Winning Study Habits: Advice from the 2020 Competition Winners

November 12, 2020

What an amazing couple days! It is hard to believe the 2020 National Bible Bee Competition has come and gone! The top 15 NBB contestants in each division have gathered for this event to proclaim God’s Word they have been studying over the last few months. 

It is no small task to make it this far in the NBBC, and each contestant has a different approach. Today we have the privilege of hearing from some of the finalists in each division of their different study habits.

My mom wrote songs for all my passages and then she would teach them to me. She practiced with me daily, and I received for the study passage on my own and completed LOTS of Quizlet sets! – Mia, Primary 1st place

I find that my studying is most efficient when I figure out what methods work best for me. For me personally, I memorize best by typing out the material several times, or recording it and listening to it over and over. I also enjoy writing questions about the material in order to get myself in the right frame of mind for test-taking. – Rebekah, Junior 2nd place

There are several facets to studying for the national competition. Most likely, the most important is knowing the study passage (in this case John 16-21) like the back of your hand. I memorized the 6 chapters we studied and learned RA for all the verses (being able to match up the verse content with the exact reference). 

Another hugely important aspect of studying is memorizing and reviewing the memory passages. Because of the reduced amount of time we contestants had this year, I didn’t spend as much time reviewing the longer passages before the test and Orals. I still needed to know those passages for the test, though, so I did my preliminary memorization of them, but instead of reviewing them, I read over them every few days. I spent a LOT of time reviewing the 1 and 2-card passages, however, and it eventually paid off in Orals.

I used Blue Letter Bible to collect Greek words, and I used Open Bible to collect cross-references. I learned those very well and reviewed them often. Some additional things I learned are background information (cultural, historical, geographical), MP and SP quotations, correlating gospel accounts, and MP context. Once I collected all my information, I simply reviewed and reviewed and reviewed. It took a lot of time and effort, but God was there with me to help me, and He used it all for my good in the end. – Titus, Senior 4th place

A great way to prepare for the NBBC is to come up with a plan in advance. I thrive on structure and orderliness, so I create as many schedules and to-do lists as I can. By mapping out my study time, I stay on task much more than I normally would, and I can avoid the chaos that comes with frantic last-minute cramming.

Another tactic that worked wonders this year was to ask my family and friends for help — whether it was in the form of listening to my verses, finding study resources, keeping me accountable, or even just praying for me! – Olivia, Senior 2nd place

When the National studying begins, I like to get up super early the first week or two to put together my Greek flashcards (about 350-400 words in all). I listened to a certain song on repeat to signal my brain that it was time to be Greek-y! – Katherine, Senior 3rd place

While each person has a different approach to studying, they have each learned and grown through it. Even though the NBBC is over, and some will not be able to participate any longer, they will continue to study and learn as they press on!

Composed By National Bible Bee Alumna: Abigail Charleston

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