Preparing for Higher Education Study, by Dr Penny Grubb: #BookReview.

160 pages

Student Life/Test Preparation for Young Adults/Study & Learning Skills for Educational Students

This book does precisely what it states on the cover. It’s a manual for learning the specific skills, attitudes and strategies a student needs on beginning the academic life that is Higher Education. If you’re going to university, at whatever age, you should read this book, preferably before you arrive on campus.

The introduction sets out the book’s intentions and explains what the student needs in order to make the best use of the educational opportunity ahead.

There are chapters on the different ways of studying, the different ways of thinking, the practical if mundane elements of study, how to be effective and efficient when gathering knowledge, and a summary of techniques and tools needed for success in this new and sometimes daunting world.

This book reminded me in some ways of Dorothea Brande’s book, ‘Becoming a Writer’ in the way in which advice is augmented by the use of exercises to help readers understand at first hand what will be required of them as students. Attending university is a wonderful opportunity but can also be difficult, especially to begin with. Dr Grubb explains how students can best prepare themselves for this new and exciting venture, providing examples and a comprehensive introduction to the important and exacting requirements demanded of those entering the world of high level learning.

Dr Penny Grubb is an academic currently working at the University of Hull. She has a broad and deep experience of life in higher education as well as life in the wider world, having been employed at a senior level in a number of different posts. Her understanding of the demands made of students is based on years of experience in dealing face to face with those who wish to learn.

So, why would a 70-year-old read and review such a book? I missed my chance at attending university as a young man, not least due to the untimely death of my mother. Life then got in the way, and I’ve since educated myself through books coupled with experience. But this book has formalised some of the things I learned through extensive reading and has taught me about other aspects of academic study in general and critical thinking in particular.

Dr Penny Grubb is also a gifted writer of fiction, which is how I came to her writing initially: her crime novels are exceptional works of the popular genre, merging the essential quality of menace with great character studies and intricate plots to grip the reader throughout the stories. Her books on writing, ‘The Writer’s Toolkit’ and ‘How to be a Fantastic Writer’ have both been useful aids to my writing career. So it was natural for me to look at this book as well.

I never got to go to university. Hopefully, those reading this review now have that chance and will grasp it firmly. This book will undoubtedly help you along a road to making the best possible use of that opportunity and, together with the author, I wish you success and happiness through your studies.


[Any review is a personal opinion. No reviewer can represent the view of anyone else. The best we can manage is an honest reaction to any given book.]

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