Step 1: Enjoy a beer and some pizza.
All jokes aside, many people find studying in a bar works surprisingly well.
PowerPoint presentations are a staple in many athletic training programs, but they tend to be denser with information and lighter on visuals compared to undergrad. As a result, understanding how to effectively study them is crucial. It’s all too easy to mindlessly read through slides without truly grasping a significant amount of information.
While there are countless methods for learning from PowerPoint presentations, the key theme across these four approaches is to stay engaged and active. While some people can absorb information simply by reading and remembering, many need to actively write, draw, or speak to truly learn.
For almost every class, creating your own study guides during the initial phase of learning the material can be effective. This approach can be particularly beneficial for PowerPoint slides, but it can be applied to any class.
Here are the steps you can follow:
- Generate one or two questions per PowerPoint slide, focusing on the critical concepts.
- Answer five questions from memory on paper or a whiteboard.
- Review the slides to find the answers, correct any mistakes, and add any missing information.
- Erase your answers and attempt to recall the same five questions from memory.
- Once you’ve mastered the information, progress to the next set of five questions.
This method compels you to quiz yourself actively, preventing passive reading of notes. You must actively think about the correct answers, write them down, or draw any relevant pictures.
This approach allows you to tackle the material in smaller, more manageable chunks. Confronting 30 pages of notes can be overwhelming, so focusing on five study questions at a time can help you to thoroughly understand the information before moving on.
Many courses, such as an Advanced Physiology course, rely heavily on PowerPoint presentations. While this worked for most information, it can be confusing for larger topics.
When a concept spans several slides, it can be challenging to connect all the information. To address this, try rewriting the content from a group of slides onto one sheet of paper, organizing the information in a way that makes more sense to you. This can be more efficient than constantly flipping between PowerPoint slides since you see all the relevant information at once.
Some PowerPoint slides present information that’s difficult to remember. For instance, a professor might ask about the diameter of a ribosome (25-30 micrometers), which isn’t easy to recall amidst a multitude of other numbers.
Attempting to create flashcards for all PowerPoint slides is noble but can also be very time-consuming. If flashcards don’t work for you, make study guides by rewriting slides for broader concepts and only resort to flashcards for detailed information that you struggle to remember.
Study with Classmates
Let’s face it—PowerPoints can be dull. After spending several hours with them, maintaining focus becomes challenging.
Studying with classmates proves beneficial for every class, particularly when concentration wanes. Quizzing each other and verbalizing concepts can be remarkably helpful. Explaining a concept to a classmate is a good way to learn and can reveal gaps in your understanding.
Remember, staying active and engaged is the key to conquering PowerPoint presentations in AT school. Whether it’s through study guides, rewriting, flashcards, or collaborative learning, finding the method that suits your learning style will make the process more effective and enjoyable.