HOW TO STUDY WITH 100% CONCENTRATION
Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory. – Bill Russell
Do you know a studious student who doesn’t excel in examinations? I know a host of them. Yes, I have come across students who have a way of intimidating others by the number of hours they spend at the reading table, making other appear like “lazy Nigerian youths”, to borrow the expression of PMB. Back in undergraduate days, my roommate would resume at the reading table at 7: 00 p.m. and she would not leave the reading table until 7:00 a.m. That sound hyperbolical, but it is an unadulterated eyewitness’ account. My roommate had to retake some courses because she didn’t “do well’. That left me with a puzzle: Why would somebody study so hard and still fail an examination? But recalling the hackneyed saying: “It is not how far but how well” solved the puzzle.
At this pedestal in scholarship, the question is no longer whether maximum concentration while studying is important to passing an examination. The question is: How do we achieve maximum concentration while studying in a world full of distractions? You want to be an “A” student, don’t you? Then you need to master the art of concentration while studying. Worry not, since MrCampus has already carried out a comprehensive compilation of 8 successful proven tips that will aid you to study with 100% concentration:
- Be in the Right Frame of Mind: The state of the mind is another factor to take into consideration before studying if you care to achieve 100% concentration. If you are emotionally disturbed, angry, bitter, or you are hurting, it is not the right to study. Sometimes you appear to be studying but your mind is elsewhere. Such a session of study is time well wasted, because at the end of the day, you are unable to name one thing you have gained from your session of study. A couple of days back, I found myself reading a sentence for more than four times without comprehending the meaning. I had just lost a dear friend, so my mind just kept on wandering off. If you have an option, don’t study on your black days.
- Study in The Right Environment: Environmental factor plays a key role in achieving concentration while studying. You will agree with me that a noisy environment is not study-friendly as the noise constitutes a form of distraction. Although I have seen a lot of students who claim that they can study even with the music in the highest volume, this is very doubtful. If you are in a noisy environment and must study, it is recommended that you excuse yourself and go to a secluded and quiet environment. If as a student, your neighbours are fond of playing music with the volume so high that it distracts you, you may need to make more use of the library or any other noiseless place.
- Set a Study Goal: A lot of time, keeping your destination in mind helps you to keep on going. If you cannot make a mental note of your study goal, pen it down in black and white. Sometimes it helps to break your goal down into objectives. (Note that your goal is the big picture while the objectives a small milestones realizable within a short time frame; two or more objectives make a goal.) Knowing what you set to have accomplished at the end of your study session will continue to spur you on to stay focused. Setting your goals for study makes you get back on track when you lose concentration. You can set the time you want to spend studying a particular chapter or topic. You can plan the number of topics you need to cover before you stop reading. With this, you remember as you see to beginning to lose focus; it keeps you moving.
- Always Do Self-Assessment: Closely linked to setting a study goal is the need for self-assessment. The goal you have set is of no use if you don’t assess yourself. You do not need to wait for formal continuous assessment from the lecturer to find out if you really understood all that you have studied. On-the-spot self-assessment is essential. If at the end of your study session, you ask yourself questions based on the objectives you have set and your are unable to answer the questions satisfactorily, you know that you did not concentrate while studying. Then you need go over the study material again with maximum concentration.
- Challenge Someone or Take up a Challenge: Always be competitive! Don’t just study because you want to pass (like they say, “let my people go”). Dare to be different. If you approach the study material with the mindset that you want to top the class or topple the frontrunner, you are naturally bound to stay focused. Don’t go on with the mindset that some students are destined for “A” while others are not. You know that student in your class whose score is never lower than 70, when you study, always keep him or her in mind with the intention of overtaking. If there is no such student in your class, be one!
- If the Need Arises, Take a Break: As suggested in the Law of Diminishing Returns, after hours of study, fatigue is bound to set in. We have individual differences, some people can study for more than five hours at a stretch; others can’t. So it is vital that you study yourself to know how much you can study at a go. If you can’t study for more than two hours and you try to compare yourself with someone that can go for more than five hours, you are likely going to lose concentration. If you are preparing for an examination and you need to study for a long period of time, it is suggested that you take a break after 2-3 hours of study. The break may not be more than ten minutes when you allow your brain to take a rest. You can go back to your study with a refreshed and revitalized mind; hence, it will be easier to concentrate.
- Be Actively Involved in Your Study: Most of the time, we mistake reading for studying. And there are different types of reading which includes skimming and scanning, neither of which requires a commitment from the reader. Many a student surveys the surface in the name of studying. Studying requires total commitment from the reader. You cannot actively study without a pen/pencil, as you will need to highlight or underline important points, make side notes or footnotes, summarise what you are reading in your own words, e.t.c. Truth is, you cannot do all these without maximum concentration. In fact doing these will make you focused on your study material so much that you may even become unconscious of your immediate environment.
- Have Good Nutrition: This may sound funny but it is just as essential as other tips to stay concentrated will studying. Many students overlook the importance of good nutrition on their ability to focus. Some students will be observing fasting and prayer to pass an exam, and still be studying to pass the same exam. Hunger and dehydration can significantly reduce your concentration skills. They do not only make all your efforts to focus redundant, but also waste important study time as you will leave the reading table no better than you came to it. Try to improve your focus skill by choosing to eat and drink right. Did you know that nuts are very good for you when you want to study? And to stay hydrated, take more of water and less of juice. An alternative to fresh water for hydration is coconut water, not Coke or Malt.
While studying, keep a bottle of water handy and sip at intervals. According to research, the following beverages are said to reduce concentration level. Try to avoid them as much as you can. They include:
You also need to eat the right food. You can take fruits, veggies and especially nuts. Try to avoid the following as much as you can:
*Foods heavy in sugar
*Foods heavy in carbohydrate
Try and observe these tips that I have shared to achieve 100% concentration while studying. Mrcampus wish you the best in your exams. Please watch out for the next article and feel free to drop your opinion or question in the comment box.