on November 18, 2002
The only credit I can give this book is in its use of discovery/intention statements...Here is what I have discovered about becoming a master student, buy Walter Pauk's book "How To Study In College". Being a master student does not cover the Cornell note taking method clearly enough, which has been scientifically proven to be the best note taking method for students. Becoming a master student is so politically correct the information gets lost within the HE-SHE flip flops throughout the book. Being a master student fails to give the student the one most important question all students MUST ask themselves after a lecture or a reading session, DO I UNDERSTAND. Being a master student fails to get down to the point. The only thing this book is, or that I consider it to be, is a collection of hints and goofy quotes. If you want to understand what you have read buy "How to Read a Book" by Adler and Van Doren. If you want to take good notes follow these directions.
How to listen.
Attitude: Your obligation to yourself is to maintain a positive attitude towards the lecturer. The person speaking has spent hundreds of hours reading, studying, and researching in order to give you the information in your class.
Attention: Pay attention to how much attention you are paying to the lecture. Notice when you start to drift off. Think actively about the information being delivered. Become mentally involved with the lecture and ask clarifying questions. If you are getting confused ask more questions, this helps both you and the instructor. Anticipate what the lecture is going to be about and think ahead. Review the course syllabus before every class meeting. Listen for ideas not just for facts. Avoid distractions, both internal and external.
Adjust: Be flexible with the instructor. If the instructor goes off the topic, don't become upset, just roll with it. Be open to ideas and facts that might conflict with your own.
How to take notes.
1. Create short statements in the main body of your notebook using telegraphic and declarative statements.
2. Use plenty of paper. Each statement gets two to four blank spaces after it.
3. After the class is over fill in any gaps in your notes. Clarify any vague short-hand 'B5=bloody fifth'.
4. Summarize the lecture in complete sentences at the end of your notes. This is done between classes or at home. The sooner the better.
5. When you are home create questions and write them down on the blank side of the previous note-taking page.
6. Review all (entire semesters or quarters worth) of your notes at least once a week.
How to summarize.
Classify the lecture or book according to kind and subject matter.
State what the whole lecture or book is about with the utmost brevity.
List the major parts in their order and relation, and outline these parts as you have outlined the whole lecture or book.
Define the problem or problems the author or speaker has tried to solve.
Come to an understanding with the author or speaker by interpreting the key words that are being used.
Grasp the author or speakers leading propositions by dealing with the most important sentences that have been used.
Know the arguments, by finding them in, or constructing them out of, sequences of sentences.
Determine which problems the author or speaker has solved, and which were not solved; and of the latter, decide which the author or speaker knew that they had failed to solve
State what the entire book or lecture was about.
Break it into its parts.
Explain how the parts relate to the whole.
How to study your notes.
Read your cue questions.
Attempt to answer your cue question.
Don't struggle for the answer. Peek at the answer if you have to, and then move on.
Make over-learning (instant recall) your goal.
Refresh your memory at least three times a week.
If you want to improve your concentration and attention, put a wide rubber-band on your wrist and every time you notice your concentration or attention wonder snap the rubber-band on your wrist. Take my word for it you'll be a major concentration machine in a few weeks.
To answer your question, why did I buy this book? I received a "B" in a Spanish class and dicided that I may need a study skills class, even thogh I had spent two years researching study skills, I thought I might be missing something in my tool chest. Becoming a master student was the required text. In my opinion, Becoming a master student is the perfect book for someone in the 7th through the 10th grades. My niece who happens to be 13 now owns my copy of Becoming a master student.