College Fast Track: Essential Habits for Less Stress and More Success in College

College Fast Track: Essential Habits for Less Stress and More Success in College


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College Fast Track: Essential Habits for Less Stress and More Success in College by Derrick Hibbard

Books for college students tend to be written by committee or college professors or administrators, highly detailed, and pedantic. They are often written as much for parents as for the students themselves. They provide information, but their goal is not to help in ways that students are concerned about. And because they are written by those long out of college, it is difficult for students to connect with the advice.
College Fast Track is written by a peer student—a highly successful college student who went on to success in law school. As a current law student when writing his first book, Law School Fast Track (upon which this book is based), the author remains highly aware of the issues facing the current student.
Rather than being highly detailed, College Fast Track focuses on immediately usable habits. Its goal is to help students improve in measurable ways, and in ways that provide greater—not less—time for enjoyment: success and less stress!

Once college begins, however, the reading load is enormous (and parties beckon), thus “extra-curricular” reading is unappealing. College Fast Track is easy to read, pertaining to the essential habits for success in college.Unlike other books on college,this bookwill not be over-laden with details about mundane issues.Instead,College Fast Track cuts right to the most important issues. Better success, easier study, and higher grades and graduation prospects.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781888960235
Publisher: Fine Print Press, The
Publication date: 05/01/2011
Pages: 123
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 14 - 12 Years

About the Author

Derrick Hibbard currently lives in Massachusetts. He is the author of the Fast Track Series, about establishing good habits in law school and college that lead to success as a student. He is also the author of the novels "This Side of Eden," "The Double Stroller Hand Grenade," "Impish," and his latest: "The Snow Swept Trilogy."

Attorney, adjunct professor of business law, and author of The Young Lawyer's Jungle Book: A Survival Guide; Law School: Getting In, Getting Good, Getting the Gold; and Con Law: Avoiding...or Beating...the Scam of the Century (The Real Student's Guide to Law School and the Legal Profession).

Read an Excerpt

From Chapter 1, "Why This Book":

College is a new experience, socially even more than academically. It can be difficult. All who go to college (especially if they are far from home for the first time) will undergo serious personal adjustments during their first days, weeks, and months where they realize that college is different. It is different from high school, and to succeed you really do have to study. But that’s not really the difference. The difference is that “study” in college isn’t like the study you’ve done before. Study in college requires a new form of discipline, because professors will not provide the daily and weekly feedback that was routine before. For most, college is the first time in their lives when their performance is based entirely on themselves. And once they’ve been to college, they’ll look back and wish they would have studied differently, more effectively, or just learned how to study. This sounds odd, I know, but “study” is not automatic, and it’s not the same as you’re used to. Not everyone gets it right—especially at first. Among other things, most of us waste a lot of time when we think we’re studying effectively, but when exams come along we realize just how poorly we “studied.” This worked in high school, where there was a fairly broad spectrum of academic talent in each classroom; in college, though, only the better students are even in the classroom. They are your new competition. Sometimes, the disconnect between the way college is and the way new students think it is (or think it should be) is great enough that they don’t make it. Most certainly don’t do as well as they could, and many don’t enjoy college nearly as much as they might with better habits. You read that correctly—this is not a guide to simply grind away at classes, homework, and late-night projects while everyone else seems to be having a good time. This book is about getting good—even great—grades while still taking time to enjoy life as a college student.

Table of Contents

Dedication xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Foreword xv

Why This Book

About College 2

Says Who? 3

The Book 4

The List 4

Why Habits? 5

The Essential Habits 6

Your First Week 7

Goals and Real Goals 7

Input and Output, or Work and Grades 8

One Step At a Time 9

The Most Important Habit 10

Habit #1 Make Your Study Efficient and Effective 11

Be Decisive And Set Goals

Majors 14

The Perfect As the Enemy Of the Good, Or Why Your Decision Needs to Be Only Mostly Right 15

