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How to Become a Straight-A Student

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  2,101 Ratings  ·  193 Reviews
Looking to jumpstart your GPA? Most college students believe that straight A's can be achieved only through cramming and painful all-nighters at the library. But Cal Newport knows that real straight-A students don't study harder--they study smarter. A breakthrough approach to acing academic assignments, from quizzes and exams to essays and papers, "How to Become a Straight ...more
Paperback, 217 pages
Published December 26th 2006 by Three Rivers Press (first published 2006)
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Dec 16, 2013 Controlli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: every Uni student

What you won't find in it:
1. praise of mind mapping
2. doing ALL the readings + assignments

What surprised me:
1. time management technique
2. note taking in the Q/E/C method
3. Quiz-and-Recall + flash-cards
4. how to write a paper without wasting precious time

I would've liked more insight on:
1. how to take notes from readings
2. reading techniques

I liked that he understands how TIME escapes the average student.
Kris Hintz
Mar 30, 2011 Kris Hintz rated it it was amazing
I bought this book for my son as a high school graduation gift, expecting it to be abandoned, unread, like so many "parents advice" books given to teenagers. But over the summer he poured through it, and told me it was actually "really good."

My son is now a junior at challenging university, and I am certainly proud of his success. He has not only been able to earn impressive grades, but he has had a BALANCED social life; become an officer in a fraternity; and participated in club sports. "This b
Apr 28, 2014 A rated it it was ok
I have a few issues with this book.

First of all, it contains lots of fluff. Cal suggests that the smart student skims where necessary. I did so with the case studies and all the fluff, and got through in an hour - and I am by no means a fast reader. Also, half the book was not relevant to me as I am taking technical courses.

Second, the book's general attitude toward studying is terrible. It basically treats all studying as something that should be finished in the least time possible, so that tim
Mar 06, 2014 Jon rated it it was amazing
All I can say is read the book. It will equip you to become the student you never thought you could be. I don't want to say another word, I just want you to read the book.
Jun 07, 2013 mkh96 rated it liked it
Shelves: study-help
Author makes some valid points on time management, test-taking,and essay writing. He uses analogies and examples offered by other straight-A students.

The aspect I felt this book lack in, was just some specifics directed towards technical vs. non-technical courses. Don't get me wrong, this book is not a general overview of regular habits straight-A students have adapted; it does have a specifics in that matter. But when it comes to, perhaps how to study for calculus vs. french, it's a little bog
Dec 27, 2015 Zoë rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Is it possible to be in love with a book? In preparation for my return to school, I decided I could earn a lot better grades and study more efficiently. This book had been recommended on a blog I frequent, and I was not disappointed. All the study tips I knew were wrong! This book opened my eyes to the more efficient way of studying and having control of your education and grades. I want to give this book to every high school and college student, as they can be applied in both environments. Grea ...more
Apr 27, 2012 Riki rated it really liked it
I loved this book! I am an adult student on the 15-year route to completing my bachelors degree and feel that as I am plodding along, I am somehow just surviving and not thriving in the attainment of my education. I came upon this book by accident while searching for books about time management and downloaded it on a whim. This was by far the best idea ever.

Newport spent time researching the success strategies of straight-A students from major competitive colleges across the country and compiled
Rebecca Gordon
Jul 18, 2012 Rebecca Gordon rated it it was amazing
When I saw How to Become a Straight A Student by Cal Newport on the library shelf I instantly decided I needed to check it out. I was interested to see the plan featured for scoring high while studying less. How to Become a Straight A Student is split into three parts. The first parts focuses on studying basics. I really found that planning your day by calendar might be really useful. I think if you plan your day out in advance as the book suggested you should remember all the tasks you need to ...more
Dec 29, 2013 Ema rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fic
This book could also be called, "How to Become an Efficient Student and Also Have Time to Do Other Things," but I guess that's too long of a title. It seems that becoming an efficient student lends itself to becoming a Straight-A student, anyway.

"How to Become a Straight-A Student" is thorough for students seeking to transform their studying habits if they've been cramming their whole lives. But there is a lot in this book that could help anyone become a more productive person.

