I’m going to show you how to get good grades in every class in college.
Why? I’m selfish. I have 2 of my own kids in college. One is a Sophomore right now. Another started in the fall of 2014. I want them to succeed. This site is really for them, but you’re welcome to join the ride.
My own kids are lab rats for at least the next 5 years. What fun is that! I’m Dad. I know they’ll resist. They’ll think I’m insane. All the better. Obstinate rats are a bigger challenge and may provide much better data.
Secondly, I’m tired of seeing great kids that I know go off to college and then quit or fail, usually because of the frustration caused by lack of discipline that results in poor study habits.
Finally, I’d like a return on my investment, which for me is making sure they don’t move back home when they graduate.
Why Listen To Me?
I’m not an educator. I was a D student in high school – a complete knucklehead. It took me an extra semester to graduate because I didn’t have enough credits. When I finally graduated, I pumped gas for six months. I was fortunate enough to have some great relatives who persuaded me to move away from my home town and go to college.
I worked hard in college. I made the grades, drank the beer, had the fun, and also got seriously fit. I changed my life dramatically from where I was in high school. I wasn’t just winging it. I knew what to do and where I stood every day. I had my system down. I didn’t realize it was a system then, but I do now.
I graduated Magna Cum Laude and then went on to Law School. I got a lot of A’s over those years. Not every time, but when I didn’t, I learned a lot about why. I went on to a successful career. I have some experience going from really bad grades to really good and I know why and how. Maybe your kid can relate to my story.
Why This Site
Some years ago I had a nephew starting college. I decided to write him an email with some study advice. I just wrote about all of my study habits in college that got me earning A’s in almost every class that I took. Since then I have forwarded that email to countless friends and relatives with kids heading off to school.
I decided to stop cutting and pasting emails and put this advice up on a website to make it easier to send on.
Inside this site are some very specific things that you can do to get an A in every college class. No magic. Just a set of college study methods and some common sense behaviors that when consistently followed will increase the likelihood of any student getting an A in any class in college.
The beauty is that this is simple, common sense stuff, but it works.
I believe that most anxiety issues are the result of poor performance, not the cause of it. When kids are successful in college, their stress and anxiety go down and they’re happy, well-adjusted and enjoying the challenges that go along with it. They aren’t looking for excuses for their failure and a reason to come home.
The practices you’ll find in here include concrete, practical tips that anyone can apply. They will create successful, happy students who get good grades.
This isn’t a site that you scan through. If you want to learn how to study in college properly, you need to put down the beer and dedicate the time to read it all from start to finish. Developing good study habits takes some time, but only a fraction of the time you’ll waste struggling in a just a single class.
My intent is to help you make the transition to a successful, and less stressful, college experience. I include some specific, tangible study techniques and time management practices to get you doing things the right way fast. When you follow these methods, you’ll have more time for the sports and parties, and you’ll still get A’s – I promise you that.
For Parents Too
The most frustrating problem for parents is their inability to know what their student is doing when they go away to school. Parents write checks for tens of thousands of dollars and send kids off to college with no real understanding of exactly what they need to do to be successful.
You plan for the SAT, you pick the college and help plan the courses, but there is no plan for what follows that. When it comes to the most important part – actually going to college, there are only words of encouragement.
Pretty soon you get the call. Your student isn’t doing as well as expected. They’re frustrated, overwhelmed with work, and stressed out. Many want to simply quit and come home.
Parents are usually at a complete loss for words because you really don’t know what the problems are. It’s the freedom and the parties. Maybe they don’t study hard enough, it’s too difficult, or they are overwhelmed with the workload and don’t have enough time.
Kids don’t know why they’re struggling.
As parents, you have never had a systematic way to address the root cause of your frustration because you don’t know what to ask. The kids have the exact same problem. They arrive at college expecting things to operate the same way as high school.
They haven’t developed any systematic way to plan their schedule and run their day and their parents aren’t around anymore to guide them. They’re winging it. No plan. No success. No surprise when they get frustrated.
What are good study habits?
What are the specific behaviors and study methods that define effective study and will increase the probability of success in college? Is there a way to have some tangible, physical evidence that students are doing things in a way that will improve their success? There is and I’m going to tell you exactly what that is.
