New Book Reveals Secrets About Acing High School and College

My new flyer pretty much says it all. Thanks to the people at Sourcebooks for doing such a great job on it! The Secrets of Top Students is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other fine booksellers.

How to get better grades in high school and college

The Secrets of Top Students Flyer


New Book Reveals How to Get Better Grades

The following is my book’s official press release.  It’s getting closer!

Secrets of Top Students

Valedictorian Reveals Secrets to Being a Top Student

New Study Aid Features Straight Talk and Practical Advice on Making the Grade

Stefanie Weisman is the epitome of the successful student—valedictorian at Stuyvesant High School and recipient of the Albert Asher Green Prize for the highest GPA in her graduating class at Columbia University, among other honors.

How did she achieve academic success?

It may be surprising to learn that Weisman developed the skills that led her to become a top student because of an undiagnosed learning disability in which she struggled with listening comprehension.

Weisman, along with top students including valedictorians, Rhodes and Fulbright scholars, and even a National Spelling Bee champ, shares learning tips and techniques in her forthcoming book, The Secrets of Top Students: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Acing High School and College (ISBN: 9781402280795; MAY 7, 2013; $14.99 U.S.; Study Aids; Trade Paper).

Weisman contends that being a top student is a lifestyle and outlines practical strategies for studying smart, learning well, and staying motivated.

The Secrets of Top Students features a holistic approach to learning that includes:

  • How sleep, diet, and exercise can affect a student’s GPA
  • What motivates top students to academic success
  • 50 “Grade A” test-taking tips
  • Three game-changing learning techniques
  • The trick to taking killer notes and improving reading comprehension

Written in a conversational, down-to-earth tone, The Secrets of Top Students shows students how to maximize learning and get the grades they want.


About the Author: Stefanie Weisman was born and raised in Queens, New York. She was valedictorian of Stuyvesant High School and graduated from Columbia University with the highest GPA in her class. She has a B.A. in history, a B.S. in computer science, and an M.A. in art history.  Stefanie has received numerous awards including Best Performance in Columbia’s Core Curriculum, Best Senior Thesis in History on a non-U.S. Topic, Phi Beta Kappa, and Summa Cum Laude.  She was a Craig Hugh Smyth fellow at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts, where she specialized in ancient Greek and Roman art. She works in the technology industry in New York City.

Media Contact: Liz Kelsch – Asst. Publicity Manager – 630-536-0595 –

The Survival Guide — 3 Tips for AP Test Takers (Guest Post)

Guest Post by Robert Boyd
Rob is the guy you want on your Trivial Pursuit team: He knows a little bit about a lot of things.

You can ace the AP!

You can ace the AP!

Heading north toward the mountains, I packed my bags and piled into a bus with many of my closest friends. We would be spending the weekend at a campsite complete with fire pits, eight-inch-high ping- pong tables and a large mess hall, but this wasn’t a typical camping trip. This was calculus camp: a two-and-a-half day cram session filled with derivatives, functions and integrals and our final review before taking the AP test.

Math never came easy to me, but I passed the calculus AP test, largely because of that marathon study weekend. Maybe it was the mountain air, but more likely the collaborative spirit and valuable practice led to success. You don’t have to get out of town to pass AP tests. Keep these three resources in mind to achieve high scores.

Prep Courses & Apps

A growing number of students are taking AP tests, and test prep providers have responded with an array of courses. In 2011, 903,630 graduates had taken at least one AP exam, compared to 431,573 graduates ten years earlier, according to Students have few excuses to be unprepared. A variety of online and in-person prep courses accommodate students of all levels., for example, offers subject-specific virtual courses that offer hundreds of test questions, dozens of flashcards and multiple mini-tests. Best of all, these courses are available on both computer and mobile platforms, so test prep can take place anytime, anywhere. Some additional test prep apps are available here.

No matter how convenient, however, digital courses can’t compete with live, in-person training. Personal tutoring with a teacher or experienced tutor is invaluable when it comes to tackling difficult concepts.

