• How to Become a Straight-A Student

  • The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less
  • By: Cal Newport
  • Narrated by: Johnathan McClain
  • Length: 5 hrs and 19 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (420 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Looking to jump-start your GPA? Most college students believe straight As 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 Student reveals for the first time the proven study secrets of real straight-A students across the country and weaves them into a simple, practical system that anyone can master. 

You will learn how to:

  • Streamline and maximize your study time 
  • Conquer procrastination
  • Absorb the material quickly and effectively
  • Know which reading assignments are critical - and which are not
  • Target the paper topics that wow professors
  • Provide A+ answers on exams
  • Write stellar prose without the agony

A strategic blueprint for success that promises more free time, more fun, and top-tier results, How to Become a Straight-A Student is the only study guide written by students for students - with the insider knowledge and real-world methods to help you master the college system and rise to the top of the class.

Includes a PDF of Time Management Tips. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2007 Cal Newport (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“A smart, concise, fun, and above all informative guide on how to ace college by being smarter about how to work.... This book is a must-have for anyone who wants to do well at college and enjoy it too.” (M. Cecilia Gaposchkin, assistant dean of faculty for pre-major advising, Dartmouth College)

“This book delivers on its title 100 Percent. I wish I'd had a copy when I was in college - I would have had a better GPA and a better social life!” (Jason Ryan Dorsey, author of My Reality Check Bounced!)

Featured Article: The Best Audiobooks for Students to Position Themselves for Success

Hey, students—we know how hard you work hard during the school year and we know it isn't easy to squeeze in some self care or personal development time between homework, extracurriculars, and a busy class schedule. If you're struggling to balance it all, feeling burned out, or just trying to figure out your purpose in life, these listens might be able to help. Full of guidance on issues students face, from getting organized to managing a relaxation routine, this list is for any student looking to improve their life—in and out of the classroom.

What listeners say about How to Become a Straight-A Student

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  • Overall
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Wish I would've bought the paper book

Narrator is good and the content is good. However, he often references images in the book that I really wish I could see. This is my first audible book, so maybe I'm missing some way to view these (description also says it comes with a PDF guide, but I don't see it anywhere), I would definitely get the paper book though .

21 people found this helpful

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MADE ME A STRAIGHT A STUDENT

As a high school student I graduated with a 3.5 GPA. I started college about six years after high school and was nervous because I was out of touch with how to study and I have never even known how to do it properly. I had had lucky breaks and good relationships with teachers that saved my grades most of the time, but in my first semester of college I came across this book about two weeks then. I’ll spare you the novel I could write about the happiness that came with the great grades I got after reading through this book. I am now a 4.0 student in college, as a working mom and I wholly contribute that to The study templates and overall guidelines instructions that this book provides. The principles shared in this book are true because I can apply everything that I’ve learned in this book to my business, my family schedule, my kids lives and so on. All while being able to evade stress (most of the time).:) I have also recommended this trip to several friends and family members especially those heading into school. This isn’t limited to a university education alone, but to anyone who’s going into high school or a technical college as well. I am forever grateful that I happened to stumble across this book, as I am better for it and my family is better for it.

12 people found this helpful

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has good points but lacking for STEM students

I liked the way he structures the way you should study and even though a lot of what he says is common sense, he offers practical and original ways to put it to use. my only complaint is that it seems that the book is made for students which are coursing humanistic careers. technical careers take a second place.

9 people found this helpful

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Essential Reading for Students (and professionals)

I'm not a student, but I wish this book was around when I was.
Cal's arguments are composed, lean, and riveting.
The Case Studies and variety of specific examples make this text stand out.

I'm an executive who always needs to write and study, and I found a plethora of applicable steps.

7 people found this helpful

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don't judge a book by its cover - this is a gem

This book had more information for the length of time than most self-help books out there.

