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Difficulty preparing for exams

Question Posted Monday January 10 2005, 12:31 pm

I have exams coming up, but I find it really difficult to settle down to working. I always end up finding things to distract myself with and waste loads of time, even though I do honestly want to work and do well. I hate my short concentration span when it comes to working. How can I make preparing for exams easier?

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hailebop answered Monday January 10 2005, 12:32 pm:
Everyone is slightly different when it comes to working and revising, so you have to find a method of working and a working environment that helps you to study well.<p>

It's always good to clear yourself a space so you can see and reach any notes you need easily. If your work-space is cluttered, you'll end up being distracted as having to search for information under piles of paper stops the flow of what your doing, and it's much easier to keep going once you've started.<p>

You've said that you find things to distract yourself. If you do this before you've even started to work (as I have a tendency to do!), set yourself a reasonable time at which you are going to start, and stick to it. Set your things out, then give yourself five minutes to faff around or make yourself a drink but once this time is over, settle down to work. Allow yourself those five minutes of procrastination, as allowing yourself a little indulgence will make you more relaxed when you do start, which will mean you actually work for longer before your mind starts wandering again.<p>

Some people would advise you to set yourself a task, such as reading and making notes on a chapter, and not stopping until that task is finished. If this works for you, then great, but if you get bored quickly it can be really difficult to force yourself to slug your way to the end, and it's probably less than productive. Instead, take a short five-minute break when you mind wandering too much - stretch, listen to the radio, or delve into a magazine for a few minutes, and then go back. Your brain will feel more awake and ready to tackle the task, and, at the end of the day, as well as feeling like you've had a few minutes of break throughout the day, you'll actually finish quicker and feeling fresher than you would have otherwise.

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