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How to Succeed in College (While Really Trying)

A Professor’s Inside Advice

After years of preparation and anticipation, many students arrive at college without any real knowledge of the ins and outs of college life. They’ve been focused on finding the right school and have been carefully guided through the nuances of the admissions process, but too often they have little knowledge about how college will be different from high school or what will be expected of them during that crucial first year and beyond. Written by an award-winning teacher, How to Succeed in College (While Really Trying) provides much-needed help to students, offering practical tips and specific study strategies that will equip them to excel in their new environment.

Drawing on years of experience teaching at a variety of campuses, from large research universities to small liberal arts colleges, Jon B. Gould gives readers the lay of the land and demystifies the college experience. In the course of the book, students will learn how to identify the best instructors, how to choose classes and settle on a major, how to develop effective strategies for reading and note taking, and how to write good papers and successfully complete exams.

Because much of the college experience takes place outside of the classroom, Gould also advises students on how to effectively manage their cocurricular activities, work obligations, and free time, as well as how to take advantage of the typically untapped resources on every campus. With candid advice and insights from a seasoned insider, this guide will leave students better prepared not only to succeed in college but to enjoy it as well.

Read an excerpt: "Welcome to Campus."

192 pages | 1 line drawing, 2 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2010

Chicago Guides to Academic Life

Education: Higher Education

Reference and Bibliography


How to Succeed in College is the best book I have ever read about the student experience and how to navigate academic life in any college or university. Gould is a professor who cares deeply about student success, understands the student/teacher relationship, and has a terrific sense of humor. If we could somehow get every high school senior and college freshman, guidance counselor, and parent in the country to read this book, our college students would make the most out of their education, one of the most important investments they will ever make.”

Susan Herbst, president, University of Connecticut

“Professor Gould offers new students the knowledge they need to make their college years a successful and transformative experience. When I finished reading the book, I delivered it straight into the hands of my college-bound daughter.”

John Gilliom, Ohio University

“While there are countless books on how to get into college, very few explain how students can succeed once they arrive there. This book teaches students how to squeeze the absolute most out of their college experience.”

Lynn O'Shaughnessy, author of The College Solution

Table of Contents


Chapter One. Welcome to Campus
Chapter Two. Finding the Best Classes and Choosing the Right Major
Chapter Three. In the Classroom
Chapter Four. Exams
Chapter Five. Writing Papers
Chapter Six. Special Circumstances


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