5 people found this helpful

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Good advice, but missing advice for hard sciences

I am a pure path major and feel like this book was not written for me

4 people found this helpful

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PDF is missing most of the examples

Good advice, but nothing revolutionary. The delivery of the material greatly suffers from the lack of examples on the pdf provided with the audiobook. The examples discussed were supposed to be available in the pdf, but it's just 6 pages: including the title page and five figures from the first chapter. It's kind of hard to internalize the knowledge when the author is constantly referring to examples that aren't there in front of you.

For example, chapter 2 is loaded with examples of different types of study material (listing loads of titles of this and that) and the point is to learn how to prioritize, because you're never going to be able to read everything. There are several examples of reading lists, which are then discussed, but they're not on the pdf. I found this example from the text online:

"Lecture #4 - The Quest for National Health Insurance: Clinton Health Care Plan.
Reading:
Enthoven, Alain. "Managed Competition: An Agenda for Action," Health Affairs 7, no. 3 (Summer 1988): 25-47.
Eckholm, Erik. (1993) "Introduction," in The President's Health Security Plan. New York: Times Books, vii-xvi. ISBN: 0812923863.
Skocpol, Theda. "The Rise and Demise of the Clinton Health Plan," in Health Affairs, no. 1 (Spring 1995): 66-85.
Heclo, Hugh. "The Clinton Health Plan: Historical Perspective," in Health Affairs 14, no. 1 (Spring 1995): 86-98.
Peterson, Mark A. (1998) "The Politics of Health Care Policy: Overreaching in an Age of Polarization," in Margaret Weird, ed., The Social Divide. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 181-229.

... [here is a paragraph explaining a rule on how to priorities this material]...

In this example, the lecture is titled The Quest for National Health Insurance: Clinton Health Care Plan. Therefore, the Erik Eckholm, Hugh Heclo, and Theda Skocpol assignments should become your favored sources, since all three deal directly with the Clinton health care agenda. You should read these carefully. The two other articles are supplemental. Because they look like they contain arguments relevant to the topic of health care under Clinton, they fall at the top of our supplemental reading importance hierarchy, and, therefore, they demand enough attention to reveal their argument. A smart approach would be to... (etc)."

Now, it's easy to follow when you read it yourself, but can anyone honestly remember which article was which at the point where the narrator just finished reading the list? Can you remember what the Eckholm, Heclo and Skocpol articles were called when they are so mentioned later on in the text? I couldn't! I lost track countless times. I would have had to slow the narration down to 0.25 in order to have been able to write it all down so I could remember what he was talking about. What's the point of an audiobook if you need to do that? The author even advices you NOT to write down word for word what a lecturer says, just the main points. It's easy to do for the first chapter, but not the second. Imagine not getting your reading list, but having to write it down in a lecture without any slides in front of you. You'd fall asleep and not remember what the professor told you to read, let alone what he told you about which text. I've listened to dozens of Great Courses and other non-fiction and even without the pdf in front of me, I have never had such a hard time keeping track as here.

The point is, the audiobook is severely limited by how well you can process this kind of enumeration and remember it in detail afterwards, just by listening to it, because that's how helpful the advice will be without the examples being included on the pdf.

Even though the third chapter doesn't suffer as much from this flaw as the second, know that there are only three chapters and the second one is nearly half the book. Perhaps this won't bother you much, but it was beyond irritating to me. I probably would have given this book 3-4 stars if it hadn't been for this problem. Do yourself a favor and buy the physical copy instead. I wish I had.

3 people found this helpful

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Not really a college book

This is more of a book for grades 7-10, not really college level. None of the material is special or unique. The narrator is annoying and seems to shout at you at times. I really don't understand the popularity of this book at all, perhaps it is good for struggling students.

3 people found this helpful

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Works !

This guy knows his stuff, i've already managed to get better grades by following thses techniques. I listen to this at the start of every semester just to keep the information fresh in my mind. worth checking out if your considering this book.

2 people found this helpful

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Great Book for Students

As an online master's student with a full time day job, i has to edit some of the advise, but still a lot og great sound material. A must read for all high school and college students.

2 people found this helpful

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