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5 Tips On How To Study and Focus

Updated on April 18, 2013

Learning is exhaustive and there are so many other things to do. Especially whenever you start studying all those other things come to mind. Distracting you from your study and slowing you down to the point where you give up and did next to nothing. It happens to all of us. The key is to stay focused, but how? Here are some tips about just that!

1. Mark it

This may sound like a strange way, but it has proven effective. Some of my friends and I tried this for an exam and it seemed to work for us, though it slows you down. What is it? Well, it's simple. You take a book, a ruler and a marker. Then you hold the ruler under the sentence you're reading and when or after reading you underline it with your marker. Whenever something important comes up, you mark it. It will make your book look a bit colorful, but this way you can keep focus and you have something to do during your study. For people who tend to miss chapters or pages, this also helps recognize what you've already read. I tend to skip certain parts when reading and I tell myself that I'll read it later, though later on I only read the marked pieces and don't know which pieces I forgot to read. Also working with different colors can help you see difference between what types of text are there. On the picture I made a yellow box to make clear it's just an example without anything interesting in it. This way I could quickly read over it.

2. Have someone keep an eye on you

Still living home? Hate it when your mom comes check up on you? Guess we all did or still do, though it actually is a good way for you to keep focused. If you know you get easily distracted and want to learn, why not ask your mom to come check up on you regularly, if she isn’t already doing so. In case you don't live at home anymore, ask someone you live with to check up on you. Another way your mom, actually any family member or friend can help, is to give them a list with important words and let them ask you the definition. It sounds very childish, but remember when u used to get good grades? That was because you did things like this.
By the way, it always comes in handy to make a list with all the important words you had to learn. There's a reason why they probably made them bold in that book.

3. Lectures

Do you have lectures? Are they recorded? If so, then listening to them again and making notes at home is a good way to study and focus. Put on some headphones and just listen while making extra notes. It's like the professor is explaining things to you personally. Also doing this at home again can help you add information you missed during your lecture. Lectures are just the basics and some important things, only listening to them again and learning your notes won't help you pass, since you'll miss most details. A fun fact about lectures is that teachers tend to use examples similar to exam/test questions.
If your lectures aren't recorded, then ask if they could record them. Otherwise try to record them yourself, if that's allowed.

For those who don't have lectures and even you have lectures. Share the notes you made in class and get together with some classmates to take things through once in a while. it's a lot more exciting then learning alone and talking about it helps you determine if you really understandd it. Of course when you do this, you really should commit to studying and not goofing around.

4. Have breaks

Have a short break each hour, though stick to your times! I know how easy it is to keep on adding time to your break, but that isn't going to help you study. Best is if you set two timers on your phone or even better on a stopwatch. One with an hour and one with let's say fifteen minutes and remove all clocks from the room. Your only indication that it's time for a break will be when your timer starts making sound. This way you won't start slacking of when you see there are only 10 minutes left till your next break. During your break it's best that you don't start a game of call of duty or anything that's addictive or will take more than 15 minutes. Taking a break won't only relax you a bit, but also gives your brain some time to store all that new information.

5. Use post-its

Next to the fact that post-its always come in handy, they're also quiet handy when learning and also something that keeps you focused while learning. You can write pieces of your notes on them and stick them on the pages where they are relevant. You can write definitions on them and post them in your book. But most important and why I use them. You can write little important pieces on them and stick them all throughout the house. This way you can keep busy learning whenever walking around. You can read your post it's and be reminded of something. They say repeating helps you remember and this is a great way to repeat those hard parts you don't seem to get into your head.

Which tip worked best for you?

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It's all up to you

Actually when you really want to, you can focus. Like the day before an exam, then you're the most focused person in the world all of a sudden. It's a mental game you need to win from yourself. Do that and it will be even easier to study and focus.
Just something else I'd like to add. After this period in life, there's work and even though some think it's way more exciting and better than learning, it's not. Of course some people really enjoy it and you're supposed to if you studied to get that job, but you'll never have as much freedom as you have now. As many chances to just be alive and do stupid things as now. So I hope you'll see that as an other reason to study hard. Because even if I just said that working isn't all that great, working a job you don't even want to do is even harder. Study hard, do that job you love and enjoy life.

Good luck!


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