I am not able to concentrate while studying, what do I do?

Author: Dan Keating/26 September 2017/Categories: Leaving Cert, Junior Cert

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I am not able to concentrate while I study. What can I do?

It might seem very daunting when it comes to studying & often you can find it hard to concentrate.

We have prepared a comprehensive ten-part guide to perfect your study skills because that is exactly what it is. You can find it here - Study Skills: 10-Steps to Perfecting Yours.

I’ll go through the most relevant ones here and other guides that might be useful.

The first step we’ll need to look at is Finding Your Study Space

"Study room / workspace

Find a workspace/room that you can always associate with study and homework. Keep the room airy but warm, and have good light to avoid eyestrain. Avoid using a family space (like the kitchen table) where you have to set up and clear away when others need it, as this will affect your ability and motivation to study.

Study hall in school

There are advantages to attending study after school. You usually have to turn up, so there is no excuse of sitting and watching the telly while you "get ready" to do your homework. If you organise yourself well, you can make excellent use of the three or so hours of study. But, wherever you choose to study, you have the same goal: to get the best out of each and every study session.

Shelves & Storage

Have shelves to keep your books in order and clearly visible, where you can easily get them if needed.”

This is a very important step because it helps you remove all distractions from your study and ensures that everything is in such a way that it benefits your needs.

Now that you have your study space organised, we need to look at how to Plan Your Study

“The examination hall is the final stage of your two years of studying. Good preparation will mean that you are going into the exams well prepared and well equipped to give your best performance on the day. This chapter looks at ways you can make good use of your time leading up to, and during, exams.
Why start revision early? Include some element of revision in every homework or study session. Do this right from the beginning, and certainly from October of your examination year onwards. Regular revision helps keep information fresher in your long-term memory.

If you revise often, you will be able to retrieve the information you need more easily and faster when you need it. You will be less likely to panic or go blank during an exam, because your confidence levels as well as your store of knowledge will be greater. More importantly, nearer exams you will only have to go over existing knowledge rather than having to try to cram everything in at the last minute.”

A study plan is something that shouldn’t be forgotten - it helps you to weight the subjects that you have, allocate appropriate time, and manage your activities accordingly.

You can read the remaining ten steps here.

Next we’ll look at other things that will come in beneficial to your study.

Firstly - How to create the perfect flashcards

“Being organised and ordered with your studies and notes has been proven to aid memory retention. Having access to clear, concise and straight to the point notes is a massive advantage for any student at all stages of the year but particularly during the countdown to exam time.

Revision flashcards are among the best ways of presenting the fruits of your labour in a simple, go-to fashion. Flashcards are compact and leave no room for waffle; to create a good one you must have a comprehensive knowledge of what is you are wishing to summarise. Here are a few things to remember while creating your personal flashcards:

1. Brief Heading.

Your heading for each point should be short and simplified, avoid waffle and any long-windedness at all costs. This heading should be very easy to remember, so use everyday terms, you want to use your energy to remember the content not the heading!”

Lastly - 3 tips to improve your study time management.

“We are all guilty of taking the easy option and blaming a lack of time for our failing to study .A lack of time is rarely the issue, more often than not it is down to simply failing to manage this time as best we can. Try these simple tips to take-back your time and get more done!

1. Think Ahead

Before you get into bed each night think ahead to tomorrow and what you need to get done. From here take steps back and see if there is anything you can do now which will help you tomorrow. If you are training before school pack your bag now and know what you will be cooking for breakfast or if you are going to study straight after school pack some extra lunch.

Small steps now will save you from stressing and losing time tomorrow!

2. Prioritize

Be realistic and a little bit selfish with your time! Put yourself first and prioritize what you need to get done for yourself before trying to satisfy all around you. For example make sure you get your own study complete before offering to help a friend with theirs. You may feel good for helping but failing to get your own work complete will cause you to stress and place unnecessary pressure on yourself!”


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