Stefanie Weisman is highly qualified to write a book about academic success. She was valedictorian of her very competitive high school and went on to receive the Albert Asher Green Prize for the highest GPA in her class at Columbia University. In her book The Secrets of Top Students she poses the question of what makes the difference between a good student and a top student.
Weisman starts off by addressing the very important factor of motivation and details what makes for good motivation (like the desire to learn and wanting to do the best you can) and what makes for bad motivation (seeking praise and being afraid of failure). Her Six Simple Ways to Stay Motivated are excellent boosts for the flagging student.
The Secrets of Top Students covers all aspects of becoming a better student, from the basics of sleep and nutrition to navigating the academic world. Within the pages are extremely helpful hints for how to take killer notes (and organize them). With a real-wold example of a lecture and the notes taken I learned a few tips to help me take more concise and workable notes. Moving on to writing papers, Weisman does a great job of setting students in the right direction in finding a good topic and creating a working thesis.
Do you have test anxiety? Worry no more, because Weisman covers getting ready for exams and the art of taking them in two very helpful chapters. Following her helpful guidelines will ensure that even the most nervous test taker completes exams with ease.
Perhaps the most important chapter in Weisman’s book discusses Time Management. As a full-time college student myself, I struggle with this area and found Weisman’s chapter highly informative. Especially helpful is her advice for stopping procrastination. What student doesn’t struggle with procrastination? Her tips are realistic and meaningful, like telling a friend or parent what you’re working on to up the ante on your desired outcome.
I loved that this book feels totally modern and not at all preachy. Weisman understands the way students use technology and offers many wonderful tips for making it work for students, including the pitfalls of using e-books and Google in education. I enjoyed the “In Their Own Words” boxes scattered throughout the book that have quotes from top students. There’s some very wise bite-sized advice hidden in these little boxes! The exercise portions of each chapter are also an excellent way to put into action what you’ve learned.
If you’re a high school or college student struggling to become a more organized, less stressed-out learner, get this book. Even students who have their education pretty much under control can go from being a good student to a top student with Weisman’s wise advice. The Secrets of Top Students is well-organized, easy to read, and packed with helpful ideas.