The Professors' Guide to Getting Good Grades in College is the first book to reveal the insider secrets about how professors really grade. The book offers high-value, practical tips about how to succeed at each of the five "grade-bearing" moments of the semester: (1) The Start (2) The Class (3) The Exam (4) The Paper and (5) The Last Month of the Semester. Fast-paced, entertaining, and easy-to-follow, the Professors' Guide will help you get truly excellent grades in college.
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About the Author
Dr. Lynn F. Jacobs is associate professor of Art History at the University of Arkansas. A specialist in Northern Renaissance Art, Lynn previously taught at Vanderbilt University, California State University, Northridge, University of Redlands, and NYU.
Jeremy S. Hyman is manager of Professors' Guide projects. An expert in Early Modern Philosophy, Jeremy has taught at the University of Arkansas, MIT, UCLA, and Princeton University.
Read an Excerpt
Professors' Guide(TM) to Getting Good Grades in College
10 Common Myths about
Grades in College
Myth #1: "It's Bad to Be a Grade-Grubber"
We hear the terms all the time: dweeb, nerd, geek. Or worse: butt-kisser, brown-noser, grade-grubber, teacher's pet. All of these names, of course, are used to put down students who are just trying too hard to get good grades—students who are ill-adjusted and undersocialized, and will go to practically any length to get that A. That's why many college students are ashamed to admit they care about grades at all. And why we see such students coming to office hours with their tails between their legs, sheepish about displaying even the slightest interest in grades.
But let's face it, grades are the currency of college. They're the money; they're what counts. No one should feel apologetic about wanting to get good grades. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (and hey, these guys would know), a college diploma can cash in at $1 million in increased lifetime income compared with a high school diploma. A high GPA can get you into top professional schools and higher-paying jobs. Just like a high batting average is a sure ticket to a lucrative contract in the major leagues, or an excellent bottom line is a sure route to a large end-of-year bonus for a CEO. Do you ever see baseball players embarrassed by good stats? Could you imagine a CEO apologizing to stockholders for the company's record earnings? So why should you be embarrassed about wanting good grades—the measure of success at your job?
Clearly you have a healthy respect for grades(otherwise you wouldn't be reading this book). And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Indeed, there's something absolutely right with that. So don't let some little voice in your head (or your friend's head) tell you that only geeks and nerds care about grades. That voice could keep you from getting where you want to go. Turn that voice off and stand up for your desire to get good grades.
Myth #2: "Why Try to Get Good Grades? All
I Need Is That Piece of Paper"
Some students enter college caring only about getting the diploma. They figure that grades don't really matter. All they have to do is pass their courses. For them, college is about killing time till they can dress up in their cap and gown and pick up their ticket to those high-paying jobs. Why worry about grades when you can become president of the USA (or candidate for president) with a gentleman's C?
Here's why. Nowadays there are more people out there with a piece of paper than ever before. Not to mention highly skilled workers in places like India to which jobs can be outsourced. So for plenty of employers, a college diploma isn't enough. They want to know your GPA. They want to know that you have good skills and work habits. They want to hire someone who stands out from the pack.
Just aiming for the diploma will take you out of the running for internships, merit-based scholarships, and honors that could dress up your résumé. It will take you out of the running for many postgraduate educational opportunities. More important, you could end up with a diploma and no real skills or knowledge needed for the next step.
But most important, not aiming for good grades—and the success and achievement they reflect—can suck the life out of your college experience. You slog through the courses, never really trying, never really investing the effort that could actually be the enjoyment of taking all those courses. You never find your passion, you never engage in much of anything—for all you care about is the end, the piece of paper.
Myth #3: "College? This Is Going to Be a Cakewalk"
Some of the newest arrivals on campus are certain that college is going to be a breeze. They plan to party all night,play lots of poker, go to football games—and cut classes, skip the reading, leave the papers till the last minute. And still get good grades. After all, these recent-comers pulled straight A's in high school—and easily. And they've heard it doesn't take much effort to get a decent grade in this college. "After all," they think, "how hard could it be—they admitted me!"
But consider the math. Most of the students who go on from high school to college are in the top percentages of their high school class. Take UCLA, where Jeremy went to graduate school. The University of California accepts only students in the top 12 percent of their high school classes. Once these students get to the UC, a full 88 percent of them are going to drop below the rank level they had in high school.
Or consider the fact that most of the freshmen at the UC have never gotten a C in high school, but they are going to be taking college classes in which about 30 or 40 percent of the students will get a C. When you consider these numbers, you see that the odds are against students' being able to achieve the same grade level in college as they did in high school. It's just the math. You won't be able to beat these odds if you come in expecting a cakewalk.
