Racing Towards Excellence by Muzaffar Khan and Jan Sramek

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Quick background on the authors

Muzaffar Khan
Muzaffar Khan, worked for Citi, BarCap, Moore Capital, and was a Consultant for Man Eco (subsidiary of Man Group).

Jan Sramek
Somewhat of a prodigy in the UK.
Olympic hopeful in handball, and achieved 10 A's and 3 Distinctions at A level before studying Maths in Cambridge. Switched to LSE to study Econ and Maths at the start of year 2, so he could work part/full time at hedge funds during his studies, during which he also accumulated a rumored PS100,000 in scholarships. Interned in various banks and hedge funds during his time at university while maintaining 4 startups. He's due to start on the Goldman Sachs Emerging Markets trading desk next week, after turning down various other banks and hedge funds which headhunted him, including various top HFs and prop desks in BBs.

About the book (Copied from book description and not my own words)
"
Racing Towards Excellence takes a pragmatic approach to outperformance and seeks to bridge the gap between school, university and employment by deconstructing the things that drive you.

By considering your analytical and esoteric driving forces in a well defined and intuitive framework, the book provides the tools that you need to analyse your own behaviour and use the areas in which you excel to nurture the areas in which you want to improve.

In demystifying the interrelationship between the abstract and esoteric driving forces and the day-to-day habits that make up our lives, Khan and Sramek show how reconciling success and happiness is the key to outperformance and, more importantly, give you the tools you need to achieve it too.

Co-authored with ex-Chief Strategist of Moore Capital, one of the largest hedge funds in the world and with the Foreword by Sir Howard Davies, Director of LSE, a board member of Morgan Stanley and ex-Chairman of FSA, UK's financial regulator, Racing Towards Excellence is a must read for any aspiring outperformers in academia, finance, business, entrepreneurship, sports or arts.
The book has already received outstanding feedback from senior executives, hedge fund managers, City professionals, students and entrepreneurs.

"

As for reviews on it, I noticed the US Amazon site only has 3 reviews, but there are a lot more reviews on the UK Amazon site, including one from Peter Harrison, a former Executive Director at Goldman Sachs. Link to UK Amazon reviews is below
http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/0956256600...
Order it on
Amazon US http://tinyurl.com/rte-order-us Amazon UK http://tinyurl.com/rte-order

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Comments (35)

Jul 5, 2009

Frankly, this is too commercial a post for this site; you are, IMO, simply promoting a book of a friend. Please explain to me why I shouldn't delete this thread.

Jul 5, 2009

How do you know Jan? :s

Jul 5, 2009

http://younoodle.com/people/jan_sramek
Looks like a douchebag. Yet another in the long line of overpromoting, "boy wonder", finance wannabes.

Jul 5, 2009

Uh, so the kid has a high GPA at Cambridge? Sweet. I'm cum laude from a target and don't look like a douchebag. I win.

Plus I worked for MBB, did a sophomore stint at one BB, a junior summer at another BB, etc. I had offers to work for a variety of sweet buyside places (I am one of the few people who had trading experience and also did MBB, which are on opposite sides of the spectrum).

I also played football in high school. High school football > olympic caliber handball. Because handball is super lame, you might as well do curling (which is actually pretty funny to watch).

Also I guarantee I party more. No one runs shit at Joshua Tree like me.

My point is : Am I remarkable? Not at all. I don't even consider myself very bright. I'm fairly mediocre but happened to do well on the SATs. Plenty of people on this board are more remarkable than me.

I just hate these lame people pushing lame books, I went to a school were so many kids did this and it gets so old.

Jul 6, 2009
big unit:

Uh, so the kid has a high GPA at Cambridge? Sweet. I'm cum laude from a target and don't look like a douchebag. I win.

Plus I worked for MBB, did a sophomore stint at one BB, a junior summer at another BB, etc. I had offers to work for a variety of sweet buyside places (I am one of the few people who had trading experience and also did MBB, which are on opposite sides of the spectrum).

