That's the aim of two new books in Palgrave's Student to Student series: How To Get A First: Insights And Advice From A First-Class Graduate and University Life: Making It Work For You.
The books are written by recent graduates and intended to be accessible and useful to all students. Do they succeed? We asked TSR members to read each one and submit their reviews. Here what they had to say along with some insight from the authors...
How To Get A First: Insights And Advice From A First-Class Graduate
"I would particularly recommend it to first year students"- OnlyMe!
"The book shows you some tips and tricks for excelling at coursework and in exams, which clearly will be helpful in January!" - .snowflake.:
"It's great how different aspects of revision are tackled...this book is incredibly well written and easily accessible" - Vain
Read the full reviews and Q&A here.
Q&A with the author: Michael Tefula
Is there any advice that you'd give to particularly first years, that never made the cut for the book?
Enjoy the first year but pay attention to how much work you need to do, especially if your first year grades count for 20-25% of you final degree classification.
The first year is a great time to party and socialise but often students ignore the academic demands and then have to relearn material in subsequent years. Don’t fall for this trap.
If you could do the whole university experience again, what would you do differently and why?
I would have done a bit more work in the first year. This would have meant a more balanced three years, with my efforts more evenly spread. What happened instead was that I worked really hard in years two and three, and had to pay for my lax attitude in the first year.
Do you think revising and study habits are different among subjects, or do you think they are quite similar in each faculty, such as the faculty of medicine or the faculty of arts?
Yes. Fact heavy subjects (medicine and law for example) usually require a lot more memorisation and so you tend to find that students in these areas revise longer and more intensely. Students in this area can gain from practicing with quizzes and problem sets.
Discursive subjects on the other hand (social sciences for example) don’t require as much memorisation since the focus is more on how you structure an argument. Students in this area can gain by practicing and attempting essay-based questions.
University Life: Making It Work For You
"I will definitely be using this book when I eventually do go to university, and would recommend this to friends and family!" - Naami
"An excellent guide. It would be a great book to have on your shelf at university" - Tactical Nuclear Penguin
"Loved the drawings, a true joy to read" - Sparkle24
Read the full reviews and Q&A here.
Q&A with the author: Lauren Lucien
If you could give a prospective student one piece of advice, what would it be?
Visit the university you wish to go to and when you get in make use of all the resources available in your university – remember you are paying for your time there and in effect, for the university so definitely go to the extra workshops, get to know the library and use any kind of essay checking team to look at your work.
What first inspired you to write this book?
Really it was a mixture of things, but the one thing that sticks out to me the most is the rise in tuition fees and the reaction that students gave to this. I felt just as frustrated and wanted to do something about it that would help students who still wanted to go or weren't sure if they wanted to – here’s a book that hopefully helps to make things a bit clearer.
How exactly did you go about gathering all these stories and tips from university students around the UK?
A lot of the time I’d just be talking with friends, family, students, or even in forums and I would quickly ask if I could use their info in the book. A few of the tips also came from students who had finished university which was brilliant because they’d been through the system already.