With classes, games, practice and workouts, athletes have limited time to study and do homework. Although studying is clearly beneficial, most student-athletes don't know how to study effectively. The suggestions below can be applied when studying for any academic test. They are designed to help you get the most out of the little time you have.
Use Shorter Study Sessions
I know this is counterintuitive to everything you've heard about studying, but it's actually based on an accepted educational theory. Students remember what they've read or studied first and last. The majority of what they review in the middle portion of a study session does not get fully absorbed.
To maximize the amount of material that you retain, break up your studying into short sessions [15-20 minutes], with breaks between. This way, you won't have a large middle section of material that is easy to forget. At the start of each session, give yourself a mini-refresher to make sure you haven't forgotten what you reviewed in the previous session.
Make Your Own Note Cards
In recent years, there's been a huge surge in sales of professionally produced note cards. These cover many topics, from SAT vocabulary to AP American History. Yes, note cards are fantastic study tools, but pre-made ones are definitely not the way to go. Note cards are much more effective in helping students remember important information when the students themselves actually write the information. The act of writing [creating a note card] is why they are more effective. Pre-made note cards eliminate this important benefit.
Note cards are great for directing you to topics and areas you need to study, but they are not an efficient way to remember specific facts. Get a pack of blank index cards, and create note cards for each topic you are studying. Develop your own customized, comprehensive set.
Throughout your preparation, you'll do tons of practice questions and tests. To really benefit from them, you need to review the concepts they are testing—taking particular note of the ones you get wrong. In a journal, write down the concepts and correct solutions, and continually review them to make sure you can recall them.
Jessica Brondo is the founder and CEO of The Edge in College Preparation, an international college preparation community specializing in test preparation and admissions counseling. She was recently selected as one of the top 50 most influential women in business by Long Island Business News; and she won British Airways' Face of Opportunity award for global entrepreneurs. Brondo currently lives in New York City, but she travels frequently to her other office in London and throughout the world for pleasure. For more testing tips, visit Brondo's blog at edgeincollegeprep.com and her Test Prep Tuesdays YouTube series.
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