I also played football in high school. High school football > olympic caliber handball. Because handball is super lame, you might as well do curling (which is actually pretty funny to watch).

Also I guarantee I party more. No one runs shit at Joshua Tree like me.

My point is : Am I remarkable? Not at all. I don't even consider myself very bright. I'm fairly mediocre but happened to do well on the SATs. Plenty of people on this board are more remarkable than me.

I just hate these lame people pushing lame books, I went to a school were so many kids did this and it gets so old.

I think a lot of it comes from the fact he had 10 A's at A level, even I will admit that is super impressive. (most people take 3 or 4 A levels and are lucky if they scrape 3 B's.

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Jul 5, 2009

By the way, nothing against Jan personally. I was trying to be funny. I'm sure he's a great, bright kid. Its just that people who take themselves too seriously often irritate me.

Also, I am confused by the posting of as a new thread? Are one of these authors a moderator on the site or something? In which case, congrats on the new book and thanks for a fun website.

Jul 6, 2009

Right, I mean the thing is, I know tons of people summa/magna cum laude Harvard, Yale, Princeton and other good schools that are targets like Wharton, Columbia, Duke, Michigan, etc. All of those schools are as good or better (or at least in the same range) as places like Cambridge, Oxford, LSE, etc.

I actually went to study abroad at LSE, which I think is where the dude went, and I didn't find it was too hard to get good grades (3.6 GPA for the semester, while basically raging in England and hitting on Russian chicks who lived in my complex).

All I'm saying is that getting good grades, good internships, and having a blog about yourself doesn't make you that out of the ordinary. He's not a genius or anything - he studied a lot more than his fellow classmates. Now, getting a analyst position at GS is sick. But hundreds of people do it every year...why is he unique? Because he sold some book and his friend is hustling it on WSO posters?
Also

Jul 6, 2009

So... Jan's little bumchum has appeared once again. Going to sully any more forums with this filth brown_bateman?

Jul 8, 2009

I'd just like to say Jan is a good guy and is without hesitation an exceptional person, he has achieved a lot and while it's easy for a lot of people to say "well anyone could do that", very few people have the motivation to actually go and do it.

You guy's shouldn't rag on someone you don't know, it's childish and tbh, if you don't like it, don't post here. Just browsing through his linkedin page, it's fairly obvious he has achieved a lot.

"Banking - It is what it is"

Jul 8, 2009

I'm not belittling him, just pointing out he really isn't that exceptional to the point where people should want to read his words. He's never even made top bucket as an analyst.

Anyways, a kid who sits in his room and does drugs all day and manages to get a 175 on his LSAT is intellectually more impressive to me than someone who does actual productive things and gets high scores on A-levels (whatever these are...are they like AP tests for real life or something?).

Further, like I said, I know many cum laude people from top schools who work at jobs just as great as him, I just don't find him particularly remarkable.

Also, the other guy seems pretty legit. Anyways, since the first post on this thread seemed to be written by the author or a close friend its worth criticizing/contrasting the cock sucking.

Jul 8, 2009

Also his linkedin profile or whatever that was posted above makes him seem like such a tool. I'd rather read a book from a mediocre non-tool than a driven tool. I'm sure he's a nice guy (or insert some generic way to make myself not seem too harsh here).

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Jul 8, 2009

Aleksy Vayner Part II! You should have made it clear in the original post that this kid just graduated from college last month. He's qualified to write an essay about networking. That's about it. Anyone who has gone to an Ivy League school would not find him that impressive or even consider reading a book about him. What's the point at interning at 4 BBs? How is that better than interning at 1? It just shows that he has nothing better to do with his time at college. I have no idea what an A level class is but if it is equivalent/easier than AP, then once again not that impressive. Anyone who would talk about high school classes after graduating from college is not a cool or successful guy.

"Aside from the gastronomic pleasures of life, I enjoy 'racing against myself'."

Hahaha

Jul 8, 2009

Olympic hopeful in handball, and achieved 10 A's and 3 Distinctions at A level before studying Maths in Cambridge.

