Keys to Success Quick : 9780132541718

Keys to Success Quick

Published by
Pearson Higher Ed USA
Out of stock
Title type

For 'essentials or 1 credit hour courses' in Study Skills, Student Success, Freshman Seminar or “University 101”.


Key to Success Quick unlocks every student's potential to succeed in college, career, and life by challenging them to realize, "It’s not just what you know…it’s what you know how to do." This text offers the hallmark of the Keys to Success series – success in College, Career, and Life through building analytical, creative, and practical thinking skills. This “thinking skills” framework challenges students - but with a ‘less is more’ approach.  Keys Quick will help students develop and personalize “best practice” tools, build skills in context of each topic, and gain self-knowledge via "Quick Check" self-assessments.


Students and Faculty alike are encouraged to visit the central website for all Keys franchise materials,, where you can correspond with the author team, view their speaking calendar, benefit from current articles, and more! 


TECHNOLOGY OFFERING: MyStudentSuccessLab is available with this book upon request. It is an online solution designed to help students ‘Start strong, Finish stronger’ by building skills for ongoing personal and professional development. Go to for a Point and Click DEMO of the Time Management module.


Table of contents



Chapter 1        Welcome to College: Attitudes and Actions for Success

Chapter 2        Goals and Time: Planning Your Future and Your Time Wisely

Chapter 3        Learning How You Learn: Making the Most of Your Abilities

Chapter 4        Critical, Creative, and Practical Thinking: Solving Problems and Making Decisions

Chapter 5        Reading and Information Literacy: Learning from Print and Online Materials

Chapter 6        Listening and Note Taking: Taking In and Recording Information

Chapter 7        Memory and Studying: Retaining What You Learn

Chapter 8        Test Taking: Showing What You Know

Chapter 9        Diversity and Communication: Making Relationships Work

Chapter 10      Wellness and Stress Management: Staying Healthy in Mind and Body

Chapter 11      Managing Money: Living Within Your Means

Chapter 12      Careers and More: Building a Successful Future





Supplemental Resources



Chapter 1 Welcome to College: Attitudes and Actions for Success

Quick Check: How Prepared Are You For College?

What Does College Offer and Expect of You?

§         The Culture of College

§         Connect with People

§         Connect with Technology and Written Resources

·        The Three Thinking Skills

What Thinking Skills Can Help You Achieve Your Goals?

Think Critically: Analyze the Effect of Education

·        How Thinking Skills Move You Toward Your Goals

How Can a “Growth Mindset” Help You Succeed?

·        Be Responsible

·        Practice Academic Integrity

Think Creatively: Imagine Your Potential

·        Face Your Fears

How Can You Work Effectively with Others?

·        Emotional Intelligence

·        Strategies for Study Group Success

Think Practically: Connect College to Career

How Does College Prepare You for Work and Life Success?

Quick Skill Building    


Chapter 2 Goals and Time: Planning Your Future and Your Time Wisely

Quick Check: How Developed Are Your Self-Management Skills?

How Do Goals Help You Strive for Success?

·        The Definition of a Goal

·        Long-term Goals

·        Short-term Goals

How Can You Create and Achieve Realistic Goals?

·        Get to Know Yourself

·        Set SMART Goals

·        Work Toward Goals

Think Critically: Analyze Distractions

How Can You Effectively Manage Your Time?

·        Identify Your Time Profile and Preferences

Think Creatively: Imagine Achieving a Goal

·        Use Schedules and Planners

·        Make To-do Lists and Prioritize

·        Plan and Track

Think Practically: Define Yourself as a Time Manager

·        Confront Procrastination

Quick Skill Building    


Chapter 3 Learning How You Learn: Making the Most of Your Abilities

Quick Check: How Aware Are You About How You Learn?

Why Explore Who You Are as a Learner?

·        Use Assessments to Learn About Yourself

·        Assess to Grow, Not to Label

What Tools Can Help You Assess How You Learn and Interact with Others?

Think Critically: Analyze the Value of Lifelong Learning

·        Assess Your Multiple Intelligences with Pathways to Learning

·        Assess Your Style of Interaction with the Personality Spectrum

How Can You Use Your Self-knowledge?

