Studying for exams or academic essays writing can be quite hectic and tedious, especially when you lack the motivation to do so. This happens because you get overwhelmed with a lot of information that needs to be covered before the exams start, and the anticipation for the exams themselves can result in boredom.
At this point, it is important to have techniques that will improve your concentration and motivate you when you are unfocused and bored.
The ability to concentrate and take in all the information being for study varies from one person to another. Some can concentrate and understand the information after their third reading, while others can take forever, because their minds are all over the place, thinking about anything else other than what they are reading.
Further, remembering what you have read after a while can be a challenge. Adopting the following techniques can help with concentration and remembering.
Teach each other
Break the topic or subject of study into various parts, then assign these parts to individuals in a study group.
Each student should do a thorough study of the subject, then meet later and teach each other what you understood from those parts. This technique is efficient because the person teaching others can involve them in a discussion, and everyone will end up understanding even the concepts that they would have otherwise skipped.
Also, this technique ensures there is active learning which makes it easy to remember the contents days after studying. It is convenient for all subjects, from literature to economics.
Use a personal set of questions
One way of ensuring active learning and improving concentration is by setting questions from every part you study. The questions should be carefully formulated, and you should think about what an examiner is likely to ask from those parts. Then answer these questions.
This technique is appropriate when you are studying subjects that have a lot of information. Additionally, the questions and answers can be saved and used for future revision.
Adopt new study approaches
Instead of focusing on books and class notes as the only source of study material, you can use other sources such as podcasts and radio shows that provide information on your area of study.
These sources are efficient because you do not need to sit down to listen to them, and they give you a new understanding of a given concept. For instance, you can listen to a podcast while walking or doing other things.
The sources do not have to be restricted to your subject of study because you can gain new information from sources in other areas of study and improve your grades.
Use past papers
Instead of reading your notes, you can go through all the past papers at your disposal and answer all the questions. Ensure you have a marking scheme for the past papers, which will guide you in identifying where you answered correctly and where you went wrong.
The advantage of this technique is that you will find similar questions that have been repeated in the past paper, with the only difference being the wording and the formulation of the questions. As such, you will be able to understand the concept better because every time you go through the marking scheme, you get to know the specific requirements for answering the questions well.
Also, the level of concentration is high because you get to compare your answers with what is on the marking scheme, and you can time yourself as if you were doing an actual exam.
Further, most past papers cover almost all the concept in the syllabus, and combining this technique with other techniques can yield optimal results.
However, make sure you are updated on changes in the syllabus while using this technique to avoid reading unnecessary information or missing new information.
Putting information in memory can be a challenging task, especially if your concentration is poor. You can use creative techniques to ensure you concentrate and remember what you have learned.
One way of doing this is by writing all the information you want to remember in posters. Additionally, you can put that information into a song or a rap, which will help you remember them easily.
Other ways include using acronyms, which is especially helpful when you are memorizing information. However, it is important to identify which creative approach works best for you.
Staying motivated through the entire study period is important because you need to cover a lot of information over a seemingly limited amount of time. The following techniques can be helpful.
Change your study routine
While studying for exams, you cannot entirely depend on your normal study routine because time is a factor that needs to be considered.
Therefore, you will need to change your study routine completely to ensure you are well prepared for the exams. To do this effectively, it is important to consider what works for you based on the time when you feel more productive.
If you are a morning person, you can wake up earlier than usual to study, and if you are not, you can extend late into the night only to make sure you cover more information.
When you are studying late into the night or very early in the morning, you will be more motivated to stay focused because you are sacrificing your sleeping time. However, this technique should only be used when you are desperate and time is not on your side, to avoid being overwhelmed.
Plan a daily group social activity
When studying, you tend to spend most of your time in the library and more than often, this can result in a lack of motivation. Human beings can only concentrate for so long and a lack of distraction from the normal routine, which in this case is studying, can result in boredom.
To avoid this, plan some fun activities with a group of friends, something that you all enjoy doing and allocate some time to carry out the activities every day. For instance, if you enjoy jogging, go for a jog every evening with your friends.
This will not only improve your concentration, but it will also keep you motivated because you will all be looking forward to something fun at the end of each day.
Additionally, it will give you a break from studying, where you can spend time together away from the library.
Plan your revision
This technique involves scheduling your revision time and setting realistic goals that can be achieved within the set time frame. It is especially helpful when you feel overwhelmed with study materials, and you are not sure where to start and whether you will be able to cover it all.
To deal with this challenge, break down your revision into parts, and make sure you finish those parts by the end of each day. Make sure you reward yourself every time you finish a part, either by eating something or by performing short activities that make you happy.
This will keep your morale up, and you will be more focused because you are looking forward to some reward at the end of each part.