I am not familar with British High Schooling? Did he achieve in highschool or at LSE? If this is his high school GPA, then how did he do in LSE? Just curious.

Jul 8, 2009

So is getting an A level similar to getting a 750+ on an SAT 2 subject test?

Jul 8, 2009

Well the co-editor of the book recently committed suicide pending a possible suspension from DB

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-237...

Jul 8, 2009

What a lousy thing to kill yourself over.

Best Response
Jul 8, 2009

Gentlemen-

This is Jan Sramek, one of the authors, speaking.

Where does all this hate come from? Why do so many of you feel the need to critise me without even knowing the difference between A-levels and university? What gives you the confidence to say that I'm a tool without life who must have wasted his time at university to achieve this? Where did I say or imply that I was remarkable, or that I achieved more than you or anyone else?

It is interesting to see that people who actually read the book tend to come back to me and say 'thank you'. Many who haven't even opened it just write the idea off and critize the product itself, without having seen it, or even me, without having ever talked to me.

I have never claimed that my success or achievements 'entitled' me to write a book. I don't think you need to be 'given the right' to write a book, for that matter. I didn't write an autobiography either. If you had spent 30 seconds doing your research before writing a 2 paragraph post about why this book sucks, you would have found that much out.

In fact, there's a number of people amongst you who could, and perhaps have, done the same and written a similar book instead. That's not the point. And no, the book won't change your life if you already have a lot of life experience.

The point is that the book talks about things that young people normally only figure out quite late - when they graduate from college, or even much later, and that they then wish to have known 5 years ago. That's what we tried to do - help everyone avoid this unnecessary confusion and figuring out things in a painful way, and fast forward a few years.

Having mentored the same principles to a number of people over the last two years in my case, and a lot longer in the case of my co-author, we have seen them work. That's when we realized it made sense to put them on paper.

If you are not interested, please move on. But don't critize something, or someone, you know nothing about. It says more about you than about them, and not exactly the sort of things you want to say about yourself.

I will be in NYC for a month from next week, and would be happy to grab a coffee and dispel with this non-sense if you are actually interested.

Have a great summer everyone.
Jan

Jul 8, 2009
Jan:

Gentlemen-

This is Jan Sramek, one of the authors, speaking.

Where does all this hate come from? Why do so many of you feel the need to critise me without even knowing the difference between A-levels and university? What gives you the confidence to say that I'm a tool without life who must have wasted his time at university to achieve this? Where did I say or imply that I was remarkable, or that I achieved more than you or anyone else?

It is interesting to see that people who actually read the book tend to come back to me and say 'thank you'. Many who haven't even opened it just write the idea off and critize the product itself, without having seen it, or even me, without having ever talked to me.

I have never claimed that my success or achievements 'entitled' me to write a book. I don't think you need to be 'given the right' to write a book, for that matter. I didn't write an autobiography either. If you had spent 30 seconds doing your research before writing a 2 paragraph post about why this book sucks, you would have found that much out.

In fact, there's a number of people amongst you who could, and perhaps have, done the same and written a similar book instead. That's not the point. And no, the book won't change your life if you already have a lot of life experience.

The point is that the book talks about things that young people normally only figure out quite late - when they graduate from college, or even much later, and that they then wish to have known 5 years ago. That's what we tried to do - help everyone avoid this unnecessary confusion and figuring out things in a painful way, and fast forward a few years.

Having mentored the same principles to a number of people over the last two years in my case, and a lot longer in the case of my co-author, we have seen them work. That's when we realized it made sense to put them on paper.

If you are not interested, please move on. But don't critize something, or someone, you know nothing about. It says more about you than about them, and not exactly the sort of things you want to say about yourself.

I will be in NYC for a month from next week, and would be happy to grab a coffee and dispel with this non-sense if you are actually interested.

Have a great summer everyone.
Jan

Agree with you. Respect.

Jul 9, 2009

Oh give me a break...

