I recently had taken a course in marketing at my local state college. Apparently the teacher was a great professor and very interesting to listen to in class but they gave these really hard tests with an awful lot of information that you had to study for and know for them. I have used review books in the past from various manufacturers or publishers and have had good results from them, so I decided to go this route with this class.
So I went onto Amazon.com and I found a review book on sale for four dollars plus $3.99 shipping. It was the Cram 101 textbook outline for the marketing text book by Kerin and Berkowitz ninth edition. I was looking forward to using this text review book and focusing on what the most important aspects of the course would be and what I would be tested on.
When it came I was happy until I opened it up and saw that all it was was definitions of all the terms in every chapter with a blank page opposite it for notes. That was it. There were no questions or sample tests. It only took a few minutes to realize that this study guide absolutely sucked. Anyone worth their weight in salt knows that not every single term will be tested on and not all terms are equally important.
What I was looking for here was to find what overall would be the most important ideas, terms and concepts so that I could focus on those. I didn’t want a verbatim of every single term and a quick definition for it. Yes, some of these terms did end up on the tests inevitably but the majority of questions my professor asked were concept questions and not straightforward definitions.
There were no diagrams nor was there really any decent review in this review book. It wasn’t really even an outline it was just a list of all terms with the definition after each. That was it. So to give it a fair try even though I thought it sucked, I and a friend of mine ordered one more study guide and this one was the actual study guide from the publisher of the textbook we were using in class. To save $30 on it we bought the previous 8th edition review book rather than the current 9th edition. We got it for seven dollars shipping included from Half.com.
I used the eighth edition review book from the publisher and my friend used the Cram 101 textbook outline to study for these tests. We were both solid A students. I had a 3.9 GPA and he had a 3.7. And we routinely got similar test grades in all the classes we took together. The outcome of my using the one study guide and his using the cram 101 series was astounding. My test grades were between 92.5 and 95/100 and his routinely were about 10 points to 15 points or more lower. That is a very marked difference.
I found with the publishers study guide that I was well-prepared for each and every test and always did well. Obviously my friend got the short end of the stick with the cram 101 textbook outlines. He said if it weren’t for the fact we were trying the different review books out against one another that he would’ve immediately switched off to the same study guide that I had. In his own words he said that the cram 101 textbook outlines were a complete waste of time. They made the definitions a little easier to find but that’s it.
Basically, from this you should take the idea that Cram 101 textbook outlines should be completely avoided. There are far better review books out there and many of them are available at the same price or cheaper!