Are you struggling to retain focus on studying for exams? Do you want to increase your attention span during studying? I will help you with materials and guidelines never to be distracted again. Read till the end of the article to find out ways for focusing on studying for exams.
Why is focusing on studies critical?
We all think that we have infinite storage of attention. But according to several pieces of research, we are wrong. Our attention and focus have a capacity and a limit. Suppose we are giving priority to unimportant things, then we will deplete our attention capacity. This depletion will not allow us to concentrate on the important stuff like Studying. So giving proper attention to the right things is important.
Creating suitable environment
This is the first rule of thumb. If your environment is not suitable, you are very likely to get distracted. Before sitting down at your desk for studying, clean your desk and see if you have all the resources available.
Try to have a separate spot for different activities. For example, Don’t study where you watch Netflix. Don’t study where you eat. If you have a particular place for various activities, your brain will be more prepared. You will also be less prone to other distractions.
If you want to concentrate on your studies before exams, you need to eliminate your distractions. The most popular distractions are the notification sounds on your phones. These sounds create an urge to check your phone and reply to the comments, emails & messages.
Do not fall into the vicious cycle of technologies; try to keep all the technologies aside. Silence your phone and keep your phone physically away from you. This habit will create friction between you and your device, and you are less likely to give up on the urge.
If you have distractions through your family members, make sure they know your study routine and timings. You can ask them to avoid connection with you at those specific times.
There is no doubt about the brain’s capacity, yet it tends to remind you of irrelevant things in the most peculiar times.
While studying, many irrelevant but important things may come to your mind. For example:
- I have to do the laundry
- I will need stationaries for the tests tomorrow
- I need to feed my pet
The list goes on and on. Some of these thoughts might be urgent, and some of them might be silly. Eliminate the silly ones, delegate some if possible, list the others in a notebook.
This action will help you to remove distractions from your mind.
Timing is crucial
There is definitely a time of the day when you feel the most productive. Select that time to be your study time.
For most people, morning is the time for great productivity after a great sleep. But some find creativity during evenings and night too. Find out your suitable time and always study during the same time.
Your mind will be ready to consume information if you grow the habit of studying at the same time every day.
Use the Pomodoro Technique for focusing on studies for exams.
If you are one of those who are having trouble setting timely breaks, you should give Pomodoro technique a try.
The Pomodoro Technique:
- Study for 25 minutes
- Take breaks for 5 minutes
- Again start for 25 minutes
- After 2-3 sessions, take a more extended break
This technique has helped many people to retain focus and boost productivity. Remember to be strict on the 5-minute break and the 25-minute sessions. You can even tweak the sessions and the gaps if you want.
Interrogate yourself if you get distracted
There are times when you know that you cannot retain focus. You are trying your best, but still focusing seems very difficult. Here are a set of questions you should ask yourself when this happens:
- Is something bothering me at the back of my head?
- If yes, What is it?
- How can I solve it?
- Can I solve it right now?
If yes, solve it immediately. If no, write it down in a paper about your worries.
If nothing is bothering you, try to visualize the result of what you are doing. Think about the consequences, the good and the bad. This habit will help you be mindful of your situation and focus on studying for exams.
Take help from Certain Apps.
Certain apps help you to focus and keep you on track.
Here are three crucial apps that I use:
Forest is a convenient app present in Android, ios, and windows. You can set up a focusing time within which a plant will start to grow. The plant will wither if you leave the app.
The app can also help you track your focus duration. Forest is easy to use with a simple interface. It allows you to take your work seriously, avoiding distractions, and get more done.
Students can easily use this app to focus on studying for exams.
Donut dog is an app with a similar purpose but much more gamified and competitive. Here there is a pet dog called focus which needs to be fed with real-time focusing.
This app is super cute for young students. It will help to gamify concentration, fight phone addiction, and also stay productive. Using this for focusing on studies will be a game-changer.
A straightforward app similar to focus where your primary purpose is to collect raindrops through real-time focusing. It has an attractive gamified interface that young students will love to use. It also helps you to track down your focus time and gives you rewards after certain milestones.
Glucose, Glucose and more Glucose
Glucose is the fuel of the brain. According to research, glucose consumption significantly improves tasks requiring high cognitive functions (like Studying, memorizing, and logical thinking). There is an increased tendency among students to go to school skipping breakfast. This tendency sharply hampers cognitive functions because no glucose results in no fuel for the brain.
If our brain cannot remain alert at all times, it cannot focus on studying. Individuals with poor glycaemic control have impaired immediate and delayed memory.
So daily intake of glucose, especially before a study session, can help you increase your focus on studying for exams.
Good Sleep = Good Focus
According to different studies, Sleep produces a positive effect on retention, decreased forgetting, and improves alertness. Of the forgetting produced in the awake condition, 52% can be prevented by Sleep.
You can notice a close relationship between sleep and cognitive function. A student is far more likely to stay focused and productive after proper Sleep. Students must avoid the habit of sacrificing Sleep to increase their alertness and mindfulness.
Every student should get at least 6-8 hours of sleep every day for the precise functioning of the brain. This habit will help students to focus on studying for exams and remove internal distractions from mind.
Focus is an indispensable requirement for effective studying. Less concentration leads to more unsatisfactory grades and performance. Students should apply the techniques mentioned above and strategies to increase their attention span. Any student can develop their grades if he/she can internalize these methods.
In a nutshell, nine ways to focus on studying for exams:
- Create suitable environment
- Eliminate distraction
- Listing distraction
- Take more glucose
- Sleep better
- Use certain apps
- Use the Pomodoro Technique
- Timing is crucial
- Interrogate yourself
I hope you find these useful. Best of luck in increasing your focus.