The Only Study Guide You’ll Ever Need: Book Overview

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The Only Study Guide You'll Ever Need" by Jade Bowler. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What is The Only Study Guide You’ll Ever Need by Jade Bowler about? What are the main takeaways of the book?

The pressure to succeed in school often makes young people chronically overwhelmed and causes them to struggle. However, in The Only Study Guide You’ll Ever Need, Jade Bowler explains that school doesn’t have to be this way.

Read below for a brief overview of The Only Study Guide You’ll Ever Need.

The Only Study Guide You’ll Ever Need by Jade Bowler

In The Only Study Guide You’ll Ever Need, Jade Bowler explains that many students struggle in school due to the overwhelming pressure to get good grades while also managing extracurricular, familial, and social obligations. Overwhelmed students can develop issues that negatively impact their performance, like fear of failure, lack of motivation, and procrastination. However, Bowler argues that school doesn’t have to be this way. If students learn how to effectively manage their mindset, study habits, and time, they can minimize their stress and live a balanced life while excelling in school.

Bowler is a YouTuber and content creator, commonly known by her handle “UnJaded Jade,” whose content focuses on study techniques and academic success. She began her YouTube channel in 2017 and helped to pioneer “StudyTube”: a YouTube genre that discusses how to improve your study techniques and productivity so you can excel in school. In 2019, Bowler co-founded the podcast The Wooden Spoon, which discusses what success looks like—especially in the “real world” after graduating from school. The Only Study Guide Youll Ever Need is her debut book, published in 2021 during her time studying at Minerva University.

Part 1: Manage Your Mindset

Bowler explains that to perform well in school, your first step is to prioritize having a healthy mindset. The health of your mindset is determined by how positively you think, feel, and act. A healthy mindset is crucial to academic success because unhealthy mindsets result in thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that hinder success. 

In Bowler’s experience, the most common symptom of a negative mindset is the fear of failure, which often leads to lack of motivation and procrastination. She explains that the fear of failure makes students either overwork themselves in the pursuit of perfection or avoid academic work altogether due to the anxiety it causes. Fear of failure often leads to a lack of motivation: students having no desire to study, either because they’re uninterested in or have given up on academic success. A lack of motivation usually stems from either a student’s negative beliefs about their ability to succeed or from a genuine lack of interest in the academic material. A lack of motivation usually leads to procrastination—when students ignore or delay their work.

Bowler makes a couple recommendations to help students develop a healthy mindset, overcome fear of failure, boost motivation, and avoid procrastination.

  1. Develop a growth mindset
  2. Identify your end goals and make school interesting

Part 2: Study Effectively and Productively

Once you’ve adjusted your mindset and have a positive outlook on school and your ability to succeed, Bowler says that it’s time to start studying. She elaborates that studying effectively means maximizing productivity—getting the most work done, or developing the deepest understanding of the material you can, in as little time as possible. 

(Shortform note: In Deep Work, Cal Newport explains that the key to learning difficult things quickly and maximizing your output (in Bowler’s context, studying productively) is to do deep work—focused, uninterrupted, undistracted work that pushes your cognitive abilities to their limit.)To maximize the productivity of your study time, Bowler explains that you must first understand how your brain learns. Then, you must adopt study techniques that work with your brain.

Part 3: Make a Schedule

In this final part of the guide, we’ll discuss the importance of making a schedule. Bowler claims that scheduling will ensure you’re making the best use of your time, helping you accomplish your schoolwork while maintaining free time for extracurricular and non-academic activities. Her scheduling method will help you identify your priorities, allot blocks of time to complete important tasks, and determine which study techniques will optimize your learning. 

(Shortform note: In Eat That Frog!, Brian Tracy reiterates the importance of scheduling, citing the 10/90 rule as evidence: spending 10% of your time on a task planning it (for instance, by prioritizing it, scheduling it, and determining how you’ll complete it) will reduce the time required to complete it by 90%.)

Bowler’s method for making a schedule can be broken into four steps:

  1. List your obligations
  2. Make plans
  3. Prioritize your tasks and plans
  4. Schedule your tasks
The Only Study Guide You’ll Ever Need: Book Overview

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Jade Bowler's "The Only Study Guide You'll Ever Need" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full The Only Study Guide You'll Ever Need summary:

  • Why school doesn't have to be chronically overwhelming
  • How students can manage their mindset, study habits, and time
  • Science-backed time management and study techniques to help you ace your exams

Katie Doll

Somehow, Katie was able to pull off her childhood dream of creating a career around books after graduating with a degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. Her preferred genre of books has changed drastically over the years, from fantasy/dystopian young-adult to moving novels and non-fiction books on the human experience. Katie especially enjoys reading and writing about all things television, good and bad.

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