I don't know what all these idiots are going on about with trying to equate the US/UK educational system etc.

I called you a douchebag and said you were the latest in a long line of self-promoting finance wannabes. Maybe the "wannabe" comment is unwarranted given that you are going to be working in finance but I stand by the rest of it.

You being a douchebag - what 21/22/23 year old writes a book about "racing towards excellence" for his peers? I read the free excerpts on Amazon - I don't know if you consider that enough research but I think it's enough to get the basic gist of it. The framework you have is logical and makes sense - unfortunately, it's nothing new or groundbreaking. In fact, it's plain common sense. If there is a 21/22/23 year old out there to who this is new information, they need to be cocksmacked.

You being self-promoting - having scanned hundreds of resumes, as I went through your social networking page (linked above) I instantly thought "Aleksey Vayner". Having some start up experience, I am reasonably sure that some if not all of your startups are aborted weekend projects you did with a couple of friends. The site is still up, you may have a few thousand users, even some revenue, but calling them "start-ups" is like calling Martin Grammatica a "football player" (look him up in Google images). Your test scores, while impressive (actually I have no clue what A-level means), are funny because they're all clustered in similar subjects. It's exceedingly clear you aim to do things solely to pump up your resume. Nothing wrong with that, we all do it for different things, but the consistent uniformity you take it to is a different playing field. Now, I don't want to argue over individual accomplishments as I'm talking about a larger trend rather than single data points.

I'm not a particularly well-rounded or super talented individual and you probably are much more so than me. But you lose a ridiculous amount of credibility with the current way you are marketing yourself. I have been lucky to work with some truly ridiculous people and it's a different mindset - "show not tell".

To combine my points above, you come off as an overpromoting, insufferable d-bag. The knee jerk reaction is "this kid who just graduated college is trying to tell other college kids how to 'race towards excellence'? Are you fucking kidding me?"

One of your Amazon reviews illustrates this:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A1HZ...
By the way, to help you in your personal "Race to Excellence": it's "criticize", not "critize". Not to be a dick but thought you may want to know.

Jan:

Gentlemen-

This is Jan Sramek, one of the authors, speaking.

Where does all this hate come from? Why do so many of you feel the need to critise me without even knowing the difference between A-levels and university? What gives you the confidence to say that I'm a tool without life who must have wasted his time at university to achieve this? Where did I say or imply that I was remarkable, or that I achieved more than you or anyone else?

It is interesting to see that people who actually read the book tend to come back to me and say 'thank you'. Many who haven't even opened it just write the idea off and critize the product itself, without having seen it, or even me, without having ever talked to me.

I have never claimed that my success or achievements 'entitled' me to write a book. I don't think you need to be 'given the right' to write a book, for that matter. I didn't write an autobiography either. If you had spent 30 seconds doing your research before writing a 2 paragraph post about why this book sucks, you would have found that much out.

In fact, there's a number of people amongst you who could, and perhaps have, done the same and written a similar book instead. That's not the point. And no, the book won't change your life if you already have a lot of life experience.

The point is that the book talks about things that young people normally only figure out quite late - when they graduate from college, or even much later, and that they then wish to have known 5 years ago. That's what we tried to do - help everyone avoid this unnecessary confusion and figuring out things in a painful way, and fast forward a few years.

Having mentored the same principles to a number of people over the last two years in my case, and a lot longer in the case of my co-author, we have seen them work. That's when we realized it made sense to put them on paper.

If you are not interested, please move on. But don't critize something, or someone, you know nothing about. It says more about you than about them, and not exactly the sort of things you want to say about yourself.

I will be in NYC for a month from next week, and would be happy to grab a coffee and dispel with this non-sense if you are actually interested.

Have a great summer everyone.
Jan

Jul 9, 2009

Give it up bud. I don't know Jan, but after reading this entire thread, he comes off as a genuine type of guy. Matter of fact, you sound more like the douchebag.

