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How to Become a Straight-A Student

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  5,494 ratings  ·  523 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
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  5,494 ratings  ·  523 reviews


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Controlli
Dec 16, 2013 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 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
...more
A
Apr 28, 2014 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
...more
Amora
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: academics
I'll admit I skimmed through this one. That being said, the reason I did is because the material presented here is the exact same (almost word-for-word) as his previous book on college. I would read recommend reading Newport's previous book instead since that one feels more like the author is connecting with the reading. I did appreciate the interviews Newport conducted for this book but his last book gave the exact same information.
Ciera
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, nonfiction
SHORT TIPS. The three main points I got from this book were: 1. Don't cram; space out reading; make a schedule. 2. Take careful "smart notes" with the Question, Evidence, Conclusion format and don't leave any stone unturned when it comes to notes. 3. Study in quiet places in 40 minutes intervals with 5-10 minute breaks in the MORNING, not at night.
Zoë
Mar 31, 2014 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
Javier Lorenzana
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-grow
Actually helped my GPA wtf

Update: The tips that were given actually helped me get straight As :O
Jon
May 14, 2013 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.
harleyyyyyyyyy
Mar 14, 2013 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
...more
hanna
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
nice re-read before a new semester :)))
Sleepless Dreamer
May 13, 2020 rated it liked it
If we look at my grades from this semester (all two of them), I'm a straight A student so that makes me qualified to criticize this book, right?

How to Become a Straight A Student attempts to provide study advice that has been recommended by other students. Since my last semester was not great, I had hoped reading this book would help me figure out more and better ways to study as well as open my mind to new techniques.

As a whole, this book seemed to think a little too highly of itself. I mean,
...more
Jose
Jan 18, 2013 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
...more
Bragadeesh
Dec 26, 2016 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.
...more
Riki
Apr 27, 2012 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
...more
Ema
Sep 05, 2011 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
...more
Thomas Clairmont
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed reading about Straight-A students tips and tricks to become a better student.
Found this book quite helpful, and extremely well made. I appreciated the Cheat Sheet sections after each parts, it was a great way of sticking it into our memory and I would definitely come back to these during my school time, very useful.

I would recommend reading this book alongside How To Win At College from the same author, these two books are really well made and easy to follow.
Hà Nguyệt  Linh
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Not sure this book is considered as the last book or the first book of the year or the taking-me-2-year-to-read book :( anw it’s really worth every penny and minute to read @.@ I’m surprised myself for these compliments to a self help book that really helps honestly...

Your bookshelf speaks for you. So yes, I wanted to figure out how an excellent student looks like and right way realized how absolutely stupid I was in the university after my graduation 2 years ago... Of course some advice, especi
...more
Rebecca Gordon
Jul 18, 2012 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
Amit Kumar
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's a really good book. I wish, I should have read it during my college time, it would have been totally different. Here are the key Ideas that I took:
1. Having time table and proper time management is really important.
2. Limit Procrastination, if you don't compromise with your goal, you will have to put lots of effort later.
3. Long study hours are not good at all. Split it up.
4. Find your optimal study technique When? Where? and How to?
5. Quiz method is the most effective method of study.
6
...more
Higgs
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Contains some pretty helpful tips. The author really did his research by asking many straight A college students about their techniques. Makes me a lot more motivated to study properly and I'll gladly put these techniques to use.
Mou
Dec 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Good, straightforward advice and tactics. The only issue is the portrayal of university life! I think some of these tactics will be very hard to put in medical and engineering background universities. Other than that, this book can be used as a preliminary study guide....
Mlle V
Jan 28, 2016 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 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
Mary
Mar 04, 2011 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
...more
BookTalk
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: study-aid
HOW TO BECOME A STRAIGHT-A STUDENT – Cal Newport

I first want to mention that I absolutely adore Cal Newport’s writing style. He has the capability to convey his advices in approximately 290 pages. I appreciate the density of the book. One could assume that the book is rather dull owing to the topic but Cal Newport somehow achieved that I never felt bored throughout the entire book.

This book showed me more efficient ways of studying and I happily try them out for myself!
Ethiraj
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was pretty much interested to read tis book since I was about to start my graduate student life.The book didn't disappoint me. As the name of the book it suggests siempre good techniques and reasons to follow it.
Jerusalem Demsas
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Better late than never.
HDubbs
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Repetitive and filled with intuitive tips, but the time management system is something I've been using for a while and that's actually great. The anecdotes were annoying and felt more like a book flap than practical or helpful advice.

The time management system is more effective than the bullet journal method I tried out, which I spent maybe 20 minutes a day on and still forgot important appointments! Sure it was nice to look at, but it wasn't at all practical for me. This system is easier and le
...more
Kalvin Lam
Apr 23, 2016 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
...more
Gianluca
Jun 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
An in-depth and specific description of the habits and behaviours that make academic work more efficient and enjoyable. This book is both succinct and thorough enough to convey its ideas without boring the reader or requiring too much time.

Contents:

1. Study Basics
- managing your time using the calendar and to-do list system and requiring only a few minutes once a day
- "time blocking" and overcoming procrastination
- working for the correct duration

2. Tests and Exams
- how to take notes in both t
...more
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What other tips would you give that isn't already in the book? 1 36 Aug 06, 2014 02:14AM  

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4,277 followers
Cal Newport is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University, and the author most recently of Deep Work, a book which argues that focus is the new I.Q. in the modern workplace, and So Good They Can’t Ignore You, a book which debunks the long-held belief that “follow your passion” is good advice. He has also written three popular books of unconventional advice for students. Hi ...more

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