DEVELOP BETTER CONCENTRATION WHILE STUDYING
Think of concentration improvement as a three-step process:
1) Learn the causes of poor concentration and decide which apply to you.
2) Understand what you can do to control these factors.
3) Make control a habit.
LEARN THE CAUSES
CONTROL THE CAUSES
Environmental distractions:TV, chairs that are too comfortable, snacks, other people, etc.
Leave or rearrange a distracting environment. Go to a library or a classroom when you seriously intend to study.
Noise: music with words, conversations.
Train yourself to study away from others and in silence.
Physical distractions:hunger, drowsiness.
Plan to study when you’re most alert. Eat a high-protein snack. Do five minutes of light exercise to wake up.
Boredom, dislike, disinterest
Find a good reason for taking the class; talk with other students and the professor.
Anxiety about studies
Make sure you know how to study effectively. Put the course in perspective.
Intimidating study tasks
Break up large tasks into achievable subtasks. Do the most intimidating task first. Give yourself rewards for progress and punishments for avoidance.
Separate daydreams from studying. When your mind starts to wander, write down the interrupting thought and continue studying. Or recall important points and then turn away from your book and continue to daydream. When you’re ready to read again, do so. The trick is not to daydream and read at the same time.
Identify and define the problem and develop a concrete, specific plan to resolve personal worries. Talk with someone who can help: a friend, a counsellor, a specialist.
MAKE CONTROL A HABIT
Even if you lapse into old habits of distraction and daydreaming, keep requiring yourself to concentrate using these controls until you can routinely concentrate well on your studies for fifty minutes of every hour.
WHAT ARE YOUR CHANCES OF SUCCESS
THOSE WHO CHANCES OF SUCCESS INCREASE
THOSE WHO CHANCES OF SUCCESS DECREASE
Are open to acquiring and refining techniques for better learning.
Attend review sessions, ask questions in class, and join study groups.
Strive to understand. They clarify, rewrite main ideas and details, and make questions and answers from material to be learned.
Read for the purposes of understanding and learning. The goal is to learn.
Emphasize understanding content. Areas of confusion are clarified. Studying for exams begins early and cramming is avoided.
Anticipate amounts of time needed for assignments and begin early. Break large tasks into smaller, easier to manage pieces.
Want to self-test to discover what has and hasn’t been learned before taking exams.
Balance time between academic and personal growth activities.
Willing to learn and do what is necessary to succeed in college. Mastered a process to do so.
Choose positive attitudes about learning and tasks necessary to earn a degree.
Can convert ideas into own words. Don’t accept the importance of acquiring and refining the skills essential to learning.
Rarely utilize opportunities that aid knowledge acquisition.
Often reread as a means for study, emphasize memorization not understanding, rarely rewrite, or reorganize notes.
Read mechanically and because it is assigned. The goal is to finish the reading.
Cramming is common. Areas of confusion are ignored. Recognition of ideas and details, not understanding, is emphasized.
Don’t see how much time is required to complete a task. Begin assignments late thus output is below potential.
Rarely realize how much has been learned and not learned until exams are returned.
Spend majority of time on personal growth activities. Time spent on academic and personal growth activities is unbalanced.
Resist doing what’s necessary to succeed in college and have no system or method developed for succeeding in college.
Choose negative attitudes. Frequently complain about doing what is necessary to earn a degree.