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Ten Tips to Improve Concentration


1.  Intend to Concentrate

We all tend to do what we tell ourselves to do.  That's why it is easier to concentrate if you set a specific length of time to study and consciously say to yourself, "I will concentrate" for that amount of time.


2.  Prepare to Concentrate

Have everything you will need to study BEFORE you begin. This would include pencils, pens, paper, notes, books, calculator, eraser, etc.


3.  Use Activities that Promote Concentration

Put a pen or pencil your hand when you study. Rewrite your lecture notes to condense and organize them. Keep a notepad handy to make tally marks when you find yourself drifting from focus.


4. Vary Your Study Activities 

Switch from reading and taking notes to formulating questions and answers. Take a break and recite and review. Switch from one subject to another. Vary what you are doing to keep your mind engaged.


5.  Eat Regularly and Choose Well-balanced Meals and Snacks

Avoid sugary foods and drinks which cause your blood sugar levels to rise, negatively affecting concentration. Foods high in fat can cause sluggishness and drowsiness. Fruits and vegetables are good snack choices.


6.  Get Plenty of Sleep 

Being tired makes it hard to concentrate. Your brain functions best when it has time to rejuvenate during sleep.


7. Set Up a Specific Strategy for Studying 

Some great strategies include: creating note cards by putting a question on one side and the answer on the other side, Cornell Notes, creating mind maps, self-testing, teaching someone else what you know.


8.  Choose Your Study Environment Wisely 

Your study space should be a place that you use only for studying. When you are on your bed, at the kitchen table, or sitting on the floor, your brain thinks you are there to do something else.  Use the same study space as often as possible, and remove all distractions.  


9.  Set Goals for Yourself

You need daily, weekly, monthly and semester goals to keep you motivated.  When you see yourself progressing toward your goals you will feel successful.


10.  Take Regular Breaks from Studying

Concentration time varies from one person to another, so determine how long you can concentrate before losing focus and then give yourself a short 5-10 minute break when you start to lose focus.