Your comparison to AK is garbage...he was a pathological liar/had no expierence/no credibility. On the other hand, I am sure there would be a lot of college students out there willing to read Jan's book because of, lets be honest, his accomplishments relative to others.

ideating:

Oh give me a break...

I don't know what all these idiots are going on about with trying to equate the US/UK educational system etc.

I called you a douchebag and said you were the latest in a long line of self-promoting finance wannabes. Maybe the "wannabe" comment is unwarranted given that you are going to be working in finance but I stand by the rest of it.

You being a douchebag - what 21/22/23 year old writes a book about "racing towards excellence" for his peers? I read the free excerpts on Amazon - I don't know if you consider that enough research but I think it's enough to get the basic gist of it. The framework you have is logical and makes sense - unfortunately, it's nothing new or groundbreaking. In fact, it's plain common sense. If there is a 21/22/23 year old out there to who this is new information, they need to be cocksmacked.

You being self-promoting - having scanned hundreds of resumes, as I went through your social networking page (linked above) I instantly thought "Aleksey Vayner". Having some start up experience, I am reasonably sure that some if not all of your startups are aborted weekend projects you did with a couple of friends. The site is still up, you may have a few thousand users, even some revenue, but calling them "start-ups" is like calling Martin Grammatica a "football player" (look him up in Google images). Your test scores, while impressive (actually I have no clue what A-level means), are funny because they're all clustered in similar subjects. It's exceedingly clear you aim to do things solely to pump up your resume. Nothing wrong with that, we all do it for different things, but the consistent uniformity you take it to is a different playing field. Now, I don't want to argue over individual accomplishments as I'm talking about a larger trend rather than single data points.

I'm not a particularly well-rounded or super talented individual and you probably are much more so than me. But you lose a ridiculous amount of credibility with the current way you are marketing yourself. I have been lucky to work with some truly ridiculous people and it's a different mindset - "show not tell".

To combine my points above, you come off as an overpromoting, insufferable d-bag. The knee jerk reaction is "this kid who just graduated college is trying to tell other college kids how to 'race towards excellence'? Are you fucking kidding me?"

One of your Amazon reviews illustrates this:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A1HZ...
By the way, to help you in your personal "Race to Excellence": it's "criticize", not "critize". Not to be a dick but thought you may want to know.

Jan:

Gentlemen-

This is Jan Sramek, one of the authors, speaking.

Where does all this hate come from? Why do so many of you feel the need to critise me without even knowing the difference between A-levels and university? What gives you the confidence to say that I'm a tool without life who must have wasted his time at university to achieve this? Where did I say or imply that I was remarkable, or that I achieved more than you or anyone else?

It is interesting to see that people who actually read the book tend to come back to me and say 'thank you'. Many who haven't even opened it just write the idea off and critize the product itself, without having seen it, or even me, without having ever talked to me.

I have never claimed that my success or achievements 'entitled' me to write a book. I don't think you need to be 'given the right' to write a book, for that matter. I didn't write an autobiography either. If you had spent 30 seconds doing your research before writing a 2 paragraph post about why this book sucks, you would have found that much out.

In fact, there's a number of people amongst you who could, and perhaps have, done the same and written a similar book instead. That's not the point. And no, the book won't change your life if you already have a lot of life experience.

The point is that the book talks about things that young people normally only figure out quite late - when they graduate from college, or even much later, and that they then wish to have known 5 years ago. That's what we tried to do - help everyone avoid this unnecessary confusion and figuring out things in a painful way, and fast forward a few years.

Having mentored the same principles to a number of people over the last two years in my case, and a lot longer in the case of my co-author, we have seen them work. That's when we realized it made sense to put them on paper.

If you are not interested, please move on. But don't critize something, or someone, you know nothing about. It says more about you than about them, and not exactly the sort of things you want to say about yourself.

I will be in NYC for a month from next week, and would be happy to grab a coffee and dispel with this non-sense if you are actually interested.

Have a great summer everyone.
Jan

Jul 9, 2009

So are you going to argue that an examination process where one does a bit of coursework and is required to cram tonnes of material is a better reflection of one's intellect than an overall aptitude test?

