Review of Learn Like a Pro by Barbara Oakley, PhD and Olav Schewe

Review Title: Concise Learning Tips (review of Learn Like a Pro by Barbara Oakley, PhD and Olav Schewe)

Reviewer: Janice S. Garey

***** 5 Stars

Although this book contains some strategies that seasoned learners probably already use, it offers much more based on reliable research and insights from the authors who have struggled with learning themsrlves. Back when I attended college, I found by trial and error what seemed to work for learning all required to pass exams and make a good grade. I wish I could have had a copy of this book then to give me additional helps and tips to enhance my learning. I found this book quite practical for those engaged academically, learning new job skills, or even learning new skills in sports or the arts.

A Note to the Reader at the start of the book says, ” . . . both of us have struggled in the past with our learning. But we have found techniques to help us master material.” Their sincere desire to help others with their down to earth teaching style shines within the pages. All information is clearly organized for ease in use. The reader will best be informed by reading the whole book and skimming what the reader has already put in place, but if crunched for time, chapters are clearly described so you can get to a specific you need help with quickly.

The first chapter, How to Focus and Beat Procrastination, begins with an area that universally gives many people problems. Almost immediately the reader learns of the Pomodoro Technique that works wonders by structuring study sessions. The book uses numbered steps to help reach goals along with bullet points for additional relevant tips. There is a fair amount of white space on the pages which helps give the feel of a managable checklist toward accomplishment. At the end of the chapters, a review of the techniques covered in the chapter reinforces learning.

The second chapter delves into another universal problem in learning which is being stuck and unable to advance or take charge of what needs to be mastered. An explanation of the neuroscience behind why techniques work motivates the reader to not be afraid to try a new approach for a breakthrough. All eleven chapters cover topics thoroughly for a basic understanding that could turn a B student into an A student if techniques are applied. The book does not make that promise, but I feel the potential is there for those who fully utilize what is in this book. It’s chock full of valuable information.

I received an ebook ARC, Advanced Reader Copy, from Netgalley for the purpose of reading and giving my honest opinion in a review. I have done that, and offer that I highly recommend this book. I now hope to purchase a book of my own to keep on my reference shelf.