It doesn’t matter if your student is already well-disciplined and getting A’s. These steps will help you improve their ability to learn quickly and with much less stress. For students who are struggling, it will dramatically improve how they perform in school.
As a parent, you will have an understanding of exactly what it takes for your student to be successful in college. You will be able to address their issues in very specific and visible ways. You won’t be guessing about what their problems are. The concepts are stupid simple, but they work.
Developing good study habits takes discipline and focus. The good news is that most kids want to succeed in college. They just need a plan. This is their plan for studying effectively in college. It’s yours too.
Followed consistently, these practices will get you A’s, and nothing puts an end to college anxiety faster than getting good grades.
So… What About Those A’s?
When I was in college, I used to think that all of those other kids were just smarter than I was – and then I realized – they were. Some brains just work better than others, and the fact that I never developed my brain in high school didn’t help much at all. However, I soon figured out that success in college isn’t really about ‘smart’ – it’s about ‘time’.
You can learn anything that those really smart kids can. It just may take a bit longer. It’s how you manage those ‘bits’ that matters the most. As for the ‘smarts’, you’re likely way ahead of where I was, and A’s were easy for me.
The things I am going to show you will take a bit more effort up front, but will reward you greatly on the back-end, especially at exam time, when it really counts.
This will also take some discipline – you know – seriously painful discipline for a college kid – like put down the beer(s), stop texting, and actually do some work.
I can’t fix lazy. You have to want to do it. You’ll have to break some old study habits and be willing to build some new ones.
What I can fix is the confusion about the what to do and the where and how to get it done. There is in fact a set of good study habits that can be applied by all college students.
The good thing is that you don’t have to do it all at once. Doing any one thing that I suggest will improve your grades, but doing it all will most certainly get you an A.
It doesn’t matter what major you are in or what classes you take. The process you follow is always the same.
What You’ll Learn
First I am going to show you how to view and plan your time on a weekly planner. You are going to do this once each and every semester, as soon as you pick up your class schedule.
The purpose of the time plan isn’t to identify when you HAVE to do things. It is designed to identify when you DON’T have to do things so you put that time to use wisely.
Next you are going to understand your workload. You know, the stuff that stresses you out – that huge stack of books you just picked up; the papers you have to write; the workbooks filled with problems; the quizzes and exams. All the stuff that you actually have to DO to get an A.
You need to understand what it takes to get it all done. You can’t get it all done in time if you don’t know the time needed to get it done.
You are going to identify, schedule and utilize the most critical parts of each day that other students waste. I’ll explain what those are.
You need to spend all of your time studying in the only place that consistently will deliver an A. I’ll also warn you about the study location that guarantees you won’t get an A.
There is only one way to take notes in class. I’ll show you a specific format that speeds review and best prepares you quickly for exams. It’s simple, fast, and it saves hours.
When you were in high school, you weren’t allowed to write in textbooks. If you bring that habit to college, your stress will go up and your grades will go down. I am going to explain the why and how of outlining textbooks that will cut hours off of your review time.
I am going to show you how to know the test questions before you sit down for the exam.
You’ll never waste another minute studying material that you already know. You will focus all of your time and attention on only the material that you don’t know.
You’ll never spend another night cramming for exams – ever. In fact, you’ll probably be drinking beer the night before the exam. Don’t worry, you’ll still get an A. I did too.
As for you parents – you’ll stop wondering whether or not they are doing the right thing. You’ll have the map. You’ll know exactly when and where they make a wrong turn.
When they call, you’ll have your own checklist of questions. You’ll KNOW what to ask and how to guide them. Just maybe you won’t hear that phone ring ever again. No more whining about how they don’t like college and how that $30,000 just went down the toilet.
You just have to believe it, do it, and make it habit. That’s the only way it sticks.
You’ll get an A in class. Not the kind of A that is just on paper, but the kind of A that goes deep into your brain and sticks with you next semester and through to that first job.
After all, isn’t that why you decided to go to that college – to learn stuff?
What’s the catch?
There isn’t one. Turn off your cell phone and give me 30 minutes of your time.
I’m going to show you how to get A’s and only A’s in college. You are going to work for them, but you’ll get them every time.
And my kids? They are really going to hate me.