Cram 101 College Textbook Outlines and Review Books Suck!

cram 101 marketing textbook outline sucks

Cram 101 textbook outlines is a complete waste of money and will not help you with studying or test scores!


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.

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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.

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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.

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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!


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14 Responses to Cram 101 College Textbook Outlines and Review Books Suck!

  1. legpieslamen on June 22, 2010 at 2:20 AM

    You are actually right, I bought one of these Cram 101 review books and it was terrible. I have never seen so poor of a review book in my life. Just go online to Amazon or one of the other websites, and like you stated above, go and find a better review book and save a few bucks by getting one that’s a year or two older – there’s really no difference between the additions as long as they are within the last 10 years of a review book.

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  2. Hanna Kue on July 24, 2010 at 11:24 AM

    I agree. I used one of the Cram series study guides and actually did worse on the next test then on the previous one. Their guides are terrible. I like Wiley published review guides.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  3. Aaron Brooks on January 22, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    Yep, I agree. This is my email to them:
    I bought your Outlines and Highlights for Abnormal Psychology by Richard Halgin, and it is like you ran a finger through the book and picked out words, which you then gave any random definition for. An example is “scale” which is of no importance and you gave 37 different definitions for it. I am surprised you do not request payment in bananas seeing how many monkeys work there. At least your poor product gives me hope in capitalism, can’t wait to see your company go under.

    Aaron Brooks

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  4. George K-L on February 4, 2011 at 1:41 PM

    I tried to order an Igneous and Metamorphic used textbook online and they sent me this piece of crap which is just a dictionary with not nearly as many words. Now it’s too late to get the other textbook I actually ordered and I have to return this goddamn thing to Cole’s and I don’t even have a car. Crappy book. Notes and simplistic definitions.

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  5. Jose on July 8, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    Wow, that is great. If I can use Cram101 and score a B, I’m there. Thanks.

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  6. jodee on August 23, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    I have never seen such a waste of paper! This was my email to them:
    I just purchased this book online, thinking that I would be able to use it in conjunction with the text itself. I was so wrong and extremely disappointed. I do not have the text yet, but have been looking through this “study guide” and it is very evident that the author of this book did not have any knowledge of Special Education. In Special Education, there are many acronyms, one of which you have clearly defined in the dictionary. The term IDEA is not an “idea”. It stands for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. If this had been taken directly from the text, I highly doubt that the real author would have defined it in such a manner. If your company plans to continue selling these, please be aware of this terrible mistake and consider hiring experts in the field in which the book is being summarized.

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  7. JD on August 31, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    For you
    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. HE GOT A B!!! STILL A PASSING GRADES!!!!!

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  8. B Rosin on September 2, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    If you read the back cover it says to go to their website for practice tests. I got an A on my last biology test after taking 5 chapter tests the night before the first exam. I did’nt even buy the textbook yet. I hate biology

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  9. CMc on September 13, 2011 at 1:04 AM

    @ B Rosin….the sad part is that on their website you then have to pay by chapter or by the month to access those tests AFTER you already purchased a book

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  10. Tyler on September 14, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    I wish I had read this before I bought a Cram101 Textbook Outlines for “Object – Oriented Software Engineering by Stephen R. Schach”. The cram101 book is a deliberate deception. It includes the real book’s chapter table of contents and prints them in order above each page, but on the pages are a bunch of randomly ordered definitions of software related terms, not even mentioned in the book! It’s a deliberate scam to get you to pay at the website.

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