Why Study Skills Matter

Studying makes you a student, right?

To me, studying seems like part of what makes a student. I can tell you that most students don’t know how to study, and teaching students how to study doesn’t seem to be a priority in the education system – but it should be.

People often think of studying as just a way to pass a test. Maybe they think students are already good at studying.

After all, many of us have had really bad experiences with studying, where we crammed for a test and forgot everything afterward.

I think it’s time to refresh your study skills. I suggest this, partly because they work, but mostly because teaching athletic training students how to study brings them closer to taking ownership of their learning.

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Study Skills Help Students Become Better Learners

When most of us think of “studying,” we think of creating flashcards and reading our notes. But it’s so much more than that. Those techniques only fall under the first, and most basic, category of essential study skills. These are the three categories:

Cognitive skills

Studying techniques in this category include taking and reviewing notes, summarizing information, reviewing vocabulary terms, and annotating a text.

Metacognitive skills

Athletic Training students also need to be taught to plan and monitor their study time, set goals, engage in self-questioning, and recognize when it is appropriate to use specific cognitive skills.

Affective skills

To establish study skills as a habit, athletic training students must develop motivation, agency, and self-awareness

Different cognitive study skills should be taught to AT students. Students need opportunities to plan and monitor their studies and to reflect on the impact of what they’ve learned. The metacognitive skills will come with time and practice. When students know when to use certain study tools, they take responsibility for their own learning. AT students who know that their studying makes a positive return on investment start thinking of themselves as skilled students. Motivation increases and they’re more confident that their efforts will work. 

And what could be better than being confident that your studying is actually going to pay off?

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