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Top Ten Tips for Increasing Student Concentration

Top Ten Tips for Increasing Student Concentration:
  • Start assignments with some curiosity about the material and a positive attitude toward learning.
  • Designate a place where you go only to study. Use proper lighting.
  • Identify your distractions. Find ways to decrease them or to postpone them until study breaks (e.g., taking the phone off the hook, turning off instant messenger).
  • Decrease noises around you while studying. If you need some background music it should be soft. Keep the TV off.
  • Use "active study" techniques: sit straight in a chair at a desk, start out with questions about the material, outline chapters, underline key phrases after reading a section, write notes in margins, ask yourself what you have learned.
  • Divide your work into smaller manageable tasks that can be completed in a short period of time. Push yourself to complete one small task, then move on to the next task. Focus on one small task at a time.
  • Use times of peak alertness for studying difficult or less interesting topics. When you are tired or hungry concentration will be lowered.
  • When your mind starts to wander come up with some cue words to say to yourself (e.g., "Focus." "Get back on task.") to focus your concentration again.
  • Take breaks when you have completed tasks or when you feel concentration has decreased. Breaks should be approximately 10-15 minutes.
  • If you have other assignments or issues on your mind write them down on a "to do" list or take a small step to deal with them. Then get back to focusing on the task at hand.
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