LMAO

No wonder aptitude tests are used worldwide except for in the land of the Queen, but then Brits will always maintain they have the upper hand.

P.S. I am as much as an American as a Scot is an Englishman ;)

Jul 9, 2009
BrownMan:

So are you going to argue that an examination process where one does a bit of coursework and is required to cram tonnes of material is a better reflection of one's intellect than an overall aptitude test?

LMAO

No wonder aptitude tests are used worldwide except for in the land of the Queen, but then Brits will always maintain they have the upper hand.

P.S. I am as much as an American as a Scot is an Englishman ;)

Are u f****** kidding? SAT's are a complete joke and saying that they are more important than exams in actual subjects is absolutely ridiculous. Brown_Bateman, SAT II's are not like A level exams AT ALL, SAT II's are much much much easier. I took the Math II and Physics one and they are a complete joke (800 on both). I even scored 700+something (dont remember been a while) on the French one and I got a 5 in IB standard Level French (on a scale of 7, in IB a 5 is basically average, yea i was shit at french).

Im sorry, but answering a bunch of multiple choice questions on 7th grade math (SAT I) and 9th grade math (SAT II) and little reading passages where you have to determine if the semi colon is correctly used does not tell you shit about the aptitude of the person.

The only reason American uni's still use it is to distinguish between the 4.0's they get from shit american high schools (Im not saying all are shit and easy nor am I saying that you went to a shit one). I had a lot of friends get B's at my school and then go back to the states and get 4.0's easily no problem.

On the other hand, Jan set an A level record with 10. COrrect me if im wrong but each A level is like 3-5 exams right at the end (im basing this off IB). This shows incredible discipline and time management on his part. If an employer has to choose between someone who is good at multiple choice questions or someone who is ridiculous at time management I guarantee you that they will always choose the latter.

I feel bad for you though, you re obviously one of those kids who takes so much pride in his high SAT's when in fact all it is is a glorified certificate of multiple choice ability.

Jul 9, 2009
mm2:
BrownMan:

So are you going to argue that an examination process where one does a bit of coursework and is required to cram tonnes of material is a better reflection of one's intellect than an overall aptitude test?

LMAO

No wonder aptitude tests are used worldwide except for in the land of the Queen, but then Brits will always maintain they have the upper hand.

P.S. I am as much as an American as a Scot is an Englishman ;)

Are u f****** kidding? SAT's are a complete joke and saying that they are more important than exams in actual subjects is absolutely ridiculous. Brown_Bateman, SAT II's are not like A level exams AT ALL, SAT II's are much much much easier. I took the Math II and Physics one and they are a complete joke (800 on both). I even scored 700+something (dont remember been a while) on the French one and I got a 5 in IB standard Level French (on a scale of 7, in IB a 5 is basically average, yea i was shit at french).

Im sorry, but answering a bunch of multiple choice questions on 7th grade math (SAT I) and 9th grade math (SAT II) and little reading passages where you have to determine if the semi colon is correctly used does not tell you shit about the aptitude of the person.

The only reason American uni's still use it is to distinguish between the 4.0's they get from shit american high schools (Im not saying all are shit and easy nor am I saying that you went to a shit one). I had a lot of friends get B's at my school and then go back to the states and get 4.0's easily no problem.

On the other hand, Jan set an A level record with 10. COrrect me if im wrong but each A level is like 3-5 exams right at the end (im basing this off IB). This shows incredible discipline and time management on his part. If an employer has to choose between someone who is good at multiple choice questions or someone who is ridiculous at time management I guarantee you that they will always choose the latter.

I feel bad for you though, you re obviously one of those kids who takes so much pride in his high SAT's when in fact all it is is a glorified certificate of multiple choice ability.

Reality Check.

Indian CBSE system in the 12th grade which somewhat resembles A-Level approach of the UK clearly demonstrates the underlying flaws of the System.

