How to Become a Straight-A Student: The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less
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How to Become a Straight-A Student: The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  856 ratings  ·  81 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-A...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published December 26th 2006 by Three Rivers Press (first published 2006)
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Kris Hintz
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...more
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...more
Dec 16, 2013 Controlli rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
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.
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
Rebecca Gordon
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
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...more
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...more
Kelsey Wood Bezaire
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
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...more
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...more
This book is awesome. Is funny that when you read the book, you realize you've been studying wrong all the time. The information about the preparation for quizzes and exams is really effective, I tried them with really good results. Also, the time management system of the beggining has really changed my life, seriously. The system is really effective if you try it! Since I applied it, I have time to do almost anything I want on a single day thanks to it.

I'm not going to give this book a 5-star b...more
I'm so excited about this book! I want to find any and all university students and share this book with them!

First off, this book speaks to me on a personal level. I did really well in high school, only to get to university and find myself drowning in the schoolwork and expectations. I watched as my university friends struggled, then got the hang of it. But I never did. I assumed I just wasn't university material because even though I graduated, I didn't do as well there as I did in high school....more
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...more
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...more
Dixie Korley
My brother gave me this book for my new beginning in college. I changed majors. From management to biology, so I was really anxious about how school was going to be like.

After reading this, I feel that nervousness slipping away. I loved this book, because it made so much sense. But this is not just a book you read, put away, and expect to do well without going back for reference. So for this year doing biology, I plan to use it as my bible.

I loved that it was well organized, straight to the poi...more
Me gustó bastante el apartado de la organización y también el sistema de estudio ect pero no mucho la parte de los ensayos y escritos.. supongo que es porque estudio una carrera casi enfocada a lo técnico y conceptos. Aun así muy interesante este libro y que pienso ponerlo en práctica este mismo año.
Chung Chin
I like that this book presents skills that you can experiment with to help you with your studies, rather than, as the author puts it, advice by "experts" who are long out of touch with the reality of college-life.

Each section tries to tackle a big topic such as pre-study preparation, exams strategy and essay writing. Within each section, there are steps that presents strategy by top students from all over U.S.

Recommended for students. For non-students who are taking qualification exams after col...more
Abdullah Abdulaziz
Excellent book
maybe the most benefit things that i got is the methods of time management and the plans of fighting procrastination

but i really don't like the rest of book
for me chapter 1 was the most important part of the book
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
Diógenes Araújo
The author makes a very compelling case on how 'brute force' studying (or cramming) is not the answer and only leads to stress. I really wish I had read this starting University, and not just now on my 4th year. I am absolutely sure my academic and social experience would be much more enjoyable, and not just a desperate mess.

It is, however, somewhat lacking of specific strategies for med students, which is unfortunate, but I will try to put in practice at least the time management tips from the...more
The Snowman
While procrastinating, I read this book. I hadn't realized it was related to his other one, but they're both similar. Oce again, quick reading and should've been done before I started university. Oh well.
This slender tome contains a wealth of simple, accessible information which can help push an average or straight-A-but-struggling student to the top tier. I was already a high-scoring student before reading this book, and I was surprised to find many strategies I had independently formed through trial and error to be elucidated by Newport. Thanks to this, I was able to identify weak points in my strategies and pick up new tips to make my academic experience better all-around.

If you are strugglin...more
Renee Mathis
Simplified time management system, one of the best I've seen. Based on interviews with straight-A students in Ivies.
Super actionable book on how to better structure your university life. Lots of filler so you can read it in an hour or two, but definitely has enough useful concepts to be worth your time/money.
A pretty straightforward book. It gives a no-nonsense approach to studying and writing papers. I found the advice to be pretty basic and intuitive, but it might help someone who tends to procrastinate and just stare at the notes rather than have productive study sessions.
Ryan Esquivel
This is a very clear and informative book with many reproducible tips and tricks.
I got this book back when I was in high school, and it was well worth the purchase and I still use it til this day.
I read this book at the recommendation of a friend also interested in self-improvement. I wish I'd had it the first time I went through college 2003-2007. It is a great look at how to make the most of lectures and reading, how to study for tests and quizzes smartly, and how to write papers well. It's about doing well without a huge time commitment. Definitely not as useful if you're taking classes online without the benefit of lectures available, but it's still solid. I'm on track with A's in bo...more
The ecstatic rating is mostly for the book's entertainment value. It was a fun, quick read, probably because I liked Newport's tone, but I can imagine that others really wouldn't. I found some of his tips and plans very helpful, while others stretched my credulity a bit. Overall, I think it's a good book to spend a few hours with if you're willing to consider the merit of your study habits. Whether or not you find Newport's specific suggestions worth trying, the overall concept of the book will...more
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What other tips would you give that isn't already in the book? 2 7 Aug 06, 2014 02:14AM  
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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
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