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How to Get a First: Insights and Advice from a First-class Graduate (Palgrave Student to Student) Paperback – 31 Jul 2012

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4.0 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (31 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230362206
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230362208
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 0.8 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

'I have to say I really did love this book! Feeling very motivated and inspired after reading it (a boost most students need at some point during their studies!).' - Iram Satti, English Language & Literature in Education student

'You can tell the author has been a student relatively recently which is brilliant for connecting with the reader. The fact that the advice in the book comes from this different angle is a real plus.' - Seb Knight, Politics & Economics student
 
'As someone who has perhaps researched educational psychology more than the average person, I still learnt a significant amount from reading it. How to Get a First is a clear and well-organized guide to help you excel in your degree, providing you with the up-to-date advice of its recently graduated author.' - The Boar (Univesity of Warwick's Student Newspaper)

Book Description

How To Get a First combines personal experience, scientific research and motivational anecdotes from other students to create a comprehensive guide to the basic elements of academic success


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The first thing I gathered when reading this book is that the author Michael is a student that I could easily relate to. As he says in the book, he initially wasn't achieving firsts in uni work but later changed his work ethic and mind set which allowed him to gain a first for his degree. Michael is not boastful of his success and does not lead you into a false sense of security by brain washing you into thinking that achieving a first is easy and it is just going to happen over night. Michael offers a variety of strategies to help improve uni work and student life in general. He explains the importance of mindset and developing intelligence which from his point of view was interesting how it can impact the likelihood of obtaining a first. I would agree with many of the previous reviews that much if what is included in this book is common sense, but sometimes its good to read advice from a different angle. I find this book valuable in times when things are tough at university. Just reading a few pages can boost confidence and set you in the correct direction again if you have suffered a set back. After reading the book, I do have a more positive outlook on obtaining a first.
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A good road to a first is not wasting, your time, effort and money on complete pointless books which state the obvious... it says: eat properly, sleep properly, allot study time for reading, library time and writing, meet deadlines and don't get drunk all the time. There... I've saved you money.
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Tefula gives plenty of insights into achieving a first in your degree. I found that reading it through and then cherry picking the points I wanted to take on was the best way to go. Definitely worth reading to help you with your study.
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I did find this book inspiring and motivating, however as a mature student with children and on a busy course, I felt the perspective was very narrow minded. The writer was clearly a young single person who only had himself to think about and therefore did not offer any solution for studying around a family. I would have liked some consideration given towards not being able to spend 10 hours at a time studying every day, as admirable as that is.
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Slight negative which'll redeem itself in a second... The book arrived and it seemed a lot smaller than what I had thought would arrive from the picture. However they do say never judge a book by its cover and that couldn't be more true in this case. It's small, it's concise and it's WORTH IT! Great read, speedy delivery would recommend:)
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There's a very good reason why Michael is a First-class Graduate and that is because he is obviously a hard working, dedicated student and this book is invaluable to me as a personal guide to achieving the grades I want.

Michael uses a holistic approach and although some reviews have considered this to be mere common sense, the majority do unfortunately lack this and that is what makes so many guides seem so regimented and impersonal. Something as simple as a guide to planning out times for study is essential and although simple, it is very effective, as planning is typically the first hurdle that many students do not manage to do.

This book is an all round helpful guide, it won't tell you to what time to put your kids to bed in order to get enough study time and it won't tell you what questions will be in your exams or what to write in assignments like some readers appear to have expected it to. This book does however give you an academic insight into how Tefula attained his own grades and this it what makes his information key, if he achieved it, then with the same level of hard work and dedication so can any reader.

Overall Michaels positive attitude, hardworking ethos and realistic advice and approaches to study, make this book helpful, inspiring, personal and realistic.
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Its just a lot of common sense really. There isn't anything especially revealing about how to gain a first and I'm pretty sure the majority of people already know what has been written in this book without actually having to read it. If you want to get a first and if a first is your aim then I would defiantly recommend buying "The Study Skills Handbook" by Stella Cottrell over buying this book.
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There are a few reasons why I have rated this book so highly. First and foremost, what I enjoyed most about this book is that it is genuinely insightful and very well written. The author combines his own experiences with well researched pieces of information to give student readers food for thought about how to best apply themselves at University. The information which the author provides (why maths students tend to score higher than average, for example) also helps the student to think long and hard about what to study and how to build a strategy to get the most out of his / her course. This book is very concise and well presented, making it a pleasure to read and at a very reasonable cost, this book is definitely value for money. Lastly, this book is inspiring because the author really does make the reader believe that a First is within reach if s/he applies her/himself correctly.
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