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Jaia W. '20 — An Athlete’s Guide to Taking Standardized Tests

The Project: A guide to test taking for student-athletes that applies principles of sports psychology and cognitive neuroscience to the college recruiting process.

Inspiration: I am currently trying to be recruited as a college athlete in rowing.  I often talk with many other student-athletes, and one of the most common challenges that we all share is the time crunch that we are forced into in order to be recruited to play a sport in college. A lot of the steps for recruitment happen earlier than the typical college timeline, and it’s also a struggle to find the time to do test prep.

If I had had access to college admissions advice geared specifically toward student-athletes, my own journey would have been much smoother. I decided to make a student-athlete’s guide to test taking in order to create a resource for athletes that helps them transfer the tremendous amount of work and passion that they put into their sport towards their college goals.

The Process: I did a lot of research using scholarly articles on sports psychology, cognitive neuroscience and kinesiology to give insight on how students-athletes can apply their skills in sports to achieving the score they want on the SAT or ACT. The guide includes information from scholarly experts, Division 1 student-athletes and professional athletes. I also implemented my own experience too as insight into successful or non-successful tactics.

What’s Next: I plan to do an independent study next year with Calhoun’s athletic trainer to further this project. I plan to add more research as well as interviews with college or professional athletes to include a wider range of perspectives.

Value of Junior Workshop: Junior Workshop is a great opportunity to take the time in school and guidance of an advisor to work on something that I am passionate about. I learned the skills of producing my own project and taking initiative, which is something you can’t always do in school if you’re assigned a project that’s already structured for you.