·        Learn to Work with Different Teaching Styles

·        Make Smart Study Choices

Think Creatively: Connect with an Instructor

Think Practically: Link How You Learn to Coursework and Major

·        Use Technology that Works with your Learning Style

·        Transfer Self-knowledge to the Workplace

Quick Skill Building


Chapter 4 Critical, Creative, and Practical Thinking: Solving Problems and Making Decisions            

Quick Check: How Developed Are Your Thinking Skills?

Why Is It Important to Ask and Answer Questions?

How Can You Improve Critical Thinking Skills?

·        Gather Information

·        Break Information Into Parts

·        Examine and Evaluate

·        Make Connections

How Can You Improve Creative Thinking Skills?

Think Critically: Analyze a Statement

·        Brainstorm

·        Try a New Approach

Think Creatively: Consider Where Risk May Take You

How Can You Improve Practical Thinking Skills?

§         Put Emotional Intelligence to Work

Think Practically: Think Through a Decision

§         Take Action

How Can You Solve Problems and Make Decisions Effectively?

·        Solve a Problem

·        Make a Decision

Quick Skill Building    


Chapter 5 Reading and Information Literacy: Learning from Print and Online Materials

Quick Check: How Developed Are Your Reading and Information Literacy Skills?

What Sets You Up for Reading Comprehension?

§         Take an Active and Positive Approach

§         Organize Your Study Area for Maximum Focus

§         Expand Your Course Vocabulary

How Can You Respond Critically to What You Read?

·        Focus on Important Information

·        Ask Questions to Evaluate Arguments

Think Critically: Examine Your Response to Internet Research

How Can SQ3R Help You Own What You Read?

·        Step 1: Survey

Think Practically: Use Step 2 to Get a Step Ahead on Your Homework

·        Step 2: Question

·        Step 3: Read

·        Step 4: Recite

·        Step 5: Review

Think Practically: Use Step 2 to Get a Step Ahead on Your Homework

How Can You Be an Information Literate Reader and Researcher?

Think Creatively: Broaden Your Searching

·        Map Out the Possibilities

·        Conduct an Information SEarch

·        Be a Critical Internet Searcher

Quick Skill Building  


Chapter 6 Listening and Note Taking: Taking In and Recording Information

Quick Check: How Developed Are Your Listening and Note Taking Skills?

How Can You Become a Better Listener?

·        Issue #1: Distractions that Divide Your Attention

·        Issue #2: Listening Lapses

·        Issue #3: Rushing to Judgment

·        Issue #4: Partial Hearing Loss and Learning Disabilities

·        Issue #5: Comprehension Difficulties for ESOL Students

Think Critically: Take an Active Listening Challenge

How Can You Improve Your Note-Taking Skills?

·        Step #1: Prepare

·        Step #2: Record Information During Class

Think Creatively: Bring Something New to Note Taking

·        Step #3: Review and Revise Your Notes

What Note-Taking Systems Can You Use?

·        Outlines

·        Cornell T-note System

·        Think Links

·        Charting Method

·        Other Visual Strategies

Think Practically: Try a New Note-Taking System

Quick Skill Building



Chapter 7        Memory and Studying: Retaining What You Learn

Quick Check: How Developed Are Your Memory and Studying Skills?

How Does Memory Work?

§         The Information Processing Model of Memory

§         Why You Forget

Think Critically: Analyze Your Memory Skills

How Can You Remember What You Study?

§         When, Where, and Who: Choosing Your Best Setting

§         What and Why: Evaluating Study Materials

§         How: Using Study Strategies

Think Creatively: Focus Despite Frustration

Think Practically: Plan a Study Session

How Can Mnemonic Devices Boost Recall?

Think Practically: Plan a Study Session

·        Create Visual Images and Associations

·        Create Acronyms

·        Use Songs or Rhymes

What Strategies Can Make Studying for Test Day a Success?

