Jacobs and Hyman actually sent a copy of this book to my mother for her to review on her blog, but since I’m the one actually headed to college I picked up the book a read the whole thing in our drive across Wyoming. The first few chapters are pretty chatty, and there were times when I felt like the professors were repetitive and talking in circles. However, once the book moves onto what to do the first week of classes and how to speak to a professor when a particular problem arises, I could not stop thanking this book for being in existence. For example, Professors’ Guide to Getting Good Grades in College spouts off handy information like:
- Your hand should never stop moving during class, but it especially shouldn’t stop when the professor is going over the syllabus.
- Use the first week to access whether you should drop a class or not. Waiting until after the first week makes it impossible for you to sign up for another course and even if you can, you’ll have missed the professor going over the syllabus, which is absolutely necessary for success.
- Although I already knew not to say “Did I miss anything important in class last week?” from high school, I loved how the professors tell you how to phrase this question so it is (a) not offensive, (b) gets the professor to overlook your absence, and (c) helps you get all the information you missed (and then some).
I found the information from “visiting professors” (i.e. someone not Jacobs and Hyman) extremely helpful because it backed up what Jacobs and Hyman said about how to approach a situation. I was originally worried that maybe their information only pertained to their own classes, but it was great to read of other professors who do almost the exact same thing.
The book is broken into five parts — The Start, The Class, The Exam, The Paper, and The Last Month — but I didn’t really think “The Paper” offered very much new information. I could see how this section would be helpful to those who are scared of writing papers, but I felt like it didn’t offer me any new information. “The Last Month” is a section I plan to go back and read as I get closer to the end of the semester. The information felt so unnecessary right now since I’m still at “The Start” and on the cusp of starting “The Class.”
All in all, I think freshman would be less stressed and less confused if they had a copy of Professors’ Guide to Getting Good Grades in College. It’s a very helpful book that really calmed some of my fears about college.
- The College Counselor for Gifted Kids (aka my mom)
- Jacobs, Lynn F., and Jeremy S. Hyman. Professors’ Guide to Getting Good Grades in College. New York: Collins, ARC. Print. 368 pgs. ISBN: 9780060879082. Source: Review copy.