To delve deep into your subject matter and to gain a good understanding requires concentration. To ensure you are able to do this there are a few conditions, which if fulfilled, will enable an optimal study experience.
A quiet space
Your first requirement is a good space without distraction. You need to be sure that you will be uninterrupted for a couple of hours. If your accommodation does not offer this possibility then go to the library and find a spot free of too much traffic. One great advantage of working in the library is the immediate availability of reference texts should you come across a problem that needs further investigation or referencing. Make sure you have all that you need with you. Your concentration will be broken if your pen runs out of ink or you need more paper and have to leave to get more.
In order to focus sufficiently on your work you need to leave other concerns behind for a while. Tension, stress, emotion, will all have an adverse effect. Deal with these issues using some of the good tips, make sure you get a good night’s sleep, and eat well. Exercise regularly to keep fit.
It is difficult to work well if you are behind time with your work schedule. Try and keep ahead and you will be less worried and more focused. Take a short break at approximately every half hour to forty-five minutes. Five minutes is long enough to go outside and breathe some fresh air and stretch your legs. Stop working when you become tired and your attention begins to wander.
Be well organized with your filing system. You really do not want to waste time searching for that little piece of paper that you jotted some notes on.
Now the scene is set to begin work it is time to look at concentration itself. The above preparation will help you to create a working atmosphere but it does not guarantee your ability to concentrate. It helps to note down your aims for the study period and to keep to them. if ideas keep coming into your mind that are not related to the work you are doing then keep an extra piece of paper ready and jot them down. That way you will not worry about forgetting them and for the moment they are out of the way. Do not feel intimidated by anything you do not understand immediately. Persist and re-read, noting down any questions that arise. Return to the problem later after completing your work and place it at top of your list of goals for the next study period.
Writing down what you are learning as you read, or in class while listening to your lecturer, helps you to memorize new facts more easily. Essay writing offers an excellent opportunity to learn and memorize in depth so always aim to write a thorough and well researched essay. Take notes on all your subjects and file them for later revision.
It is difficult to concentrate on one area of work for too long so apportion a length of time to each subject. This adds variety and freshness but make sure you have spent enough time on each lot of work. If you find it more difficult to concentrate on a specific subject then break down the time you have decided to spend on this subject into shorter portions of twenty to twenty-five minutes.
As a general rule work for as long as you feel alert and absorbed in your work. When you are finished do something enjoyable. You will find it very satisfying after a successful study period.
You are not alone
Do not forget that there are many other students in your class and it is good to meet and discuss what you have learnt. Share and you will notice the benefits in increased ease at remembering and re-producing your subject matter. The mind is like a muscle in that regular practice will improve your power of concentration.