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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the Best Study Skills Book Around
As I say in my title this is possibly the best study book I have ever read, and as a lecturer I have read a lot of them. This is a clear and straightforward book, with a lot of sensible hints, tips and suggestions which can be used to develop good study habits, and make studying a much more pleasurable experience. I am very impressed with this book, and I believe it...
Published on 29 April 2010 by Wendy Jones

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Studying about Studying!
I was very disappointed in this book.

I thought it would be full of ideas, but it's actually presented more like a course on study skills with exercises and activities to do. I'm sorry but if somebody wants to learn how to study then it is asking a lot for them to do activities just for the sake of improving your study. The best was to do this is to actually...
Published on 27 July 2011 by DAZ


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the Best Study Skills Book Around, 29 April 2010
By 
Wendy Jones "wjones7423" (Dundee, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook (Open Up Study Skills) (Paperback)
As I say in my title this is possibly the best study book I have ever read, and as a lecturer I have read a lot of them. This is a clear and straightforward book, with a lot of sensible hints, tips and suggestions which can be used to develop good study habits, and make studying a much more pleasurable experience. I am very impressed with this book, and I believe it stands out from the rest. I like the way it links things to multiple intelligences, which gives it a much more individual and personal feel. I would highly recommend this book to any student, and only wish it was around when I was a student. My students will certainly be advised to buy it.

As an adendum to this as a further recommendation, I have shown this book to my students and they also think it is excellent and are buying it. I think this is a recommendation in itself.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent study guide presented in a sober manner..., 29 Aug 2010
By 
S. P. Moses (Epsom, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook (Open Up Study Skills) (Paperback)
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The scope of this book is wide, meaning there is only room for an overview of the subjects. On the other hand sometimes what you need is the basics, with references that will guide further study. The design of the book is sober but this won't be a problem for dedicated students. While the look of the book may be mundane, the content shines. Did you know, for example, that the body language of a student can play a part in the quality of teaching on offer?

Each chapter includes an overview, a contents table and chapter summary. There are also case studies to digest, questionnaires to complete and spaces for self reflective writing. My favourite questionnaire identifies which of the eight different intelligences you prefer. Using this knowledge you can tailor your style of study to what suits you best. I had never heard of concept maps, ecology checks or Ishikawa diagrams, so this book has opened new avenues of learning to me. That's worth the price of admission alone.

I enjoyed the final chapter. It deals with a variety of decision making techniques including: free-fall thinking, balance sheet approach, Five Thinking Hats, decision trees, SWOT analysis and creative visualisation. Another highlight was the chapter about mathematics and numerical competence, which has given me confidence to improve my skills in this area. This book also explains the theory and practice behind referencing, so it is a good resource to have on hand.

I was drawn to this book because I am an adult education tutor. It's been a while since I was at university and I wanted to brush up on my study skills. I wish I had read The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook when I was a student. Sometimes we are so busy studying we don't spend time thinking about whether we are studying in the most effective way. This book will help you do this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Studying about Studying!, 27 July 2011
By 
DAZ (Manchester, Uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook (Open Up Study Skills) (Paperback)
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I was very disappointed in this book.

I thought it would be full of ideas, but it's actually presented more like a course on study skills with exercises and activities to do. I'm sorry but if somebody wants to learn how to study then it is asking a lot for them to do activities just for the sake of improving your study. The best was to do this is to actually study a real subject.

It's also very, very touchy feely with things like stress, ethical issues, five hat thinking (oh dear...), keeping a learning journal. It needs to be more practical - if people followed all this advice they would never actually get any work done!

It also tries to cover lots of bases - it has sections on punctuation, Americanisms, presentation skills, time management ... there are whole books written on these subjects, so you could not hope to cover them in enough depth here. Having said that however, the book feels too dense, there is far too much to get through.

I suppose that teachers or educators might find some of this useful when teaching students study skills, but in all honesty I don't think it is subject specific enough, so there may only be odd morsels of advice that are found in here.

Overall it feels too much like a textbook, rather than a handbook, and comes across as something that has to be studied itself!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An 'ultimate' book!, 22 May 2010
By 
S. Hillman (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook (Open Up Study Skills) (Paperback)
The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook has a clear layout and structure, providing tasks and questions for reflection on your study habits. As a graduate, I wish I had this book at University. I never understood my learning style and how best to manage my time. This book provides suggestions on how to improve these bad habits, and make the best of your study time. Even if you are a student just starting out this book is fantastic, as it provides the basics needed to survive your studies and get you organised. Skills you already possess are developed through reflecting on decisions (both positive and negative) you have made and past achievements, allowing you to evaluate what went well and what didn't.
The only thing that I can think of to improve this book would be a section on revision skills. Although I have years of practice at sitting exams, I still struggle with revision, so I was hoping there would be a section on techniques as I'm sure many students out there still have this problem.
My favourite chapter was the final chapter, about using what you have learned and making improvements and plans for the future. It allows you to establish what decisions need to be made and create a plan of your next steps, which is great for the transition from university to employment.
Overall, this is an excellent book for students, giving you practical guidance on study techniques and how to get the best out of University.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Basic, Rather Than Ultimate, I Feel, 26 Jun 2011
By 
Ben Saunders (Stirling, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook (Open Up Study Skills) (Paperback)
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Coming at this book as a university lecturer, I was hoping that it would give me advice that I could pass on to my students. Unfortunately, I don't think that's really the case; pretty much everything covered is stuff that by now strikes me as rather obvious and common sense. That doesn't mean that the book wouldn't be of use to those either in their first year or, perhaps better, about to go to university.

