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Good Read Before Starting College

  • Sep 26, 2010
The Secrets of College Success: Over 600 Tips & Tricks Revealed by Lynn F. Jacobs and Jeremy S. Hyman is a book full of success strategies and tips for college by to award winning professors.  It’s easy to read, and basically contains many “lists” that provide an inside look at how to succeed in college.  If you are starting college, or even part way through, reading this book may make the rest of your journey easier and it may make your time there more worthwhile.
The lists are divided into nine chapters with titles such as This Is College, In The Beginning, Skills 3.0, Forced Labor, It’s Showtime, Partnering With The Professor, Emergency 9-1-1, The Second Half Of College, and The End – And The Beginning.  The titles don’t tell you a lot, so I’ll try and share some of what you’ll find.
You’ll find fun facts about college, the top habits of top college students (having a schedule, dividing tasks, organizing, managing feelings, and so on), Secrets of getting good grades (don’t overload, go to class, take good notes, do homework, etc.), six things you might not have known about grading, twelve ways to get your money’s worth out of college, and that’s just in chapter one.
The rest of the book continues like that with lists of really good advice.  It’s short and simple, and for someone who has gone through college some of it seems so obvious.  But for those just entering college, especially right out of high school, it is advice that is needed, and I think anyone who reads this book and follows the advice will undoubtedly do better.
Throughout the book there are little extra pointers, five star tips that the authors suggest are very high value suggestions, best kept secrets, reality checks, and opinions of the authors.  And once in a while there is a bonus tip thrown in to give you just one more piece of advice. 
I understand the decrease in attention span, so the authors were probably wise to write this book in the small little “tips” manner they did.  None of the over 600 tips are longer than a paragraph, and many are just a sentence or two.  That does not mean they are not important, in fact, there really are some outstanding suggestions contained in these lists.  At the end of the book there are some additional web resources as well.
I think the book would make a great gift for anyone heading to college, and if I were still running The Center For Leadership Development at The University of Montana, I’d be ordering a number of copies to provide students as a reference.  If you are heading to college, read this book.

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About the reviewer
Alain B. Burrese ()
Ranked #340
Alain Burrese, J.D., is a writer, speaker and mediator. He delivers a powerful keynote called Discover Your Warrior's Edge which is a motivational presentation on making things happen with honor and … more
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About this book


If you-re currently a college student, or plan on being one, you need to check out this book. Written by award-winning professors Lynn Jacobs and Jeremy Hyman, it-s loaded with insider information that only professors know--but few are willing to reveal. The over 600 tips in this book will show you:
  • How to pick good courses and avoid bad professors
  • How to develop -college-level- skills and habits that-ll put you ahead of the pack
  • How to get through the freshman comp, math, language, and lab science requirements--in one try
  • How to figure out what-s going to be on the tests, and what professors are looking for in papers and presentations
  • How to pick a major you-ll really like--and be good at
  • How to get the edge for graduate school--or the inside track to a really good job
  • And much more.

The tips are quick and easy-to-use, and the advice is friendly and supportive.  It-s as if you had your own personal professor guiding you on the path to college success.

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