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The Secrets of College Success

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Heading off to college? Or perhaps already there? This book's just for you. Winner of the 2010 USA Book News Award for best book in the college category, The Secrets of College Success combines easy-to-follow tips that really work with insider information that few professors are willing to reveal.

The over ...

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Heading off to college? Or perhaps already there? This book's just for you. Winner of the 2010 USA Book News Award for best book in the college category, The Secrets of College Success combines easy-to-follow tips that really work with insider information that few professors are willing to reveal.

The over 800 tips in this book will show you how to:

  • Pick courses and choose a major
  • Manage your time and develop college-level study skills
  • Get on top of the core requirements
  • Get good grades and avoid stress
  • Interact effectively with the professor
  • Match college and career, and more.

New to this second edition are tips for:

  • Online courses and MOOCs
  • Community Colleges, Engineering Schools, and Arts and Design Colleges
  • E-readers, tablets, and laptops
  • Taking out Student Loans and Paying them Off, and more.

Ideal for college students at any stage, and college-bound high school students, The Secrets of College Success makes a wonderful back-to-college or high-school-graduation gift – or a smart investment in your own future.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"If I had my way, I’d give this book to every single college student, of any age, and make them read it. A book that moves from ‘How to Turn a B into an A’ to ‘10 Surefire Ways to Piss Off Your Professor,’ is beyond just ‘helpful.’’ It is ‘the Missing Manual’ for turning a merely ‘okay’ college experience into a delicious adventure. I laughed, I took notes, I loved every page. And I’m not even in college. If you are, don’t even think about not buying this book. It will be the best thing you ever did for yourself."
—Richard Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute?

"Along with shower flip-flops and a very loud alarm clock, this book should be on every freshman’s college packing list. The professors have outlined solutions for all the major fears that students face when they start college."
—Marjorie Savage, parent program director, University of Minnesota and author of You’re on Your Own (But I’m Here If You Need Me): Mentoring Your Child During the College Years

"Psychologically sound tips for thriving, not just surviving, in college. Lynn’s and Jeremy’s tips will make your college experience a spectacular success."
—Chuck Snowden, director of honors program, University of Wisconsin

"Clear, practical, comprehensive — and caring. These authors want you to succeed. Listen."
—Judy Genshaft, president, University of South Florida and past president, American Council on Education

"Riddled with humor and witty in presentation, this lighthearted "easy read" could be the most helpful, honest resource for today’s college student."
—Scott H. Reikofski, director, fraternity/sorority affairs, University of Pennsylvania

"The Secrets of College Success needs to be required reading for anyone starting college, regardless of age. A great source of practical advice that could mean the difference between success and failure."
—Eduardo J. Padrón, president, Miami Dade College

"The students who are most successful in college are those who are most prepared. The Secrets of College Success reveals what students need to know from the perspective of the professors who teach them. It pays to know the rules of the game before you play."
—George R. Boggs, president and CEO, American Association of Community Colleges

"This volume provides a banquet of tips. Easy to read, easy to locate what you need, this book will be helpful throughout your undergraduate years. I highly recommend it."
—Sharon J. Hamilton, professor and former director, Indiana University Faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching

"Accessibly written and logically organized, there’s something here for everyone. This handy volume will help students focus on what it takes to be successful."
—Peter H. Quimby, deputy dean, Princeton University

"This book provides sound advice in a great format on how to get the most from your college education, starting on Day 1 of your freshman year."
—Martha O’Connell, executive director, Colleges that Change Lives

"High schools focus on getting their seniors TO college but they rarely teach them how to get THROUGH college. Professors Jacobs and Hyman fill this gap with a series of high energy, digestible and practical tips that any student can master in one sitting. This book should be required reading for every college-bound student so that they will be equipped with the "under-the-hood" expertise they need to succeed in h0000igher education."
—Keith W. Frome, chief academic officer, College Summit Inc.

