The Secrets of Top Students

Secrets of Top StudentsNew! Download The Secrets of Top Students Press Release and Flyer.

The Secrets of Top Students (Sourcebooks, 2013) is full of honest, practical advice about how to succeed in today’s tough academic environment. Stefanie Weisman was first in her class at Stuyvesant High School and Columbia University, two of the best schools in the country. In this book, she will show you how to rise to the top of your class and stay there. The Secrets of Top Students also includes key insight from 45 other outstanding students, including Rhodes scholars, Goldwater scholars, Fulbright award winners, college valedictorians, Intel Science Fair finalists, a National Spelling Bee champion, and more!

This book includes tips and techniques that every student should know. For example:

  • What is the first thing you should do when taking a math test?
  • What is an often overlooked place for coming up with a thesis?
  • What music should you listen to while studying?
  • Why is it bad to be a perfectionist?
  • What are the good and bad types of motivation?
  • What foods should you eat to boost your brainpower?
  • How much do top students really study?
  • Should you bring your laptop to class?
  • What are three game-changing learning techniques?
  • And much, much more.

Written in a conversational, down-to-earth manner, The Secrets of Top Students shows you how to maximize your learning and get the grades you want. Filled with innovative, time-saving techniques, this book also includes advice on motivation, the mind-body connection, and technology inside and outside the classroom.

Praise for The Secrets of Top Students

“An insightful guide for high achievers—and those aspiring to such status—from an authoritative source, Stefanie Weisman, a Columbia University graduate and former valedictorian of Stuyvesant High School, two of the best schools in America. Stefanie Weisman’s book about the secrets of academic success is all the more amazing, given the learning disabilities that she overcame to become the ultimate academic overachiever. As a graduate of Stuyvesant High School myself, as well as a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brown University, I believe students can find happiness and achieve great things at any number of schools, and Stefanie Weisman offers hard-fought wisdom about how to get there.”
Alec Klein, Northwestern University professor, bestselling author and award-winning journalist

“Although the target audience is high school and college students, the book is a must-read for students in middle school and up, teachers, parents, and guidance counselors as 21st-century students learn to excel in the new educational landscape in which they find themselves.”
Tammy Turner, Centennial High School, Frisco, TX; School Library Journal, July 2013 issue

“We wish we had Stefanie Weisman’s new book . . . when we were in school, but our loss is your child’s gain as this book goes beyond advising how to test better; it’s loaded with strategies on how to get the most out of school in a healthy, well-rounded way that will continue to serve your scholar well throughout their life.”
Lisa J. Curtis, Brooklyn Family Magazine, August 2013 issue

“A student who followed even half of the suggestions in this book could come away from college with both a greater understanding of the material and a significantly higher G.P.A.”
Dr. Mindy Marks, Associate Professor of Economics at Washington University, St. Louis, and Co-Author of “Leisure College, USA: The Decline in Student Study Time”

“This is perhaps the best and most pragmatic guide to academic success I have read that is relevant to today’s students. One thing that sets this book apart is that it provides special information for students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, aka STEM subjects.”
Stuart Nachbar, President of Educated Quest,

“Undergraduates who want to excel in college will find a helpful resource in this book.”
Joseph Adegboyega-Edun, Counselor/College Adviser, Walter Johnson High School, Bethesda (MD)

What Makes The Secrets of Top Students Special?

  • The author’s experience as the number one student in both high school and college. She was valedictorian of Stuyvesant High School and graduated with the highest GPA in her class from Columbia University, so Stefanie has firsthand knowledge of how to excel in school. She has received numerous academic awards, including Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude, best senior thesis on a non-U.S. topic, best performance in Columbia’s Core Curriculum, and AP Scholar with Distinction.
  • Her background in science and math as well as the humanities. In addition to a B.A. in History and an M.A. in Art History, Stefanie also has a B.S. in Computer Science. This broad perspective led her to include sections on how to survive STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), how to ace homework and tests in these subjects, and more.
  • Advice and input from other outstanding students. Stefanie surveyed forty-five people with exceptional academic records on how they achieved success. Nearly half are Rhodes scholars, valedictorians, or salutatorians. Many are currently attending the nation’s best law and medical schools. Other participants include a National Spelling Bee champion, a winner of the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship, Fulbright and Goldwater Scholars, ESPN Academic All-American athlete-scholars, and Intel science fair finalists. The results of this survey and advice from the students themselves—indicated by “Survey Says” and “In Their Own Words”—provide unique insight into what it takes to succeed in school.
  • Her familiarity with today’s technology. Stefanie received her latest degree in 2011, so she is familiar with the latest technological trends in the classroom. Technology can be both a help and a hazard to students, and it receives special attention in this book.
  • A holistic view of academic excellence. Most books fail to realize that there’s a lot more to great grades than following cut-and-dried techniques for studying, writing papers, and taking tests. It requires the cultivation of your body, heart, and mind, much as you would expect of a top athlete. It’s a lifestyle, not a set of instructions. You’ve got to eat well, sleep right, work hard, and, above all, have the drive and determination to succeed. That’s why this book includes sections on things like the mind-body connection, improving your work ethic, and getting and staying motivated. Stefanie also discusses how to incorporate the findings from the latest research on education and learning into your everyday study habits.
  • Information that works for high school and college students. Unlike most study aids, which are geared toward either one group or the other, this guide is meant for both. In high school, students should be learning skills that are transferable to college. For those in college now, it’s not too late to learn good study skills or improve on the ones they already have. Plus, a lot of high schools these days are just as hard as college, if not harder.

P.S. Some of you may be familiar with this book under its working titles, The Valedictorian’s Guide to High School and College, or I Got An A?!?.

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40 thoughts on “The Secrets of Top Students

    • Okay I must be living under a rock cauebse I have never heard of this book But that wont stop me from finding it and reading it! What an amazing premise. Thank you for sharing(I’m sure Will would love to read this too)Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance recently posted..

  1. While trolling the internet, i came across this fascinating website. i am very interested in receiving updates regarding your forthcoming book, and look forward to reading the book itself once published. please keep me in the loop.
    Best of luck!

  2. Your accomplishments and your literate, curious and humerous writing style seem perfect for your subject. I can’t wait to read THE BOOK!

  3. I admire your going after such a great concept and seeing it through to publication. I am definitely checking this out and also will be excited to share it with the students that I mentor. A great idea whose time has come.

  4. What an amazing idea! I like the thesis idea section as that applies to a much broader audience than simply new students. It looks like you included everyone and considered the needs of students as they progress through higher education. –Mary Ann Hyder

  5. Stefanie,

    I look forward to your book being published. This is a book with topics not normally taught in school and is without a doubt what students need to learn.

    I wish you all the best and hope you achieve great success as well

    Jim Sasso

  6. I can’t wait to read your book. I teach a University Success class as an advisor and can always use more helpful tips to share with my students. Thank you for sharing your expertise!

  7. Your book was GREAT. It was amazingly detailed and exactly what I needed from a how-to-study book.

    I searched your name on Google, in hope of finding more books from you, but sadly you only have one book — but a very a good book.

    I hope you publish more study books in the future!

  8. I am an adult student of Nursing. Going back to school after so many years I was scared to death. I found your book and it helped me a lot. An excellent guide for all students. By the way, I am now a straight A student :0

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