费劲心血，终于找到Secrets of A Students 这篇文章。该文章收录在21世纪大学英语读写教程第一册中，是我大学英语课的教材。前段时间特别想找来看，因为忽然记起里面讲的一些东西，当时觉得不以为然，现在觉得总结很好。 专注、时间管理、快速阅读和集体学习等等，到现在才开始慢慢体会。
Secrets of A Students
Edwin Kiester & Sally Valentine Kiester
Alex, now a first-year student in natural sciences at Cambridge, played football for his school in Manchester and directed the school production of a play — but he left school with five A's. Amanda, studying English at Bristol University, acted in plays at her school and played tennis regularly. Yet she still managed to get four A's. How do A students like these do it? Brains aren't the only answer. The most gifted students do not necessarily perform best in exams. Knowing how to make the most of one's abilities counts for much more. Hard work isn't the whole story either. Some of these high-achieving students actually put in fewer hours than their lower-scoring classmates. The students at the top of the class get there by mastering a few basic techniques that others can easily learn. Here, according to education experts and students themselves, are the secrets of A students.
1. Concentrate! Top students allow no interruptions of their study time. Once the books are open, phone calls go unanswered, TV unwatched and newspapers unread. "This doesn't mean ignoring important things in your life," Amanda explains. "It means planning your study time so that you can concentrate. If I'm worried about a sick friend, I call her before I start my homework. Then when I sit down to study, I can really focus."
2. Study anywhere — or everywhere. A university professor in Arizona assigned to tutor underachieving college athletes, recalls a runner who exercised daily. He persuaded him to use the time to memorise biology terms. Another student stuck a vocabulary list on his bathroom wall and learned a new word every day while brushing his teeth.
3. Organize your materials. At school, Tom played basketball. "I was too busy to waste time looking for a pencil or a missing notebook. I kept everything just where I could get my hands on it," he says. Paul, a student in New Mexico, keeps two folders for each subject — one for the day's assignments, the other for homework completed and ready to hand in. A drawer keeps essentials together and cuts down on time-wasting searches.
4. Organize your time. When a teacher set a long essay, Alex would spend a couple of days reading round the subject and making notes, then he'd do a rough draft and write up the essay. He would aim to finish a couple of days before the assignment was due so that if it took longer than expected, he'd still meet the deadline. Amanda stuck to a study schedule that included breaks every two hours. "Trying to study when you're overtired isn't smart," she advises. "Even a short break to stretch or get some fresh air can work wonders."
5. Learn how to read. "I used to spend hours going through irrelevant material," Amanda remembers. "But then I got used to reading quickly; if the first sentence of a paragraph wasn't relevant, I'd move on to the next paragraph." "The best course I ever took," says an Oklahoma student, "was speed-reading. I not only increased my words per minute but also learned to look at a book's table of contents and pictures first. Then, when I began to read, I had a sense of the material and I retained a lot more." To such students, the secret of good reading is to be an active reader — one who keeps asking questions that lead to a full understanding of the material being read.
6. Take good notes. "Before writing anything, I divide my page into two parts," says Amanda, "the left part is about a third of the page wide; the right, two-thirds. I write my notes in the wider part, and put down the main ideas on the left. During revision, this is very useful because you can see immediately why the material is relevant, rather than being worried by a great mass of information." Just before the end of lesson bell rings, most students close their books, put away papers, talk to friends and get ready to leave. But a smart student uses those few minutes to write two or three sentences about the lesson's main points, which he scans before the next class.
7. Ask questions. "If you ask questions, you know at once whether you have got the point or not," says Alex. Class participation is a matter of showing intellectual curiosity. In a lecture on economics, for example, curious students would ask how the Chinese economy could be both socialist and market-driven, thus interesting themselves not only in whats, but also in whys and hows.
8. Study together. The value of working together was shown in an experiment at the University of California at Berkeley. A graduate student there who observed a first-year calculus course found that Asian-American students discussed homework, tried different approaches and explained their solutions to one another while the others studied alone, spent most of their time reading and rereading the text, and tried the same approach time after time even if it was unsuccessful.
After all, the secrets of A students are not so secret. You can learn and master them and become an A student, too. (795 words)