Myth #4: "E Is for Effort"
This is one of the most common of all myths about college grading. That effort counts. It's hard not to fall for this one, because in elementary and secondary school, effort is strongly rewarded. High school grades often take into account how hard a student has worked, how much he or she tried, how much time was put into the task. A high school paper often gets a higher grade just for being longer or for having used more sources. And then there's the good old extra credit, the ultimate expression of the high school equation "more effort = better grade."Professors' Guide(TM) to Getting Good Grades in College. Copyright © by Lynn Jacobs. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
What People are Saying About This
“A very helpful and quite humorous guide for students wanting to get the most out of their college experience.”
“Deserves an A+. Must reading for any student wants to learn more and earn better grades.”
“Every student who uses the tips and techniques in this volume is virtually guaranteed a grade increase.”
“It’s a book about how to do Life better. Hugely important! Very well done. I recommend it to everyone.”
“I wish professors would read this book so they can give away the mysteries to their students.”
“The advice is refreshingly sensible. Students who follows these recommendations are practically certain to get very good grades.”
“I really enjoyed the book and only wish I could’ve read it before second-semester senior year!”
“Give this book an A for the authoritative inside scoop on getting the most out of your college education.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Perfect for those already in college, those getting ready to attend a university, or even teens who are beginning to think about which college they'd like to attend, the PROFESSORS' GUIDE TO GETTING GOOD GRADES IN COLLEGE is a must-have! This is a book filled not just with advice, but with actual facts on how to take good notes during a lecture, how
professors grade papers, and even how to prepare for tests and exams.
The book is broken down into five parts, with additional chapters in each:
Part 1: The Start--10 Common Myths About Grades in College; How Do Professors Grade, Anyway?; and FAQs About Picking Courses with an Eye to Grades.
Part 2: The Class--Your Action Plan for the First Week of Class; Top 10 Tips for Taking Excellent Lecture Notes; and Why Prepare? Why Attend? Why Participate?
Part 3: The Exam--13 Best Ideas for A+ Test-Preparation; Acing Exams by Adjusting Your Attitudes; and The Hidden Value in Going Over Your Test.
Part 4 The Paper--Understanding the Assignment; Doing the Analysis, Doing the Research; Do's and Don't's for Going to See the Professor; and Top 10 Tips for Constructing the Perfect Paper.
Part 5: The Last Month--The 4 Hazards of the Last Month of the Semester; and 17 Strategies for Acing the Final.
With great mini-quizzes, notes from visiting professors, and checklists to keep track of your strategies, this is a book perfect for any older teen. If everyone had a copy of the PROFESSORS' GUIDE TO GETTING GOOD GRADES IN COLLEGE before setting off for that first semester, college would be a whole lot less stressful!
This turely was the best book ever
Today because more people have college diplomas, obtaining a college diploma is not enough. College students face extremely competitive job markets and graduate school admissions criteria. Excellent college grades matter and are crucial. In this enjoyable, easy-to-read, first book to reveal insider secrets about how college professors grade, Jacobs (PhD, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University; Department Chair and Associate Professor, Art History, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville) and Hyman (Project Manager, Professors' Guide LLC; www.professorsguide.com), who between them have taught over 10,000 college students at a total of eight universities, offer authoritative, practical tips, techniques, strategies, and methods for succeeding at each of the five grade-bearing moments in a college semester: the start, the class, the exam, the paper, and the last month. In fifteen chapters, organized chronologically according to the major grade-bearing moments of the semester, they discuss every aspect of college grading, not limited to common myths about grades, how professors grade, picking courses, determining an action plan for the first week, taking excellent lecture notes, preparing for, attending, and participating in class, studying for exams, going over exams, writing college papers, visiting the professor, and acing the final. Fast-paced, each chapter, which is started with an concise introduction and ended by a complete review section, is interspersed with value-added sidebars, such as top ten lists, do's and don'ts tables, instructional boxes, professors' perspectives, remembrances, opinions, extra pointers, case notes, and more. Serving as a significant how-to guidebook as well as a useful reference resource, this publication may be read from cover-to-cover or consulted by chapter as needed. While it may be most relevant for college students who will be taking a significant number of courses in the humanities and social sciences, this must-read by insider experts should be required reading for those aspiring to attain a college degree or degrees in any major. It also will be of interest to high school students planning to go to college and lifelong learners returning to school. Highly recommended for large, public and undergraduate, academic libraries as well as for school media center collections.
The book does an excellent job in covering all the topics, including common misconceptions that are the downfall of your average college student. I highly recommend this book for anyone wishing to pursue good (as in "A") grades in college. :)
Orignally I Thought This Book Was Going To Be A Lecture itself. Reading this yes was informatioinal, its supposed to be, but, it was also very funny at times and it really made me want to step up to the plate and work better and harder than I had before. It lets you know how the professors (or most) grade and how to get the best grade out of them. Everything from class participation to how to study for tests, write papers, take notes, doing homework, etc. There are also tips about the first week of the semester as well as hitting that slump in the middle and how to finish strong in the end. Every college student should have this book, I will be getting it for my sister-in-law as she is about to go to college this next fall :)
This is something every firts year college student need for thier class.It really help me out a lot in school.