·        Create a Summary of Reading Material

·        Combine Class and Reading Notes into a Master Set

Quick Skill Building


Chapter 8        Test Taking: Showing What You Know

Quick Check: How Developed Are Your Test-Taking Skills?

How Can Preparation Improve Test Performance?

·        Identify Where and How the Test Will Be Given

·        Create a Study Schedule and Checklist

·        Review Using Reading and Studying Strategies

·        Make and Take a Pretest

·        Prepare for Final Exams

·        Prepare Physically

Think Critically: Analyze Test Anxiety

How Can You Work Through Test Anxiety?

§         Prepare Well and Have a Positive Attitude

§         Test Time Strategies

What General Strategies Can Help You Succeed on Tests?

How Can You Master Different Types of Test Questions?

·        Objective Questions

·        Subjective Questions

Think Creatively: Create Your Own Test

What Can You Learn from Test Mistakes?

Think Practically: Create and Use and Organized Study Plan

                        Quick Skill Building




Chapter 9        Diversity and Communication: Making Relationships Work

Quick Check: How Developed are your Cultural Competency, Communication, and Relationship Skills?

How Can You Develop Cultural Competence?

§         Action #1: Value Diversity

§         Action #2: Identify and Evaluate Personal Perceptions and Attitudes

§         Action #3: Be Aware of What Happens When Cultures Interact

§         Action #4: Build Cultural Knowledge

Think Critically: Analyze the Effects of Diversity

§         Action #5: Adapt to Diverse Cultures

Think Creatively: Discover Hidden Diversity

How Can You Communicate Effectively?

§         Adjust to Communication Styles

§         Know How to Give and Take Criticism

§         Manage Conflict

§         Manage Anger

Think Practically: Manage Technology Use

How Do You Make The Most of Personal Relationships?

§         Use Positive Relationship Strategies

§         Plug into Communication Technology Without Losing Touch

§         Avoid Destructive Relationships

Quick Skill Building


  Chapter 10      Wellness and Stress Management: Staying Healthy in Mind and Body Quick Check: How Developed Are You Stress Management and Wellness Skills?

How Can You Manage Stress?

§         Manage Stress by Managing Time

§         Eat Right

§         Get Exercise

§         Get Enough Sleep

§         Address Mental Health Issues

Think Critically: Analyze Your Sleep Habits

Think Creatively: Reach Out for Support

How Can You Make Effective Decisions about Substances?

§         Alcohol

§         Drugs

§         Tobacco

§         Facing Addiction

How Can You Make Smart Decisions about Sex?

Think Practically: Evaluate Your Substance Use

§         Birth Control

§         AIDS and HIV

Quick Skill Building



Chapter 11      Managing Money: Living Within Your Means

                        Quick Check: How Developed Are Your Money Management Skills?

                        What Does Money Mean in Your Life?

§         How You Perceive and Use Money

§         Needs vs. Wants

How Can You Create and Use a Budget?

Think Critically: Analyze Your View of Money

§         Figure Out What You Earn

§         Figure Out What You Spend

§         Evaluate the Difference

§         Adjust Expenses or Earnings

§         Juggle Work and School

Think Creatively: Find Ways to Spend Less

How Can You Make the Most of Financial Aid?

§         Know What Aid is Available

§         Apply for Aid

§         Think Critically About Aid

What Will Help You Use Credit Cards Wisely?

§         How Credit Cards Work

§         Look for Credit Pitfalls

§         Manage Credit Card Debt

§         Build a Good Credit Score

Think Practically: Map Out Your Budget

Quick Skill Building    


Chapter 12 Careers and More: Building a Successful Future

Quick Check: How Ready Are You for Career and Life Success?

How Can You Prepare for Career Success?

§         Consider Your Personality and Strengths

§         Be Strategic

§         Build Knowledge and Experience

Think Critically: Analyze How Hard Work Relates to Success

§         Investigate Career Paths

§         Know What Employers Want

§         Expect Change

Think Creatively: Look at Careers “Out of the Box”

How Can You Conduct an Effective Job Search?

·        Use Available Resources

·        Use an Organized, Consistent Strategy

How Will What You’ve Learned in This Course Bring Success?