Be Decisive 17

Habit #2 Set Goals and Follow Up 18

How, Specifically 20

Follow-Up 23

Writing Well

Habit #3 Write Everyday 25

Implementing the Habit of Good Writing 29

Effective Class Time

Don't Be Nervous 33

Habit #4 Be Active in Class 35

Specifically 36

Listen. Really Listen 37

Habit #5 Study Your Professor 38

Talk With Your Professor 39

Listen. Really Listen 40

Practice Tests 41

Talk with Upperclassmen 43

Reading Assignments

Habit #6 Read Effectively 45

Survey Each Assignment Before You Read It 46

Create Your Own Questions 47

Reading 48

Review Your Notes Out Loud As You Read 49

Read Only Once 50

Get Rid of Distractions 50

Focus 51

Effective Study

The Big Picture 53

The Power of Association 53

Read the Syllabus 55

Do All of Your Assignments, No Matter How Small 56

Habit #7 Break The Note-Taking Habit Take "Outline" Notes 58

Habit #8 Write Your Own Outlines 61

Standard Outline 62

Bulleted Outline 64

Habit #9 Add to Your Outlines Daily 69

Outlining for Open-Book Exams 69

Habit #10 Plan One Day Per Week to Review for Each Final 70

Details 71

Habit #11 Become and Stay Organized 72


Routine Exam Taking 77

Your Exam Ritual (leading up to the actual exam) 79

How Professors Write Exams 80

Cramming 82

Yet More Tips 83

For Multiple Choice Exams 84

For Essay and Short-Answer Exams 84

Before You Start

Habit #12 Make a Plan and Stick to It 88

Sleep 89

Exercise 92

Eating 93

Study 94

Downtime 96

Be Flexible, But Stick to the Plan 97

Use What You Need to Succeed

Habit #13 Use University Resources 100

Library 100

Professors 101

Teaching Assistants 102

Review Sessions 102

Student Organizations 103

Student Centers 103

Miscellaneous 104

Work Now, Play Later

Habit #14 Work Now, Play Later 105

Keep Living Life

Habit #15 Keep Living Life 112

Manage Your Stress 113

Don't Overburden Yourself 115

Habit #16 Maintain a Positive Attitude 116

An Attitude of Success 116

Unrealistic Expectations 117

Your Classmates 118

College is Not Forever 119

Performance on Exams 120

Positive Attitude, One More Time 122

Epilogue 23

About the Author 125

Index 127

Other Books 131

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College Fast Track: Essential Habits for Less Stress and More Success in College 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"College Fast Track: Essential Habits for Less Stress and More Success" is must read for students entering, or already in college. It gives great advice that will help any student lead a stress free college experience so there is more room for enjoyment. As a college student, I can say that his ideas are things that I have used and have found myself thriving much more in my college career. Highly recommended.
Charles_Cooper More than 1 year ago
In "College Fast Track: Essential Habits for Less Stress and More Success," author Derrick Hibbard has done something rather unique. Already having demonstrated his ability to distill great study habits into a potent liquor in his prior book, "Law School Fast Track," he turns his attention now to helping undergraduate students achieve similar success. But rather than approach his undergraduate advice from a dumbed-down standpoint (i.e. that it's "only" college and hardly as difficult as law school or other graduate programs, or that college kids need only the most generic, basic advice, leaving the more advanced advice until later in their academic careers, or that it's okay to learn by failure in college), he does what no other college guide before has done: he takes tried-and-true techniques for success in one of the most demanding graduate programs - law school - and applies these same, or very similar, techniques to undergraduate study. The advice contained in the book is based upon study techniques used by countless law students, but tuned towards college students (many of whom are beginners at knowing how to study in a higher-education environment). It's intense enough to carry the reader through college and through graduate school, but is in no way daunting, difficult, or complicated. What works for law students in "Law School Fast Track" also works for college students in "College Fast Track". Hibbard gives the reader the simple tools necessary to succeed in whatever academic studies they may encounter from this point forward. If his techniques are good enough for law students - which they are - then they're certainly good enough for undergrads. Hibbard correctly identifies that many college success publications contain too much information; they're far too large, far too comprehensive, and to be honest, a reader who doesn't know how to study in the first place isn't going to learn the techniques from a book that is as complicated and difficult as a college textbook. Hibbard reduces his techniques for success (which he rightly calls "habits", as they go far deeper than mere tricks or tips that can be applied superficially to situations, and should be incorporated fully into the reader's subconscious and applied out of habit, changing behavior rather than merely adding one more thing to forget about while studying) into fifteen simple, well-explained and meaningful habits to acquire. And these fifteen habits are general enough to apply to a wide variety of situations encountered in college, but specific enough to provide meaningful guidance and a plan for succeeding. They aren't platitudes, nor are they ultra-specific. Learning and incorporating Hibbard's fifteen habits will go a long way towards making the reader an effective student in 99% of all situations. For example, one enumerated habit is to write everyday. Good advice indeed, and Hibbard goes to great lengths to explain why it's important and how to implement the habit; how to incorporating writing into the reader's everyday studies. After reading that section of the book, the reader will be ahead of the game when it comes to college students as a whole, most of whom consider writing once a week to be a chore, and most of whom will eventually realize their shortsightedness when they struggle to write a coherent letter, memo, email or presentation in the workplace.