Study Groups

Long study sessions can get monotonous and frustrating, especially when you’re trying to unpack a new concept. One of the easiest ways to avoid academic burnout and learn efficiently is to study in groups. By learning AP material with other test takers, you’ll be able use each other’s strengths. For some great tips on how to study efficiently in groups, check out and

In a nutshell, here are some rules to follow when working in groups:

  • Don’t let the group get too large. Aim for no more than five or six people.
  • Have an agenda for each meeting and stick to it!
  • Designate someone to be the leader for each meeting.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions! That’s why you’re there.

Practice Tests

Knowing the concepts is one thing, but conditioning yourself for the pressures of an actual exam is an entirely separate battle. The best way to prepare for test conditions is by putting yourself under the gun with a practice test. Find some free test prep material at, or buy previous versions of AP tests for $25. Stay within the time guidelines, use the right pencil and of course, no peeking at your notes.

Taking timed tests will push your ability to think under pressure. With all this preparation, you’ll have college credit in the bag. Still feeling unprepared? Try a camping trip instead. It worked for me.

Want to improve your grades?   Order your copy of The Secrets of Top Students today!

Listing of High School & College Websites

So, I’ve been doing some marketing research for my upcoming book The Secrets of Top Students – formerly called The Valedictorian’s Guide – and I compiled a list of websites (and some print media) related to high school and college. This list is far from comprehensive, but I thought some people might find it useful. I categorized them as follows:

  1. College / General Education News & Advice
  2. College Admission Advice & Consultants
  3. Websites for Parents of High School/ College Students
  4. SAT Prep
  5. Scholarship/ Financial Aid Websites
  6. College Life Advice
  7. Websites for Online Education and Adults Going Back to School
  8. Miscellaneous
  9. Magazines & Newspapers for Students and Parents

Do you have a favorite education website not mentioned here?  Feel free to leave a reply below.

College / General Education News & Advice [college advice, news] [college advice, forums] [college advice, news] [college advice, news] [advice, rankings] [college news, advice] [advice for Chicago teens] [articles about education, learning] [education news] [news and classifies for college students] [news for college students] [college news] [college news] [Ivy League news] [from NBC News] [NYC school news] [college news] [articles for teachers, students] [academics discuss education]

College Admission Advice & Consultants
(Note: many of these sites also have blogs on education issues) [admissions, college advice] [college planning, SAT prep] [admissions advice, forums] [admissions advice, news] [advice for admissions, careers] [admissions advice] [college admissions blog] [admissions advice] [Allen Grove’s college apps site] [admissions advice] [college consulting] [admissions counseling website] [admissions counseling website] [admissions advice] [admissions advice] [admissions advice] [college coach] [college consultant] [college consultant] [college consultants] [admissions counseling] [admissions advice] [college planning] [school search/ consultants] [college consultants] [college consultant] [college consultants] [college consultants] [college consultant] [college consultant] [college consultant] [college consultants] [college consultants] [college consultants] [college consultants] [college consulting] [college consultant]

Websites for Parents of High School/ College Students [advice for parents] [advice for parents of teens] [help for visiting colleges] [advice for parents] [advice for parents] [ site for parents of teens] [national PTA]

SAT Prep [SAT prep] [SAT prep] [SAT prep] [SAT prep]

Scholarship/ Financial Aid Websites [scholarship help] [financial advice for college] [college scholarships and advice]

College Life Advice [college, life advice for women] [advice for choosing a major] [for students in need of internships] [advice for college women] [advice about colleges, college life] [lifestyle tips for college women] [college life blog] [college life] [college advice] [college, learning advice] [college advice] [college and tech advice] [college advice] [college advice]

Websites for Online Education and Adults Going Back to School [advice for online education] [advice for students returning to college] [advice for adults going back to school] [advice for online degrees]

Miscellaneous [a map with links to college newspapers] [academic advice] [website, blog for teachers] [site for teachers] [advice for first generation college students] [high school ed expert] [education admin/ expert] [site for high school students] [advocacy for education] [advice for educators] [education tools and apps]

Magazines & Newspapers for Students and Parents

Girl’s Life [magazine for teen girls,

Justine [magazine for teen girls,

Seventeen Magazine

Working Mother Magazine []

Your Teen Magazine []

Education Update [NYC newspaper and website,]

Manhattan Family [Newspaper and website, mostly for parents of younger kids but some stuff relating to teens,]

Give your child the gift of great grades.  Order a copy of The Secrets of Top Students today!