Saturday 2 September 2006

How to Get Better Grades and Have More Fun by: Al Janssen and Steve Douglass

How to Get Better Grades and Have More Fun
Steve Douglass and Al Janssen
Success Factors Publications
ISBN 579020003

(Note 2023 - the book only appears to be available as an eBook currently, or through the CRU site.)

Do you want to keep your grades up or even improve them? Do you want more time for friends and fun? Then this book is a must read for you this school year. It guarantees a grade point increase or your money back.

By simply reading a chapter a week, at most 12 pages, you will learn tricks and techniques to help you learn how to do school better. This book takes the 80/20 principle and applies it to academics. The authors of this book so believe in it, it has a written guarantee that if you apply it, your average will go up 1 grade point or your money back. The best thing is, not only does it work, it also is easy to apply. The 12 chapters were written to be read during the 12 weeks of a term so that you peek for exams. The techniques are designed to be useful for science or arts students.

Are you wondering ‘What is the 80/20 principle?’ It was a business term developed by Richard Koch and it seems to be pretty consistent - one of those great patterns in the chaos often observed in this universe. Take McDonalds as an example: 80% of McDonald’s profit comes from fries and drinks, the other 20% of their profit comes from everything else on the menu. Or take real estate: a friend’s father owns a real estate office. 80% of the sales consistently come from 20% of the realtors, the other 20% of sales comes from the rest.

Wondering what all of this has to do with school? Simply a lot! This book will teach you how to do school better, and I can personally vouch for it. My first time in University at Queen’s University I had a 58 average. I have read this book a few times since being here at The University of Waterloo and I have an over 80 cumulative average. I try to pick it up every 2 or 3 terms to reread as a refresher. I have given away over a dozen copies of this book and every person who has read it has thanked me for the book and the help it has been.

Here’s a personal example: a few years back, I took the ‘Introduction to Church History’ course RS 230 (Religious Studies) with Arnold Snyder. The first week of the class I asked him his objective for the course. He told us this will be your final exam question, “You’re sitting at your Christmas dinner and your uncle Buck says: ‘So I hear you took the history of Christianity course; tell me the story in your own words’.” So instead of doing my usual and making tons of charts of names, dates, place and theories, I focused on the story - being able to tell the history clearly, concisely, and simply in my own words. I saved hours and hours of work and time spent memorizing just because I knew the objective for the course.

The book will benefit you, and your academic career. It is well worth picking up. This book is definitely a great value at $15 to get it. You can order it through the CRU site for $8.49 USD. Also available on Kindle now.  Check it out - it’s guaranteed! You will not be sorry.

(First Published in Imprint Frosh Edition 2006/2007 as ‘Learn how to do school better.’ 2006-09-01”)

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