By Matthew Saunders
“Guaranteed 4.0,” an organization that has built a reputation on better study habits, visited Cal Poly Pomona on Friday.
“Guaranteed 4.0” Founder and President Donna Johnson led the seminar. Her promise to students was that if a student did not receive a 4.0 grade point average by the end of the quarter by following her instructions, she would give that student $100. Johnson has conducted these seminars for over 25 years. She has a 100 percent success rate, and has yet to write a single check to any failing student.
Johnson divided her “Guaranteed 4.0” program into three subcategories: managing your time, managing your stress and “The Guaranteed 3 Steps”: go to class, see your professor at least once each week and follow the steps for academic success.
Everyone in attendance received a workbook to take notes in while Johnson lectured. Johnson was very effective throughout her lecture, engaging her audience and keeping all the students entertained throughout the presentation.
Johnson put many details in her steps for success. She also emphasized how crucial it is to attend class every day. Johnson said that the most obvious reasons are that the students are paying for it, and important and crucial information is discussed each day in class, which presents opportunities to learn even more.
“I though Donna was a really good speaker,” said fourth-year business student Bob Bralley. “Her seminar was very interesting, and brought up a lot of good points. She threw $20 in the trash to show the importance of going to class every day, and I thought that was a very effective example.”
Johnson also touched on the importance of weekly meetings with professors. These meetings give students firsthand information from their instructors, who are important to a student’s success.
One of the biggest points Johnson stressed was time management. Johnson urged students to use their time wisely. Johnson claimed a 45-hour study session could be cut down to 25 hours with her bullet point system.
Johnson’s bullet point system is geared towards becoming familiar with the terms of the book, rather than teaching yourself the material. She urges that roughly between 30 and 50 percent of the textbook is “important information,” meaning it could be potentially be on a future exam.
“I was skeptical about it as first, but she brings up a lot of useful information,” said Bralley. “What she said was rare and inspiring information that works. It doesn’t just work for one person or just me. It works for everyone.”
Fourth-year aerospace engineering student Shehan Kahanda agreed.
“Her seminar was very informative,” said Kahanda. “She had a strict guideline. She wanted us to take bullet points in class and review them after class. In addition, she wanted us to meet with our all of our professors twice a week.”
Johnson kept the attention of her audience with her high energy level and rhetorical questions. She would often ask questions to engage her audience, such as, “Who would want to get a 4.0 GPA?!”
Johnson gave her audience useful information that they could take with them through the rest of their academic journeys.
Johnson used past examples to demonstrate how effective her program was by using past stories. She claimed once that she was close to giving $100 to a student that followed her program and received a 3.9 GPA. He later revealed that he did not follow every step, and that disqualified him for the money.
Johnson travels around the country, teaching the same seminar to help students achieve their academic goals. She developed this system when she was in school and had limited studying time due to working outside of school. She claims anyone can get a 4.0 GPA with her system, despite his or her situation. She aims to help as many willing students as possible in the future.
Johnson has presented at CPP several times in the last few years.
Michael Torres / The Poly Post
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