideas!

It is a must read for teachers, parents and students! As a teacher herself, Anne Crossman has the experience and the knowledge that will ABSOLUTELY help students become successful! - even if you do have a degree - I bet you will learn a few more things!
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