§         Lifelong Learning and the Growth Mindset

§         Flexibility Helps You Land On Your Feet         

                        How Can You Create and Live Your Personal Mission?

Think Practically: Fill In Your 21st Century Skills “Resume”

                        Quick Skill Building

Features & benefits

Length – less than half of traditional student success texts.

  • Ease of use, especially with one-credit courses.

Critical/Creative/Practical Thinking Focus - "Think Analytically. Think Creatively. Think Practically" features appear within every chapter.

  • Students build a comprehensive set of thinking skills that prepares them to achieve goals successfully. Students apply these skills in the context of each chapter’s material. An end-of-chapter exercise synthesizes all three skills. (Applications appear in every chapter).

"Quick Check" Self-assessments.

  • Students preview each chapter’s material while getting a sense of where they feel they are “at” with the material. Additionally, a motivation-focused self-assessment appears in chapter 1 and is revisited in chapter 12. (At the beginning of each chapter (motivation assessment in chapters 1 and 12).

Revamped, brain-based coverage of memory

  • Students gain a greater understanding of how their brains take in information and remember it, and with this understanding a better grasp of how to retain information. Memory strategies are presented more clearly and organized more logically. (Chapter 7)

Motivation coverage is early.

  • Information about how you can grow your brain with effort and focus is inspirational to students.  (Chapter 1, context in all chapters)

Mindset - emphasized in the context of Career and Money.

  • Discussion of fixed/growth mindset and internal/external locus of control gives students a greater understanding of motivation and how to self-motivate.  Separate chapter on Money (Ch 11) and a one on Careers (Ch 12).  The Money chapter includes current information on Credit Cards, FAFSA, and Student Loans (including new provisions passed in the Health Care Bill—assuming it passes).  It builds awareness of NEEDs v. WANTs and an awareness of spending habits and strategies that students can apply to their personal lives. 

Emphasis on questioning

  • Students increase their ability to inquire and to investigate. Students build an understanding of the value of asking questions and get more into the habit of doing it themselves in college and elsewhere. (Chapter objectives in question form appear at the beginning of each chapter.  Discussion of questioning in chapters 1 and 4.)

Exercise variety

  • Even with this streamlined text, students have an opportunity to build their skills in several ways. Three exercises in each chapter allow students to practice and apply skills discussed in the chapter: “Think Critically” “Think Creatively,” and “Think Practically.”  “Think Back” at the end of each chapter provides a straightforward review of chapter material in a guided notes format. Then, students are asked to review using different study strategies in each chapter to further retention for all types of learners. “Quick Skill Building” end-of-chapter activities includes a Multiple Intelligence In Action activity (beginning with Ch. 3) and a culminating end-of-chapter exercise that synthesizes what students have learned. Additionally, each chapter gives students the chance to build a personal portfolio item. (“Think” exercises are within each chapter; “Think Back,” and “Quick Skill Building” activities are at the end of each chapter. A portfolio icon signals the activity that offers a portfolio option.)


MyStudentSuccessLab ( is an online solution designed to help students ‘Start strong, Finish stronger’ by building skills for ongoing personal and professional development. This Learning Outcome based technology promotes student engagement through:

·          The Learning Path Diagnostic offers for the course, 83 Full Course Pre- and Post-Diagnostic (Bloom’s Taxonomy Levels I-VI) questions, and for each topic, 20 Pre- and Post-Test (Bloom’s Taxonomy Levels I-VI) questions.

·          The Overview provides learning objectives to build vocabulary and repetition.

·          Video interviews on key issues ‘by students, for students’.

·          The Practice exercises improve class preparation and learning. 

·          Graded Activities build critical thinking skills and develop problem-solving abilities (includes Essays and Journaling).

·          Instructors benefit from an Implementation Guide to easily assign and assess progress. 

·          Students have access to relevant FinishStronger247 YouTube videos, the Pearson student Facebook page chock full of tips, MySearchLab use for doing effective research, and more.


PearsonChoices - CourseSmart and Custom Publishing.  Having choices for how to deliver course content is important.

