Exam time can be very stressful, particularly when you have a mountain of books and notes that you have to study from. You want to get yourself motivated for that exam – but somehow, your mind keeps slipping, and you can no longer focus. So, how can you actually get yourself focused enough to study for your exam? Well, as caught from other students in the same bind, here are a few tips that can help you.
1. Choose the Correct Environment
Everyone has an environment where they can study properly. Some people like studying in a quiet library, while others prefer a coffee shop, as the light bustle helps them focus. You just need to find out what works best for you. Make sure that you choose a place where you have a flat and clear area for your books – and most importantly, that you do not study on the bed. Our brains are wired to think of sleep when we sit on a bed, so that’s the last place where you want to be.
2. Keep Technology and Social Media Away
How many times have you been distracted by your buzzing cell phone or a Facebook notification popping up on your laptop tab? “I’ll just check it for a second, and then I’m back to studying.” Two hours later, you are watching YouTube tutorials on how to play the hurdy-gurdy – and you don’t even have a hurdy-gurdy. This is why you need to make sure your sources of distraction are out of reach.
3. Use Essential Oils to Relax
Sometimes, the main reason behind your inability to study is the fact that you are stressed out to the brink. The average student is stressed out, sleeps poorly because of this, and therefore cannot concentrate. This is why some essential oils, such as lavender can ease your mind. You may also buy CBD oil, as it has shown itself capable of relaxing your mind and allowing you to focus on one issue at a time.
4. Study During Peak Time
We all have a certain time of the day where we feel more motivated and find it easy to focus. Morning people feel more energetic at the beginning of the day, which is why you may want to schedule your study sessions at around that time. However, if you are a night owl, then you might want to shift your studying during late hours instead.
5. Anticipate Your Needs
We all have physical needs. We get thirsty, we get hungry, we may feel like our clothes are not comfortable enough to study in. We end up shifting continuously because of that, getting out of our chair to get to them – and causing us to lose focus. Anticipate those needs and have everything around before you begin to study.
6. Set Milestones and Awards for Yourself
Although learning comes with a higher purpose – passing an exam -, it may not be enough for us to stay motivated while staying focused. In most cases, the idea of passing an exam gets faded throughout the study session.
As such, it is only natural that we set personal milestones, as well as awards, for ourselves. For example, we can “crown” every hour or every 50 pages of study with a short break or with a delicious treat!
7. Breaks are Very Important
Students usually believe that breaks don’t work well for those that have a hard time staying focused while learning. However, breaks are more than just important!
Researchers have found that short breaks every hour or so and longer breaks every two to four hours can be very beneficial for students. They promote brain function and reduce mental fatigue, helping us remember things easier. On top of that, breaks are ideal for resting our eyes and staying focused during long study sessions.
8. Be Careful of What You Do During Breaks
Study breaks shouldn’t be seen as similar to workout breaks where you can do literally everything to catch your breath. Study breaks must be taken with focus in mind.
For example, you should still avoid technology – especially your smartphone – while taking a break. Moreover, stay away from energy drinks and coffees, as well as from large meals. Eat light and, if possible, stretch a bit during your breaks. You can also enhance your relaxation with a PharmStrong vape pen, if necessary.
9. Atmosphere is Essential
We mentioned earlier how you must choose the correct environment for study. Well, the same applies to the surrounding atmosphere – namely, we refer to the things that may help you focus better.
A library or coffee shop can get crowded and a bit noisy. If you can’t learn with noise around you, then you should have a pair of headphones prepared, just in case. On the other hand, you may actually enjoy a bit of rustle around you when you study. If so, then we recommend a popular coffee shop and not a quiet one.
The atmosphere, for most people who learn, also includes music. Be very careful when choosing it as it may distract you very easily. For example, some can’t stand music with lyrics when they study as their focus shifts to the singer.
10. Focus on Knowledge and Not on Grades
Most of the time, we think about grades when studying for an exam. This causes us to chase a grade and instead of learning new things we focus on memorizing them. Your study sessions can improve significantly if you focus more on the things that you learn rather than on the reasons why you learn them.
One trick that some of us use is to imagine that we’re going to need that exact information that we learn in a future real-life situation. We either have to apply it practically or explain it to someone. If you do this, you basically explain things to yourself and make it much easier to stay focused!
The success of your studying session is generally determined by how you prepare yourself. By following these tips, you should get in the mood for studying, without losing your focus.