Did you feel that you were completely ready for your midterms? Did you procrastinate and push off studying because you could not focus?  Most likely, if you are a freshman in college, you have fallen into the trap of under preparing for an exam or misunderstanding an assignment.  There are many tricks that can increase focus and allow you to study class materials and understand the content before a big exam or assesment.  

One example of a way to enhance focus on a particular assignment or project is to set periodic timers on your phone.  For the period of time, set a timer: 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour, etc. and work without any distractions. The timer allows you to plan breaks and to see the “light at the end of the tunnel” during your study session.

Student sets a timer, Credit: Catherine McMullan

Another beneficial way to focus when studying is to practice utilizing a memorizing technique where you read the material aloud.  When revising an essay, read it slowly aloud paragraph by paragraph. With this tactic, you are able to familiarize yourself with the material and also catch mistakes in your writing, which you may have missed by just reading in your head.

With Halloween just this past week, there are bound to be some leftover candy in your dorm.  Another creative way to gain incentive to finish homework or study material is to reward yourself with a snack.  For example, if you have a long chapter book to complete, you can put a piece of candy at the end of the section; this is a fun way to get through work quicker.

Study Rewards, Credit: Catherine McMullan

Sometimes spending all your time in your bedroom can begin to affect your quality of work and can also distract you from focusing purely on being productive.  It you find yourself in a frustrated place, especially when writing a paper or creating a project, taking a walk or working somewhere new many help generate creativity.  Working in your room and on your bed tricks your body into believing that you’re ready for sleep, even if you intend on doing homework. Sitting outdoors or even in a new spot in the library can be beneficial for your productivity and also help produce new ideas. 

Caroline Studying in Einstein’s, Credit: Catherine McMullan

One final way to insure that you can remain focused is by putting your phone in a different room.  Cell phones are a source of constant distraction, from social media, to music, to sound alerts. By placing your phone in a different room, you are able to completely eliminate this distraction from your work space. 

These tips will help you focus and add a variety of techniques to your studying routine. Happy studying!


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