·    CourseSmart Textbooks Online is an exciting new choice for students looking to save money. As an alternative to purchasing the print textbook, students can subscribe to the same content online and save up to 50% off the suggested list price of the print text. With a CourseSmart e-textbook, students can search the text, make notes online, print out reading assignments that incorporate lecture notes, and bookmark important passages for later review. For more information, or to subscribe, visit  

·    Pearson Custom Publishing allows professors to create their own professionally produced customized textbooks and media products to best complement their course. We offer high-quality content, professional design, quick production, and reliable on-time delivery. The result is a valuable textbook that students will use, cover to cover, tailored to meet exactly the needs of the professor, students, and course.  Visit


Author biography

Carol Carter was a C student in high school. During her senior year, she got a wake-up call when her brother told her that she had intelligence, but she wouldn’t go far in life unless she believed in herself enough to work hard. She began college knowing she was “behind the eight ball” in terms of her skills. What she lacked in experience, she made up for with elbow grease and persistence. She maximized her strength as an interpersonal and intrapersonal learner. The work paid off and she graduated college with honors and a desire to help other students.

            Carol is committed to helping students turn on their brains, get motivated, and discover their abilities. As President of her own company, LifeBound, she teaches study, interpersonal, and career skills to middle school and high school students in order to help them become competitive in today’s global world. She trains and certifies coaches in academic coaching skills, and focuses on at-risk students with her volunteer teaching at the federal prison and her LifeBound work in the Denver housing projects. “All students are at-risk for something whether it is academic, emotional, social, or economic,” says Carol. “If each of us is allowed to be human and accept our flaws, we can overcome our limitations and be the best for ourselves and others.” 

            Carol also speaks on educational topics nationally and internationally, and is pictured here with some students at the Aziza Schoolhouse in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  Her first book, Majoring in the Rest of Your Life, launched her writing career and opened the door to her work on the Keys to Success series.


Joyce Bishop has taught college students for more than 22 years.  After struggling with a learning disability as a student, she focused on her visual and logical-mathematical learning abilities and went on to earn a PhD in psychology. Right now, she is in her dream job as staff development coordinator at Golden West College while still teaching three classes.  She enjoys training other faculty in effective teaching and learning strategies and also in how to teach online.  For 5 years Joyce was voted “favorite teacher,” she was Teacher of the Year for 1995 and 2000, and in 2008 received the Hayward Award, a state teaching award.

Joyce co-founded a program 19 years ago for poor young women from abusive backgrounds. Since that time, the Pathways to Independence nonprofit foundation has sent 255 young women to college, and 195 have graduated into gainful employment.  For these young women coming from challenging backgrounds such as prison, extreme poverty, abuse, or psychological disorders, Joyce has been their champion. This photo is of Joyce with one of the Pathways graduates, Valerie, who obtained her degree in nursing and is now working at a major university hospital as a pediatric nurse.  “It is so inspiring to see what these young women do with their lives,” says Joyce, “once they know that they can do anything.”


Sarah Lyman Kravits lives the strategies for success she writes about. As an author and mother of three children ages 11, 9, and 5, she faces the challenges of managing time and fulfilling responsibilities (not to mention eating right and getting enough sleep).  In her writing and research, she works to stay creative and keep up with technology and the growth of knowledge.  In her work with colleagues all over the country, she strives for integrity, effective communication, productive teamwork, and flexibility. Finally, in her current role as a breast cancer patient, she uses goal achievement and stress management strategies every day to get through a host of new and unexpected challenges.           

            Unlike Carol and Joyce, Sarah thrived in school from an early age based on her strength in verbal-linguistic and logical-mathematical learning. A few years after graduating from the University of Virginia as a Jefferson Scholar, she worked as program director for LifeSkills, Inc., a nonprofit organization that aims to further the career and personal development of high school students.  This work led her into co-authoring her first student success text and the realization she was driven to empower students to reach their goals.  “Lifelong learning is the essential success skill,” says Sarah. “Learning gives you a chance to go beyond just thinking about your dreams so that you can make them happen.”