I'm on my winter
Filipe Ronzani
Feb 02, 2016 Filipe Ronzani rated it it was amazing
Livro excelente sobre táticas de estudos usadas por alunos nota 10 de várias universidades dos EUA, Leitura agradável e leve, com exemplos e resumo dos tópicos principais.Recomendo.
Dec 26, 2016 Bragadeesh rated it it was amazing
It may be a bit strange to think why I would pick a book like this and read it after so many years of academia. The following were some of the reasons I could come up with,

Although I was not a straight-A student at college (a decade earlier), I did score a lot of As (more than 80%). Getting to them was not an easy task, I had to follow a series of shortcuts and techniques. I wanted to check whether some of the techniques appeared in the book or not. The answer was both Yes and No.
I am a fan
Feb 18, 2014 Maureen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A few weeks ago, my mom told me about this book she was reading that had good time-management tips. I was having a very stressful week filled with tests, projects and an unusual number of shifts at work. I was really pessimistic and unmotivated to work on anything. From the very first page, I was enthralled. I felt like I was getting insider information that had proven effective. After all, the tips in here are from top Ivy League students, Newport included. A smile broke across my face when he ...more
Kalvin Lam
Apr 29, 2016 Kalvin Lam rated it it was amazing
Great work from Newport. This book is about more than just becoming academically excellent. It represents the idea that we have the capability to mold our futures - that we SHOULD have options and that we SHOULD have the opportunity to choose what we do. Not only are we able to shape our paths in life, but we should actively take control of them.

I love how Newport gets input from real students. It makes it easier for me to relate to his advice. I feel that I took a lot from this book because New
Oct 27, 2015 Ahsan rated it liked it
I see a few people complaining about how this book talks about things that good students should know already. Well, that is precisely what I found to engaging about this book.
It is one thing to subconsciously do something your entire life that makes you successful. But you can take that to an entirely different level once you see those activities listed out in a systematic manner because at the end of the day, that is precisely what the book sets out to do - give you enough self confidence to le
Jan 20, 2013 Jose rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good book for anyone, not just college students. At least the first part is, where he gives the advice on managing your day and "declaring war to procrastination".

I liked the book because it is straight forward, just like the tips Cal gives. Every sentence has it's place, and every one is very clear. I wouldn't expect nothing else from the author of a book on becoming an effective student! He gives concrete examples of how the advice given is applied, so the reader can fully grasp it a
Mlle V
Feb 10, 2016 Mlle V rated it it was amazing
This is the single most useful, specific, and accurate book I have ever read to improve performance in college. The concepts in here are strictly for university/college students, and not well-adapted for the less-rigorous high school curriculum. The most useful chapter in the book may very well be it's approach to time management, and I highly recommend it's method. The rest of the book provides procedures for more specific work encountered through college, like essays and note-taking. The metho ...more
Kelsey Wood Bezaire
Oct 18, 2011 Kelsey Wood Bezaire rated it really liked it
How to Become a Straight-A Student is a great book on the practical application of learning study skills. Every strategy listed in the book has worked for me. The examples provided have been a great guide when trying to put theory into practice. I love how every concept is easy to understand. The best part has to be not jumping through any flaming hoops in order to apply these strategies. The downside is that the book isn't very comprehensive. It tells you to not read the material unless you are ...more
Apr 27, 2013 Mary rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One Word: AMAZING.

This will be a short review because I don't have that much to say.
Pros: This book show some realistic teqniques that are easy to follow and show results. We know yep you need to study, you need to do papers, exams and get good grades...Many books say what you need to do, but this one shows you how. It is really practical and real-life-college-adapted and it is working great for me.