Whereas the CBSE system in India requires mandatory 5 subjects at their A-Level equivalent (11-12th grade), country's top institutions (IITs) repeatedly insist on candidates sitting further entrance examinations.

This view has been reinforced by Imperial College's decision to employ entrance examinations as they consider A-Levels to be incapable of effectively differentiating between students.

====I feel bad for you though, you re obviously one of those kids who takes so much pride in his high SAT's when in fact all it is is a glorified certificate of multiple choice ability.

I didn't take sats so don't feel bad for me " Assumption is the mother of all fuck ups;)"

Fact of the matter is that A-Levels do not measure one's aptitude, all they demonstrate is that one is a good crammer.

Jul 10, 2009
BrownMan:
mm2:
BrownMan:

So are you going to argue that an examination process where one does a bit of coursework and is required to cram tonnes of material is a better reflection of one's intellect than an overall aptitude test?

LMAO

No wonder aptitude tests are used worldwide except for in the land of the Queen, but then Brits will always maintain they have the upper hand.

P.S. I am as much as an American as a Scot is an Englishman ;)

Are u f****** kidding? SAT's are a complete joke and saying that they are more important than exams in actual subjects is absolutely ridiculous. Brown_Bateman, SAT II's are not like A level exams AT ALL, SAT II's are much much much easier. I took the Math II and Physics one and they are a complete joke (800 on both). I even scored 700+something (dont remember been a while) on the French one and I got a 5 in IB standard Level French (on a scale of 7, in IB a 5 is basically average, yea i was shit at french).

Im sorry, but answering a bunch of multiple choice questions on 7th grade math (SAT I) and 9th grade math (SAT II) and little reading passages where you have to determine if the semi colon is correctly used does not tell you shit about the aptitude of the person.

The only reason American uni's still use it is to distinguish between the 4.0's they get from shit american high schools (Im not saying all are shit and easy nor am I saying that you went to a shit one). I had a lot of friends get B's at my school and then go back to the states and get 4.0's easily no problem.

On the other hand, Jan set an A level record with 10. COrrect me if im wrong but each A level is like 3-5 exams right at the end (im basing this off IB). This shows incredible discipline and time management on his part. If an employer has to choose between someone who is good at multiple choice questions or someone who is ridiculous at time management I guarantee you that they will always choose the latter.

I feel bad for you though, you re obviously one of those kids who takes so much pride in his high SAT's when in fact all it is is a glorified certificate of multiple choice ability.

Reality Check.

Indian CBSE system in the 12th grade which somewhat resembles A-Level approach of the UK clearly demonstrates the underlying flaws of the System.

Whereas the CBSE system in India requires mandatory 5 subjects at their A-Level equivalent (11-12th grade), country's top institutions (IITs) repeatedly insist on candidates sitting further entrance examinations.

This view has been reinforced by Imperial College's decision to employ entrance examinations as they consider A-Levels to be incapable of effectively differentiating between students.

====I feel bad for you though, you re obviously one of those kids who takes so much pride in his high SAT's when in fact all it is is a glorified certificate of multiple choice ability.

I didn't take sats so don't feel bad for me " Assumption is the mother of all fuck ups;)"

Fact of the matter is that A-Levels do not measure one's aptitude, all they demonstrate is that one is a good crammer.

1) the entrance examinations that you speak of (ie Imperial) are not aptitude based. I am assuming they will be similar to the Oxford entrance ones which for econ was basically an econ/probability exam, not an SAT type exam or what you would describe as aptitude. Uni's such as Oxbridge and Imperial use extra examinations because too many applicants with 3 A's at A-level apply so they have to further distinguish. However, you are incorrectly transferring that argument to the idea that the tests themselves are not suitable, so when a person who comes along with 10 instead of the usual 3 is deemed to not show aptitude with your way of reasoning. It's just like if an ivy gets 10,000 apps with a 3.7 for only 1000 spaces, they will need something else to distinguish because they cannot admit 10,000 applicants assuming all candids are the same in every other category except GPA, this does not however mean that the 3.7 is not a good measure of aptitude. If they get 9000 apps with 3.7 and 1000 with 4.3 then they will not need to distinguish ceteris paribus.

