Book Review: College Major Quizzes

Book Review: College Major Quizzes
  • Opening Intro -

    Choosing a college major has important ramifications for students.

    Certainly, a college major can be changed once one has been selected, but the consequences – lost time and greater cost – should not be minimized by the student.


Consider your interests, skills, values and personality when selecting a college major.

Getting it right from the start can help students finish college on time, save money and prove satisfying. To help students reach this place of discovering which college programs are best, John J. Liptak of Radford University has written “College Major Quizzes,” a book that provides 12 simple tests designed to bring clarity and certainty to the career selection process.

Matriculation Challenges

College students aren’t usually required to matriculate until their sophomore or junior year, a process that identifies their college major. This allows students to get required courses out of the way and to get a feel for the college learning process. Many students, however, want to nail down their college major first as that decision may have everything to do with the university they have chosen to attend. Or other pressures can be a factor.

As you might imagine, there is a great deal of anxiety in choosing a college major. Get it right the first time and you can concentrate on your studies and work toward a timely graduation. Make a mistake and you’ll have to switch majors, take extra classes to make up for the loss and quite possibly delay your graduation. With college expenses through the roof, making a mistake can cost families thousands of dollars in extra tuition.

Taking Quizzes

Liptak’s quizzes seek to alleviate that anxiety by carefully walking students through the college major selection process. His book is aimed toward assisting the current college student who has yet to decide on a major, but is feeling pressured to do so. Dealing with anxiety is the first matter Liptak addresses and that is a good thing – by helping students understand their feelings, he provides tools to help them manage this stress by focusing on the present, by remaining positive and through using various relaxation techniques including exercise and listening to music.

The 12 quizzes are found at the end of each chapter, but there are numerous preparation questions offered to help students get ready to take these quizzes. For example, in chapter 5 – clarify your skills – students can take a skills inventory first, which is useful to help them identify what their innate talents are. Much like any assessment test, students choose an answer based on four choices: very skilled, somewhat skilled, poorly skilled or not skilled, not applicable. There are 16 subsections or career clusters, enabling students to offer a score for each. From there, the top five career clusters become evident, helping students to find which majors they’ll probably be good at and like.

General Categories

As students contemplate their choices, “College Major Quizzes” offers an appendix of college major descriptions. This is helpful as students will quickly understand their bent and will want an idea of where they are headed. Categories such as Finance and Insurance, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Transportation, Distribution and Logistics, and Health Sciences are provided, with each one listing multiple college majors. For example, Health Sciences offers 30 college majors including Physician Assistant, Dietitics, Veterinary and Public Health. Brief descriptions of each is offered; further research online can help students learn more.

Will students discover a college major that is right for them after completing the quizzes? They should or at least narrow that list to two or three majors, each one that is right for them. And that can certainly help any student who is in the dark about college and needs some guidance on what direction to take next, a critical factor in any decision-making process.

Resource: Liptak, John. College Major Quizzes. 1st ed. Indianapolis: JIST Works, 2011. Print.

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Categories: Book Reviews