If you’re having trouble concentrating on your studies this can really ruin a revision session.  Feeling upset about something someone said to you, daydreaming about a night out or just feeling bored can mean that you fail to get the most from your studies.  You can sit dutifully at your desk for an hour, but if you’re not making any progress on compiling your revision sheets, then you’re wasting your time.  You need some tips to help you focus and maximise the productivity of your study period.

Revision guide: your ‘controlled’ space

You need a work station that is set up to match your requirements.  If it’s too warm you may feel like falling asleep, but too cold and all you will think about is how cold you are.  If you like to work with some music on (this may be your learning style) then choose something soothing that won’t distract you from your reading.  A really soft chair (like a papasan) may send you off to sleep, so you need something comfortable and supportive.  Put everything you need during a study session (paper, pens, laptop, glass of water, tissues, chewing gum) close to you so that you don’t have to get up and break the session mid-way.

Revision tips – take a break

Reading endlessly can be tiring, particularly if you’re not that interested in the subject.  Try different methods of studying.  For instance, you might read for 20 minutes, then switch to answering the questions at the end of a chapter to help you assimilate and understand the information better.  Alternatively, you could make up some flash cards or draw mind maps of the data.  You might try reading material aloud to yourself or writing essay plans to past papers for 15 minutes.

Revise without worries

Concentration can sometimes wander if you are worried.  If you find this is you, it can help to spend 10 minutes at the start of your study session writing these worries down.  Write one A4 page of your “stream of consciousness” thoughts, then put it away.  This should help you get these thoughts out of your system and sometimes writing them down can help you see the solutions.

Did you find this helpful?  Let us know if you are having any particular problems with essay writing or revision skills by posting a comment below.