Focus. This untamable beast makes unexpected appearances leaves without notice. One could compare focus to a stray cat that’s taken a liking to your house, it comes and goes as it pleases. And for students, especially, this might serve as a grave hindrance. You’re running out of time and your exams are drawing closer and closer, but you just can’t focus.
This frustration, while valid, can actually be avoided. You can master focus without moving to distant mountains and training to become a monk. And the best part is that you don’t have to perform complicated steps to achieve focus!
Here are 5 things you should be doing to become better at staying focused while preparing for your exams:
- Making a study plan
One of the most important steps for successful exam preparation is to make a clear, to-the-point study plan. Students should sort out and categorize their subjects. In fact, prioritizing topics with the help of teachers and past papers can also help. When you know exactly what and how you need to study, the chances of your focus wavering are low!
- Organizing study materials
The higher your class is, the more studying materials you’ll need. In high school, students need studying resources like solved past papers, textbook notes, and other similar materials to prepare for their exams. However, if your materials are disorganized, you won’t be able to prepare well. Using online resources or simple file organizers for your notes and past papers can help a lot.
- Avoiding distractions at all costs
There are many distractions in the environment of a teenager. Noise in the background, mobile phones, TV, messaging apps and other push notification apps — they all serve as distractions. They lead to the loss of valuable studying time. In order to prevent them from disturbing your focus, you should sit in a place where these distractions won’t be present. If possible, keep your phone powered off. Or, at least, disable notifications for a certain amount of time.
- Studying according to your learning style
Every student has a unique learning style. Some prefer to learn through reading and writing, while others are visual or aural learners — or even tactile learners. In order to figure out how you learn best, you can look into the different types of learning and try each one out. This will support your ability to focus because you won’t be sitting idle. For example, kinaesthetic (tactile) learners tend to space out or lose interest in lectures or while reading. This is because they learn through active approaches and hands-on strategies, instead of learning passively. It’s never too late to switch to the style that suits you best!
- Taking regular breaks
One thing that you should never overlook is taking breaks during your study sessions. Despite what you may believe, the human mind cannot actually stay focused for such a long period at a time. Instead of stretching your study sessions to several hours at a time, it’s best to take short, invigorating breaks between each session. You’ll be surprised by how your focus sharpens when you let your brain take a breather every now and then!
Even if you still feel a little doubtful about the effectiveness of these steps, you should at least give them a try. With the right atmosphere, mindset and plan, there’s hardly anything you can’t achieve. So buckle up, and good luck!