2) If you have never taken SAT's how can you argue they are a better measure of intelligence.

3) Setting a record in A levels and getting 100% in I dont know how many papers (it was somewhere earlier in the thread) is not done by cramming. And if it was than that is just evidence of how good his natural 'aptitude' is.

Jul 9, 2009

Jan Samek:

What is your GPA in LSE? Just curious. If it is low, then I will understand that you do not want to share it. Good luck in selling this book :)

Jul 15, 2009
artmonkey:

Jan Samek:

What is your GPA in LSE? Just curious. If it is low, then I will understand that you do not want to share it. Good luck in selling this book :)

4.0, having spent my final year working effectively full-time in a hedge fund, writing the book and doing a number of other things.

Let's stop the pointless argument here. If someone feels the need to attack me/the book, feel free to email me at [email protected] and we'll take it from there. Otherwise, if, having read the description, you feel that you might benefit from reading the book, I'd say see it as a cheap option - that's the way I have always looked at books myself.

Btw, I just checked my email - received 4 emails from readers in the last 24 hours, all extremely positive/saying how the book made sense of things, offered great practical advice etc. Probably we did something right when we wrote it.

Jul 9, 2009

Regardless of all he has done, he is still too young, and without the right amount of perspective, to be giving out this sort of life advice. Someone seeking how to reach excellence should just seek out a more seasoned professional (whether it be a book, or through networking). Granted, the kid is smart for doing this book, because, as we see so often on this board, the world's youth is full of idiots seeking stupid advice on what kind of socks they should wear to their interview. That means for him a whole lot of youth who will seek out life advice from a 20-something year old. Is the author genuine? Doesn't matter.

Sorry about the loss of your peer, though.

Jul 9, 2009

Jesus Christ... this thread is populated with idiots. I'm done responding here.

All you guys should definitely go buy his book and race each other to excellence.

Jul 9, 2009

I got an 800 on my SAT 2 Writing and my SAT 2 Math 2C (and above a 750 on Chem and History). AM I AS GOOD AS JAN?!?!

See my main issue is that I have already accomplished all the things he's done since i'm a couple years older (intern at non-GS/MS BB, MBB consulting, worked on buyside, made a couple of bullshit startups to pad my resume) but would never write a self-help book.

Also ideating,
Martin Grammatica is a pretty sick kicker bro. I'm not a Bucs fan by any means, but he was crucial in their 01/02 run. I also fondly recall when an Eagles down lineman on Special Teams knocked the shit out of him and he started crying. Good ol' Martin. I think he's out of the league nowadays.

Jul 9, 2009

By the way, Jan, I think in general WSO is the biggest collection of jackasses in the internet, next to some of those techie sites. U handled it pretty well with your response - props.

Jul 9, 2009

People need to stop giving a shit about the difference between A-levels, APs, and SAT IIs; they are all tests, and if you have difficulty with any of them, you shouldn't talk shit. I got 800s on six SAT IIs, and I took three of them drunk. If you have paid any attention for the first eighteen years of your life, you should pass that shit. Same with APs, which I am assuming are more similar to A-levels; if you have paid any attention in the class or have an inkling of intelligence, that should be the easiest shit in the world.

I have no problem with Jan writing a book; I have a problem with Bateman promoting it, but I already expressed that. I'd write a book if I felt it would generate enough revenue to be worth my time.

Jul 15, 2009

Jan Samek

LSE 4.0 :) Bud, Have a great summer! Good luck for the big gig in the NYC.

Jun 22, 2010

Hey guys just want to reiterate what some have already said about the book. I purchased the book based on this thread and I was able to take a lot away from it. It's honestly pretty hard to criticize a book without ever reading it.

Jan and Mr. Khan compliment each other well. You can find great advice on a bevy of subjects in the book.
This is something we all should have read going in to college.

Jun 22, 2010
Apr 20, 2011