The universal acceptance of the soundness of Allen Ludden's moderating of the popular General Electric College Bowl on the CBS TV network would indicate that his new book, Plain Talk About College rates another look. (And in any organization, there should be room for difference of opinion). Granted that his opening chapter on competition as a way of life in America applied to the competitive race for scholastic achievement may set some teeth on edge, mature consideration reluctantly concedes the necessity of acknowledging the fact. Getting into college is sharply competitive; staying there is equally so -- and the sooner High School students acknowledge the grim necessity of coming to grips with their studies the more likely they are to win the college of their choice (and incidentally to establish study habits along the way that will make them get more out of college when they are there). And that is really what this down to earth approach means. He goes into the all too often neglected ABC's of how to read and write. (Constantly we are reminded of this basic failure in American schools). He brings up points to be considered in selecting the colleges in different categories, of approaching College Boards with due seriousness, of the importance-relatively speaking- of Aptitude Tests, of knowing what should be known of housing problems at college, and so on. There is good- though not original- advice on attitudes, on manners, on behavior problems- all of which tap backgrounds in his earlier books. This reader feels that for a large percentage of prospective college entrants, this is what it claims in the title- ""plain talk about college"". And a useful book.