It’s hard to get through the academic years of your life without studying. Unless you’re one of those annoying geniuses that sleep their way through high school and college, yet STILL manage to ace every exam that comes their way, studying will most likely become a huge part of your young adult life.
Whether you’re cramming last minute for those all-important high school exams that could make or break your GPA, or maybe you’ve already settled into college life as a student-athlete and are now just trying to juggle the demands of athletic and academic life on campus – these handy tips may just be the motivation and boost you need to take your studying to the next level.
Take notes, organize notes and review notes. Notes are the best way to summarize what you’ve learned in class, and they give you a ready-made platform to revise at a later point in the day. The actual process of taking notes itself is scientifically proven to aid in the consumption and absorption of information and should help you track the progress of the lesson with clearly defined reference points.
Taking notes is just the start, however. The next step in mastering your note taking is all about organizing them. A lot of students tend to use a color-coding system to separate particular topics from within the lesson and make it easier to find what you’re looking for. Post-it notes are also a great way to highlight sections of your scribblings and add in additional details later if you require a little more clarity on specific sections of the lesson.
Finally, having a simple, yet effective review process for your notes will allow you to efficiently recap what you learned in each lesson without becoming overly confused. By this point, you should have a nice, neat, and easily accessible set of notes, complete with color-coded topics and a barrage of post-it notes ready to be deployed where necessary. The easiest way to ensure you have a proper understanding of what you learned that day is to go back over your notes that evening, whilst it’s still fresh in your mind. Read over what you’ve written and mark down any areas that may require a little more attention.
As a full-time student-athlete, time is something of a valuable commodity that nobody seems to have quite enough of. Classes, studying, exams, extracurricular activity, games, training, clubs, family, friends, eating and sleeping – there’s a lot of different aspects of life to cram into 24 short hours, so managing your daily schedule at this stage of life is of crucial importance.
Time management is an invaluable and ever-lasting skill that will serve you well for the rest of your life. As a student, having the ability to break down each task and time-constraint can allow for a more efficient work-life balance. There are plenty of digital tools available to assist with time management, but a few easy tips like planning study sessions in advance and setting out a task list that you can check off as you progress through it during the day.
Utilizing a calendar to break down your week and work around the different responsibilities you have each day is another effective way to manage your time more efficiently, everything from exercise, classes, study, mealtimes and most importantly, plan in some free time – without which you could burn yourself out… and nobody wants that.
Creating a structured study plan can go a long way to easing any feelings of being overwhelmed by the long and tedious “to do” list around exam time.
The most effective way of creating a structured plan is to make use of tools provided by organisations like the SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority), who have downloadable study plans available online and also provide a “MyStudyPlan” app for ease of use.
Schedule your studying, prioritise your time, and focus on your most urgent assignments. Spread your schedule out throughout the day and give yourself a break from one subject by working on another.
The area and environment you carry out your studies can be another huge factor in the success and productivity of your sessions.
Organize your space accordingly and ensure you have access to all materials and tools required to carry out your studies effectively. It’s generally recommended that you find a study space away from the areas you like to use for down-time (don’t study in bed, for example), as this generally allows you to better disconnect from work and helps your brain to recognize that it’s time for rest. Whilst this may not always be possible, you can make use of designated spaces within your school or institutions, like libraries, common rooms, or study halls which should be equipped with proper seating and furniture.
Although colleges and universities take a more all-around holistic approach to applications, improving your study skills could potentially be the difference between gaining the required grades for entry into your dream university and missing out, so it’s an important factor to consider and it’s never to late to develop your chosen method.
There are dozens of online resources to aid you in developing a more well-rounded and efficient study routine, but you can always check in with your dedicated FirstPoint USA Talent Management Consultant, or if you're new to the prospect of securing a life-changing sports scholarship in the US, get in touch with one of our admissions consultants at www.firstpointusa.com
FirstPoint USA is an international scouting service, providing recruitment services to hundreds of NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA member institutions seeking to identify the very best in overseas talent.
The company was founded in 2001 by former University of Cincinnati All-American and Hall of Fame inductee, Andrew Kean, and evaluates over 100,000 prospective student-athletes, competing in 30 different sports, across 187 countries each year.