Concentration Skills of Students

The students report problems in concentrating on their studies. Most of these students blame outside distractions for their problems.

Many research studies about “manipulating noise levels and distractions” have found that such disturbances may increase, decrease, or not even affect concentration.

These researchers have therefore concluded that distracters don't cause concentration problems directly. It is the way the distracters are interpreted by the students that disrupts their study.

Ways To Increase Concentration

We can divide strategies for improving concentration into two categories. Each category can include things like improving study environment, following a study routine and developing realistic goals.
  • Study Environment
  • Distraction free
  • Conditions (i.e. chair, desk, temperature and lighting) are conducive for studying
  • Materials you need for studying are present
  • Structure for Study Sessions
  • Develop realistic goals for the study session
  • Decide the order in which you will complete tasks
  • Plan a reward

Improving Study Environment

I Set aside a place for study and study only !
  • Find a specific place (or places) that you can use for studying (for example, the campus libraries, vacant classrooms, quiet areas in the student center, bedroom at home, etc.)

  • Make a place specific for studying. So, don't use your study space for social conversations, writing letters, daydreaming, etc.

  • Insure that your study area has the following:
    • good lighting
    • ventilation
    • a comfortable chair, but not too comfortable
    • a desk large enough to spread out your materials
  • Insure that your study area does not have the following:
    • a distracting view of other activities that you want to be involved in
    • a telephone
    • a loud stereo
    • a 27-inch color TV
    • a roommate or friend who wants to talk a lot
    • a refrigerator stocked with scrumptious goodies

Setting Realistic Goals for Your Study

II Divide your work into small, short-range goals.

  • Don't set a goal as vague and large as ... "I am going to spend all day Saturday studying!" This will not happen it will just lead to failure and discouragement.

  • Take the time block that you have scheduled for study and set a reachable study goal. (for example: finish reading 3 sections of the chapter seven in your Psych. text, or complete one math problem or write the rough draft of the introduction to my English paper, etc.)
Concentration and memory work together but one does not lead to the other. To concentrate is to direct your mental powers or your efforts towards a particular activity, subject or problem. Memory is the ability to remember information, experiences and people. There are some specific skills that can be learned to enhance both concentration and memory. Practicing these skills is likely to improve one's success as a student.

Once something is stored in our brain, we never forget it. We may, however, have difficulty in recalling the information. It is also possible that the information we are trying to recall was never stored. This program will help you understand the structure of memory and also suggest some skills you can use to try to improve your memory.

Good concentration will enhance memory. If we only practice skills that improve your memory but never look at factors that enhance concentration, our efforts will only be marginally successful. For this reason, some tips for improving concentration will also be discussed in this program.

How to Avoid Distractions During Study

Study time is wasted by distractions, be it talking to friends, playing computer games or watching TV. Think about your last study period. How long did you try to study (time from beginning to end) and how much of that time was actually spent studying? If there is a big discrepancy in your response to these two questions, you may wish to explore another study location with fewer distractions. The result may be that it actually takes you less time to accomplish the same amount of work because you are able to stay focused in that environment more easily. Another source of distractions may be personal concerns, which can be more difficult to control. If you find that this is your greatest study distraction, you may wish to talk with a counselor on your campus to try to find ways to reduce or resolve your personal concerns. Conditions (i.e. chair, desk/table, lighting, and temperature) are conducive to studying. The chair used for studying should be comfortable enough that you can sit for 45 - 50 minutes at a time. Sitting at a desk or table that provides adequate space for your materials to be spread out is important. The lighting in the room should not cause eye strain and the temperature should be comfortably cool.

Click on the links in the box below for a complete guide on Stress Management.

Stress Management Guide

 Causes of Stress Kinds of Stress
Effects of Stress
 Tips to Reduce Stress
 Exam Stress Parenting Stress
Stress Due to Eating Disorders Stress Among Adolescents
Stress Factors For Students Coping Strategies for Stress
FAQs on Stress
Decision Making

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