Six years ago I bought a book: The Secrets of Top Students. Written by Stefanie Weisman, a former valedictorian at New York’s Stuyvesant High School and high achiever at Columbia University, this is perhaps the best and most pragmatic guide to academic success I have read that is relevant to today’s students.
Citing Engage to Excel, a report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Weisman reported that more than 60 percent of students who enter college planning to major in a STEM subject end up earning a non-STEM degree.
Some reasons are:
Another name for these STEM classes is “gatekeeper” courses. Sometimes you will see separate sections for engineering students or non-science majors, but it’s quite possible that students who intend to pursue several different majors in the same class.
From my experience with math classes Weisman is correct. While math was not one of my favorite subjects in college, as well as in preparation for business school, it was a necessary evil. The most effective strategy I had was to try to do an hour to an hour and a half of math everyday, unless I had an exam to prepare for. I did not ace any math classes. But I did get B’s when I was taking them for a grade, and I passed a Calculus proficiency for business school after I had not taken a math class in 13 years. To me these were stellar achievements.
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