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4 Ways to Stay Focused During Exam Prep


At the close of each school semester, campus libraries are flooded with students who are preparing for end-of-the-semester exams, but going to the library doesn’t guarantee a productive study session. Here are four ways to stay focused during long study hours and set yourself up for success during exam week.

Remove Yourself From Distractions

This one seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people sabotage their study time by not eliminating distractions. If there are websites you find yourself mindlessly scrolling, blocking those sites in your web browser of choice will keep your attention focused on your schoolwork. While phones can be a great option for a Wi-Fi hotspot, they can also be incredibly distracting. The Do Not Disturb setting is a great option for eliminating text and social media notifications. Don’t trust yourself to ignore your phone for a few hours, even on Do Not Disturb? Mobile hotspots for students are great options that will let you leave the phone behind and still allow you to connect to the internet no matter where you study.

Go Somewhere New

Sometimes trying to study in the space where you live can prevent you from focusing. While you might not normally enjoy chores, when it comes time to study, doing the dishes or folding laundry might seem like an appealing choice. Create distance between yourself and these chores that enable you to procrastinate by going somewhere entirely new, whether it be a public library, an empty classroom, or somewhere off campus. Many restaurants and coffee places near campuses are study-friendly, offering WiFi hotspots for students so that they can sit, eat, and study for hours. These alternative study locations not only provide a change of scenery but also often have a quiet and conducive environment for studying online. While doing so, you may have access to exam prep materials such as textbooks, reference books, and online resources, further supporting your focused and productive study sessions outside of your usual living environment. Don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to the indoors, either. On especially nice days you can tap into the school WiFi hotspot, pack a blanket, and take your studying outside.

Surround Yourself with Other People Who are Working

Sometimes being totally alone, surrounded by peace and quiet will help you get the most out of your study period. At other times, no matter how secluded you are, you might just not be able to focus. If you find yourself struggling to concentrate even when you’re removed from distractions, surrounding yourself with others who are diligently working will convince your brain to do the same. Behavior mirroring is a subconscious process that you can actively stimulate by placing yourself in the right environment. Whether it’s the library or a study room, putting yourself in the right environment will convince your brain to settle in and study.

Give Yourself Breaks

Marathon study sessions can seem daunting. Break those long hours up into more manageable chunks. Give yourself a set amount of time every hour to get up, walk around, and give your brain a break. If you’ve disconnected from the internet, reward yourself by reconnecting to the school WiFi hotspot and browsing a few websites. The last thing you want is to have devoted time to studying only to realize at the end of the day that you’ve retained very little. Extend yourself grace and you’ll see positive results on exam day.

Give yourself plenty of time over the course of the semester to figure out what makes a productive study session for you. Explore your campus, find those tucked away quiet places, and observe your productive hours. Good luck!

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