The book's thirteen chapters cover: 1) being an active learner, 2) talking to experts, 3) learning styles, 4) making notes, 5) research skills, 6) academic writing, 7) punctuation and referencing, 8) time management, 9) group work, 10) presentations, 11) managing stress, 12) numeracy, and 13) future decisions. That, I think, covers most of what students need to know from the academic side of things (the most glaring apparent error - exam technique - in fact occupies much of chapter 11). I would, however, have two main criticisms:

1) The material isn't as well-organized as it could be. I don't mind a bit of repetition, and I accept that some material would fit in different places almost equally well (for instance, the section on group presentations). Nonetheless, I often found chapters lacking any internal logic, so sometimes they were no more than disconnected points around some particular topic. Moreover, the chapter 'summaries' - while perhaps underlining the important take-home points - didn't do a very good job of summarizing the preceding material and, in a few cases I thought, made new points altogether!

2) Not only is the material often rather elementary, but it's rather padded out. The authors include a number of exercises for the reader, which I do not object to as such, since they serve to check understanding and encourage active learning. Often, however, these take up quite a bit of space, especially since blank boxes are given for the reader to write their responses in the book itself. I would have thought these unnecessary, given that a piece of paper would suffice (and allow the exercise to be used again). The consequence of all these various boxes, tables, and summaries is that what looks like 212 pages of text (excluding references and index) doesn't actually cover as much as it might.

In light of these criticisms, I don't think that I could give the book a particularly strong recommendation. That's not to say it's without use: most of the information and advice seems to me fairly sensible (though the authors do come close to endorsing, rather than merely acknowledging, essay writing all nighters!). While most students would no doubt acquire the necessary 'study skills' over the first year or two of their degree anyway, having the basics set out here can save the motivated student from learning the hard way. Perhaps, however, that's the biggest problem: I expect that the students diligent enough to read through such a book are the ones who least need to. On that note, the main message of the book is arguably that what students get out of their education depends on the work that they put in; a point worth underlining in the current age of consumerist expectations and for that reason alone I give it a cautious endorsement.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too lengthy, 10 Jan 2011
This review is from: The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook (Open Up Study Skills) (Paperback)
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If you are studying the art of studying or you are a teacher then this is a very good book indeed. If you are an over worked, short of time law student like me then this is a straw to break the camel's back. I have had this book for ages and found I could only read short bits at a time but this is possibly because of the sheer volume of actual study I have to do as well. It's well written and useful in parts but I'm afraid it served more as a refresher than a learning tool for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars wish i had this when i was a student, 23 Sep 2010
By 
G. Cook "jillcook27a" (Essex england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook (Open Up Study Skills) (Paperback)
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Thought this was an excllent study guide for any age when starting out at university. Very clear and well laid out with loads of advice on how to make the best of your time. Full of useful tips I think it would make a wonderful gift for a new student. I wish I had this when I was a student as I am sure it would have been an asset
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect for first year degree students, 31 Aug 2010
By 
Amber J. Burton (Bournemouth) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook (Open Up Study Skills) (Paperback)
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I am a lecturer teaching on a number of marketing/advertising/PR degrees and I will be using this as a recommended key text for all first year students. This book offers a good, basic grounding for getting to grips with critical thinking and writing, dealing with the (many) challenges of set individual and group coursework and for surviving your first few assignments. Try and get a copy early, before you get to University.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For novices, I think, 20 Feb 2013
By 
Andy Edwards "staxasoul" (Essex UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook (Open Up Study Skills) (Paperback)
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As a handbook containing the basics of study I guess this is OK, but there are enough elements which are flawed to make this a limited, rather than ultimate proposition. For a relatively short volume, the book covers much, which means there will be some chapters where the reader will feel that there should be greater depth. Conversely, the overemphasis on exercises on study skills seem superfluous, study is a means to an end, rather than the end itself.

Those who might find it useful are those who have yet to encounter unstructured learning, so GCSE or perhaps A level students. Those approaching their first year at university should have done enough not to need this, but then again, perhaps I assume too much. More mature students might also find this useful as a reminder, and perhaps they have the experience to dip into the chapters which will be useful to them.

Perhaps that is the problem with the book; those who need it most will probably find the sheer volume of information daunting and give up, those who are suffuciently committed to plough through the book will probably have used that commitment on thier topic and so this will not provide a step change in their abilities/fortunes. A pity, though as a more focused book could have been useful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's funny what you forget...., 19 Oct 2012
By 
C. Cousins "PoppyCorn" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook (Open Up Study Skills) (Paperback)
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I was going back to studying after a 10 year break, so this book was perfect. However, it's not for someone who is completely new to higher education. It did help me to get back into the'groove' of studying, but I have already completed a degree so I just needed a nudge in the right direction. I don't know how helpful this would be to a novice. It helped me to refocus my work to how I learn, and remember how I got through my first degree. It's weird how foreign everything seemed to me after such a long time away from the routine of studying.
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The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook (Open Up Study Skills)
The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook (Open Up Study Skills) by Cornelia Connolly (Paperback - 1 April 2010)
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