"The Secrets of College Success is an easy-to-read, highly informative book. In my experience, many students come in to Stanford unprepared for the realities of college life. With bite-sized and digestible tips, this book provides substantial advice applicable to any college student."
—Kamil Dada, president

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118575123
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/22/2013
  • Series: Professors' Guide Series , #3
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 145,149
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Lynn F. Jacobs is professor of Art History at the University of Arkansas. She previously taught at Vanderbilt University, California State University Northridge, University of Redlands, and New York University.

Jeremy S. Hyman is founder and chief architect of Professors' Guide projects. He has taught at the University of Arkansas, University of California Los Angeles, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Princeton University.

Lynn and Jeremy blog at and and are co-authors of the book Professors' Guide to Getting Good Grades in College. Additional tips and tricks are available at

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Table of Contents


Top 10 Reasons to Read This Book.

The Professors’ Guide™ Icons. 

1 This Is College.

10 Things You Need to Know About College (but Probably Don't).

What's New at College? Fun Facts.

The 14 Habits of Top College Students.

The 11 Secrets of Getting Good Grades in College.

6 Things You Didn't Know About Grading (but Really Should).

12 Ways to Get Your Money's Worth out of CollegeTM.

The College Student's Bill of Rights.

2 In the Beginning . . .

7 Things to Do the Summer Before College.

15 Things to Do the Week Before College.

Do's and Don'ts for Picking Your Courses.

No Room at the Inn? What to Do When You're Closed out of a Course.

10 Questions to Ask Yourself the First Week of Classes.

Warning Bad Professor Ahead.

3 Skills 3.0.

Top 10 Time-Management Tips.

Why It’s Never Good to Procrastinate.

The How Not to Study Guide.

10 Secrets of Taking Excellent Lecture Notes.

15 Ways to Read Like a Pro.

15 Strategies for Painless Presentations.

Running Scared? How to Build Your Confidence.

4 Forced Labor.

10 Ways to Whip the Freshman Comp Requirement.

10 Tips for Taming the Math Requirement.

Top 10 Tips for Mastering the Foreign Language Requirement.

10 Ideas for Learning to Love the Lab.

10 Tips for the First-Year Experience Course.

How to Take Courses on the ‘Net—for Free.

5 It’s Showtime!

12 Tips for A+ Test Preparation.

“So What's Going to Be on the Test Anyway?”.

Top 13 Test-Taking Tips.

10 Tips for Writing the Perfect Paper.

Top 10 Ways of Making the Leap from a B to an A.

16 Techniques for Doing Research Like a Professor.

6 Partnering with Your Professor.

15 Ways to Make Your Professor Love You.

The 15 Secrets of Going to See the Professor.

Etiquette for E-mailing Your Professor.

10 Surefire Ways to Piss Off Your Professor.

10 Things Professors Never Want to Hear (and What They Think When They Do Hear Them).

7 Emergency 9-1-1.

10 Things to Do When You Can't Keep Up with the Lecture.

Top 10 Signs You've Been Cutting Too Many Classes.

Bombed the Midterm: Now What?

7 Best Last-Minute Strategies for Saving Your Grade.

10 Signs You're in Real Trouble at College.

What, Then, to Do? The 7-Step Approach.

8 The Second Half of College.

How Not to Pick a Major.

13 Skills You'll Need for a Career—and How to Get Them at College.

Top 10 Myths About Study Abroad.

Transfer Tips—from Community College to 4-Year College.

Thinking About Grad School? The 10-Step Program.

10 Tips for Finding a Job.

9 The End—and the Beginning.

Got a Tip? Join the Community!


Web Resources.


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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2012


    I saw this book recommended in the National Catholic Register in their issue on which colleges were truly Catholic they listed books for the "college bound" to look at and this was one of them very handy tips in it there is some coarse language implied in the work also a scrutinous eye is called for in a few instances when the authors hint at their ideas on morals however it was informative and helpful for me as a high school senior!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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