cons: It focuses more on non-technical careers, so some parts are difficult to apply for technica
Dec 23, 2015 Mari rated it really liked it
Another book I picked up as a result of Ramit Sethi's Finisher's Formula class (as well as Newport's So Good They Can't Ignore You," and pre-ordered "Deep Work." Since I am returning to classwork (online), I've found I need more help than I did before in concentrating and completing class assignments. "How to Become a Straight-A Student" doesn't necessarily have a lot of new ideas (I've read variations on many of these before), but the ideas are presented very well and explained in context of th ...more
Jan 20, 2015 Ali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish I read this book before but even now, I'm already using Cal's time management method which it's worked for me perfectly. Finally, I highly recommend everyone who is a student or in academia to read this book once and at least use the great idea inside of the book about the time management.
Jon Siskey jr.
Dec 11, 2013 Jon Siskey jr. rated it it was amazing
All I can say is read the book. It will equip you to become the student you never thought you could be. I don't want to say another word, I just want you to read the book.
May 29, 2015 Shamil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of great advice that applies well beyond university.
Christine Theberge Rafal
Worth the reading time (about 5 twenty-minute sessions) for insights into becoming more efficient at studying on campus. This would be a good book to read in concert with Making the Most of College by Richard Light ( which would give context into why/how to approach studying systematically as Newport is suggesting. Hint: there's much more to get out of college than just a GPA. Light's book includes mention of a study of sophomores who had successful first years at college ...more
Case Chun
Jan 11, 2017 Case Chun rated it liked it
It's much more common sense and I don't appreciate the attitude he sets for studying. He insinuates that studying is solely for merit and it's paramount to achieve the best grade in the fastest, most efficient way. It contributes to a culture that has shifted the academic institution from a place of learning to a place of merit. Some of the time management skills he suggests are practical, but his one-size-fits-all approach is limited. As a double major, a science major, and a pre-health student ...more
Oct 31, 2016 Huda rated it liked it
كتاب اخر عن النجاح الدراسي .

الفكرة فيه ان كل نصائحه هي الطريقة التي استخدمها طلاب حقيقون في الحصول على درجاتهم العالية.

ميزات الكتاب:

فصل تنظيم الوقت كان مفيدا
نصائح الكتاب عملية ومعرفة بوضوح
وملخص نهاية كل فصل يجمعها بترتيب.

عيوب الكتاب:
النصائح المتعلقة بالتخصصات العملية(العلوم والهندسة) لم تكن جيدة
بداية الكتاب كانت كاعلان طويل عن مميزات الكتاب.
Ginger Northcutt
Many tips, habits and ideas on studying for exams, writing papers and staying stress free through it all. Also shared some great time management techniques. I will definitely be referring to this book during my first year..
Belle Beth Cooper
Obviously aimed at students living on campus and attending in-person lectures, which I'm not, so there were lots of examples that didn't apply to me. But it was a short book and I got some good suggestions out of it for taking notes and writing essays. I expect I'll do better at future uni classes thanks to what I've learned.
Taymour Siddiqui
Oct 27, 2016 Taymour Siddiqui rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Very useful and practical tips. I think every student will find something useful through reading this book. It works best when you are in your first quarter of college because you can immediately put the advice to use and see exactly how these tips work for you. Highly recommend!
Dec 18, 2016 Anri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
There's some fluff, and it's probably geared more towards non-STEM majors, but some stuff looks like it'd be good to implement.
Hatem Araar
Jan 07, 2017 Hatem Araar rated it really liked it
I think that every college student must read this book. It discusses the students' issues and give critical examples and How to's.
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What other tips would you give that isn't already in the book? 2 16 Aug 06, 2014 02:14AM  
  • What Smart Students Know: Maximum Grades. Optimum Learning. Minimum Time.
  • The Secrets of Top Students: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Acing High School and College
  • The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: Achieve More Success with Less Stress: Foreword by Cal Newport, Author of So Good They Can't Ignore You
  • Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges
  • The Path to Purpose: Helping Our Children Find Their Calling in Life
  • What the Best College Students Do
  • Your Money: The Missing Manual
  • Remember Everything You Want and Manage the Rest: Improve your Memory and Learning, Organize Your Brain, and Effectively Manage Your Knowledge
  • Self University: The Price of Tuition Is the Desire to Learn : Your Degree Is a Better Life
  • Making Vision Stick
  • It's Not All about Me: The Top Ten Techniques for Building Quick Rapport with Anyone
  • The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking
  • A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra)
  • Overachievement: The New Science of Working Less to Accomplish More
  • A Mathematician's Lament: How School Cheats Us Out of Our Most Fascinating and Imaginative Art Form
  • The Good Study Guide
  • The Great Eight: How to Be Happy (Even When You Have Every Reason to be Miserable)
  • Old Paths

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“(1) Jot down new tasks and assignments on your list during the day; (2) next morning, transfer these new items from your list onto your calendar; and (3) then take a couple of minutes to plan your day.” 0 likes
“to your work, then he will close the deal. To” 0 likes
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