Reviews of Going to University: the Secrets of Success
Posted on February 1, 2011 by Nandini Indiran, student
“When I was given this book, I thought that it would be another boring book; but how wrong I was! This book is not a book that provides you with details about university life. It is an interactive book that acts as a guide to every student covering aspects like studies, finances; night life and accommodation, just to name a few. In fact, the title of this book pretty much says it all; it portrays a student’s life (with lots of introspection from the author) and how to make the most out of university life.
The author of this book, Kevin B. Bucknall puts forth some brilliant points that students (like us) should consider to be successful throughout university. For instance, Bucknall teaches us ‘how to survive during the first day’ and not be left out. He also emphasises the importance of staying focused on the degree and spending more energy on preparing a good thesis at the end of the year. He goes to the extent of providing a list of ‘good words and phrases to use’ when writing an essay/report or the like. Not only that, this book is also useful for those are still schooling but would like to prepare themselves for their university life. Bucknall has devoted an entire chapter to help students improve their study skills.
The way Bucknall has structured each chapter is very interesting. He starts off a chapter by introducing new ideas then moves on to provide some case studies and insert discussion points for students to reflect on and finally ends the chapter with a summary. So, if you are just too lazy to read the entire chapter, you can flip to the last page and have a look at the summary. The fact is you cannot put the book away because it is so gripping; it is written for students by a (former) student. The funny part is Bucknall has included some quotes throughout the books like “some students would rather get bad marks than make the effort of thinking–in fact they do. Please try not to be one of them!” and here’s another one: “for the cynics amongst us, team work means never having to take all the blame yourself”. You could actually read the book just to ponder the quotes.
Sections on improving presentational skills, tips for exams, organising an essay are particularly useful to all students out there. This book would be an excellent supplement for the ‘Study Skills’ unit that we all took in our first years. To put it succinctly, this book is worth a read by all uni students as it helps in many ways.”
“Although I wish I had read this book before starting uni, I am still finding it
very useful and relevant as I prepare for second year. It is jam-
This book is very comprehensive. It covers pretty much everything a person new to
uni would want to know -
I found the stuff on developing team skills and processes very useful. (The research
components of my course have a lot of team-
The personality of the author comes through in his comments. It's kind of quirky which I like and the book is dotted with jokes which reinforce key points. A couple I particularly enjoyed were: `Art students: does your heart belong to Dada?', `There are three kinds of mathematicians: those who can count and those who can't', and `Dyslexics of the world untie' (no offence to people with dyslexia intended).
Its useful tips for staying motivated are already helping me to get organised/excited
about the new uni year. I will make sure I get myself a ‘study buddy’ next semester
to help me mid-
I think it's invaluable for anyone thinking about going to uni, enrolling in uni, or already at uni. I highly recommend it.”
“It is getting increasingly harder for young people to find a university place and
many of them have no idea of what awaits them when they get there. Expert help is
at hand in this book which assembles just about everything one needs to know about
making the most of a university education. From the techniques of learning via lectures,
seminars and tutorials to organizing notes and information, study and exam methodology,
the author explains everything in straightforward terms, case studies and bullet
points. Neither is the social and domestic side neglected so that the most ill-
“I bought this book for my husband as he went to uni. It is a good book, but as we are older and married with children, it really wasn't too helpful for us. It has parts about student living, how to plan your finances and get by on a budget. Also a good part on how to get over the 'OMG this is a whole different world' feeling you get when you actually walk into the place (we've all been there) a book I wish I had at 18.”
This is the end, beautiful friend
"There comes a time in the life of each student when they realise that the end is nigh. It is now necessary to resist the temptation to do a second masters in procrastination and to accept that the next decade or two will require total submission to the corporate whorehouse. In a futile attempt to escape the inevitable passing of time and in the hope of returning to a place where the university experience was in the future rather than the past, books such as Kevin B. Bucknall’s ‘Going to University: The Secrets of Success’ have become a suitable source of solace.
Bucknall’s book, written with the aim of offering a brief guide to those about to arrive at university (including the often ignored mature student), explains the fundamental issues each student is likely to face at university -
Of course, this type of quasi self-
As a curmudgeonly swine who is less familiar with the joys of laughter than Gordon Brown, the throwaway comments didn't really do anything for me. Bucknall’s own view in the preface that they are not intended to distract and that ‘it’s easy to ignore them’ suggests that he too had second thoughts about their inclusion. Again, though, and without wishing to labour the point with all the nuance of Jeremy Clarkson, it is all about the target audience that will, most likely, be amused by these little jokes and also be familiar with the ideas of a ‘study buddy’ and working hard.
But then my obvious inability to adhere to many of Bucknall’s key points is perhaps the reason why my success at university is questionable and may explain why I won’t be receiving a First come June.
Other Books by Kevin Bucknall
(1) Japan: Doing Business in a Unique Culture, 2006. paperback and E-
(2) Chinese Business Etiquette and Culture, 267 paperback, Boson Books, Raleigh, NC, USA, 2002. Click here for more information (opens in a new window).
(3) Studying at University: How to Make a Success of Your Academic Course, How To Books, UK, 1996 (out of print).
(4) Kevin B. Bucknall's Cultural Guide to Doing Business in China, 167 pp., Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford, 1994 (out of print).
(5) How to Succeed as a Student, 143 pp., Griffith University, 1994 (out of print).
(6) China and the Open Door Policy, Allen & Unwin, 1989 -
(7) It's an Offensive Business!, Griffith University, 1988. (A play).
Comments and Reviews
“Written for students…One of my personal favorites!” (Going to University: the Secrets of Success), Penn State University, USA
"Great book“, (How to Succeed as a Student), Marius Andreiana, Student and Linux/Unix system administrator
“A good general resource for student entering college”, (How to Succeed as a Student), Columbia University, USA
“All kinds of tips from A to Z to ensure your success as a student", (Going to University: the Secrets of Success), University of Regina, Canada
“Excellent book by Kevin Bucknall”, (How to Succeed as a Student), Donald Simanek, Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, USA
“Four Star Rating. This fabulous guide is a must for students from year 10 on”, (How to Succeed as a Student), Four Star Australian webs
“Written by Kevin Bucknall, really interesting ....take a look”, (How to Succeed as a Student), Dr Clive Buckley, North East Wales Institute
“Some of the chapters deal with preparing for university life but the majority will be of interest to everyone….this book is easy to read, to the point and easy to dip into.” (Studying at University), Sheffield Hallam University
“The information is useful and helpful for the prospective college student”, (How to Succeed as a Student), Griffith University, Australia
“A really good book....full of practical advice and I thought was well worth the money”, (Chinese Business Etiquette and Culture), Charles Brennan, Amazon Review
“Highly recommended...not only essential but interesting as well”, (Chinese Business Etiquette and Culture), Rebecca Stow, Book Review Club
“This is a seriously good book”, (Chinese Business Etiquette and Culture), Sheila Waterman, Australia
"5 Stars -
“I have no hesitation in recommending this book. It is a must read for anyone...”, (Chinese Business Etiquette and Culture), Brian N. Cox, Canada