What Smart Students Know: Maximum Grades. Optimum Learning. Minimum Time.

In 1993 Adam Robinson, Co-founder of the Princeton Review, wrote a book called What Smart Students Know. The remarkable thing about this book is that it shows students (and anyone interested in learning) how to take full control of their education.  

For me, mindmapping is like that.  With mindmapping you take control of information and manipulate, reuse, and visually represent it anyway you like.

Similarly, this book is about taking control of your education.  As Adam Robinson put it, “I wrote it to show you how to improve your grades by mastering an entirely new way to learn.”  Think about that: “…an entirely new way to learn.”

Many of us believe that a teacher teaches us.  But learning is not determined by the teacher, it is determined by the student. If the student is active and engaged, the student will learn from the teacher.

But if the student is distracted and not engaged, the teacher will teach, but the student will not learn.  

What is so remarkable and “new” about Adam Robinson’s book is that he shows the student how to leverage techniques, strategies, and approaches that enable them to learn – with or without a teacher.  He shares these empowering strategies through 12 principles.

I created a mindmap to capture these 12 principles and what they mean.  If they resonate for you, pick up the book immediately and read it.  If they don’t, by all means find something that causes you to be an active learner and not a passive observer.  In the end, we have to find resources that work for us.  As someone who did well in high school, college, and graduate school, I can tell you from personal experience – these principles worked for me.

Click on the mindmap to enlarge and read the 12 principles:

If you have MindManager 7 or the MindManager Viewer 7 (which is a free download) you can view the notes that are a part of this mindmap.  I encourage you to download this mindmap and read the informative notes by Adam Robinson on each principle.

The MindManager file (.mmap) for this mindmap is available for download at biggerplate.com.  Click here to download.


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4 Responses to “What Smart Students Know: Maximum Grades. Optimum Learning. Minimum Time.”

  1. Adam Robinson Says:

    I’m honored by your description of my book!

  2. Brian Says:

    I’m glad to see that you have found the power of mind mapping for your own personal learning. It is a very powerful tool and one that I have been writing about for some time. The trick is that like anything else you need to use it to get the true impact. Thanks for sharing your ideas

    Brian S. Friedlander, Ph.D.

  3. Chance Brown Says:

    I think you wrote an incredible book. And I love that you wrote it from the perspective of empowering the student to be responsible for their education. Though I agree parents, teachers and the government need to improve our school systems – students still play a major role in their own education. It is one thing to say that, it is another to give students techniques and approaches to do that. You did that with your book. So, as a life long learner, I thank you Adam Robinson.

  4. Chance Brown Says:

    Dr. Friedlander:

    Thank you for your comment. I am familiar with your work in visual learning and assistive technology. I think you do great work. I have read several of your articles and watched a couple of your videos on the Mindjet site. I am looking forward to meeting you at the upcoming Intelligent Visual Mapping Conference in October. –Chance

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