Author: Cal Newport
|How to Become a Straight-A Student (2006) features an analysis of the critical factors that lead to success in every class and how you can use them to your advantage. The book will take you through different sections, explaining the core concepts of straight-A success. The book will also show you how to apply these concepts to school and some common problems with school work, like procrastination, study skills, time management, and more.|
Straight-A students are clever, no doubt about it. But how can regular, average students like you and I learn from their example? That’s what How to Become a Straight-A Student Summary is all about. Packed with the most valuable information straight-A students learned during their college years and consolidated into one book.
Studying is best done with a clear head and a relaxed body. This is because the more flexible you are, the more focused you will become. If you want to study better, you should try to be in a quiet room, free from distraction or disturbance. It would help if you were not watching television while looking because it will only decrease your focus.
Other techniques that help study well include asking and answering questions aloud. You can repeat this process as often as possible to reinforce what you have just studied. The most important thing about studying is that if you trust that learning better does not require extended periods or high levels of effort, everything else will fall into place. The truth is that people who distinguish themselves among their peers by becoming straight-A students utilize the learning techniques the best.
How to Become a Straight-A Student Key Points
Studying in short intervals makes you focused on your studies
How do you improve your focus and concentration? In school, I tried to study for lectures by fitting all the required readings into a single session. I’d cram everything in and hope it stuck. I had no idea that my approach was terrible. A few years ago, when I had little to do, I read a bunch of research papers about how the brain works. One of them described a series of tests on students about their study habits. In a typical test, students would start with an average score (say 70%, or level 3) and then quiz themselves by studying study materials until they were at an average score of 90% (level 5) for all the test questions.
Newport cites research suggesting that 50 minutes is the ideal study session length for optimum performance. As long as you spend those 50 minutes on nothing but one task, three of these level 10 focus sessions per day will get you as far as ten hours spent with an average focus level of 3. Newport calls these sessions “deep work sessions,” and they have a few rules:
- They must be long enough (50 minutes) to allow your brain to settle into a flow state.
- They must be uninterrupted by email or social media.
- They must happen only at certain times, such as when others are close enough not to disturb you but distant enough so that you can’t interact with them.
The insight core shortens your study time because it only presents the most relevant content. You can significantly increase your focus and productivity while studying in short intervals of 25 to 30 minutes, with breaks in-between.
List down your tasks for every day to find out excuses
When it comes to the daily grind, sometimes we need extra encouragement. That’s what I’ve found, at least. I’ve tried many methods, client-based productivity apps, and project-based task scheduling, but one thing has consistently kept me on track: writing my tasks down every day.
For me, keeping a daily task list is not just a glorified to-do list—it’s more of a psychological approach that reminds me that there’s no way I can be productive without completing these items first. Studies have shown that keeping a work progress journal like this is an effective way to stay on track — an ingenious hack that turns your laziness into productivity. That’s how to do it, but how do you get yourself to do it?
The answer is the two-minute rule, which states that you should do something for two minutes, even if it’s something you hate before you can quit and move on to doing something more enjoyable. Even if you don’t feel like studying for your math exam, a decision to spend two minutes studying before you move on will help you get into the right mindset. But one thing you probably haven’t considered is the sheer amount of time wasted on making excuses for why you haven’t gotten anything done.
The key to success on an exam is to plan, proceed and proofread
Studies have shown that keeping a work progress journal like this is an effective way to stay on track — an ingenious hack that turns your laziness into productivity. That’s how to do it, but how do you get yourself to do it?
The answer is the two-minute rule, which states that you should do something for two minutes, even if it’s something you hate before you can quit and move on to doing something more enjoyable. Even if you don’t feel like studying for your math exam, a decision to spend two minutes studying before you move on will help you get into the right mindset. Planning, proceeding, and proofreading are vital to an exam’s success. With its three simple steps (Plan, Proceed and Proofread), Cal’s recipe will help you stay calm and ensure that none of your hard-learned notes go out the window on exam day. Here’s how:
- Plan: The first step is to plan your studies. This might seem like a no-brainer – but if you know you’re going to be taking an exam soon, you should begin planning your study sessions early in the week. This can help you pace your study time so that you aren’t cramming the night before.
- Proceed. This can be the most challenging part for students as nerves kick in, but keeping your nerve and staying on track is essential. If everything goes according to plan, you will have time on your side, so prioritize reading and planning overwriting at this point. Finally, get proof that you have done the work. This can be done in several ways – making a diagram of your notes or highlighting the most critical parts of your messages.
- Proofread: Reading through your material is excellent, but it’s also important to get practice tests in early; you’ll know what areas need additional study with time to fill in any gaps. Make good use of mock exams by creating your own or using sites like Quizlet with a wealth of available practice questions. Try different study methods until you find one that works best for you. Approach a practice session as if it were an actual exam; only give yourself the amount of time you would be allotted on the actual exam and set a strict time limit.
How To Become a Straight-A Student Quotes
“Jot down new tasks and assignments on your list during the day; (2) next morning, transfer these new items from your list onto your calendar; and (3) then take a couple of minutes to plan your day.” –Cal Newport
“All the people I ever admired and respected led balanced lives—studying hard, partying hard, as well as being involved in activities and getting a decent amount of sleep each night. I think this is the only logically defensible way of doing things.” Chris, a straight-A college student” -Cal Newport.
How To Become a Straight-A Student Review
If you’re looking for a method to get the most out of your study time, How To Become a Straight-A Student might be just the book you’re looking for. This book is broken down into different chapters, each focusing on an extra “trick” that can help you prepare to take exams and do your homework. I’ve picked out a few things that stood out to me that could be helpful.
To whom would I recommend How To Become a Straight-A Student summary?
- Any high school student wants to learn techniques.
- Anyone who wants to become better at studies.
- Those who are not happy with their achievement.