How to Remain Focused When Revising for Tests
When revising for tests, you are refreshing your mind and fine tuning your understanding of what you have learned. It is about relearning and adding more knowledge on the subject matter. If the subject is not within your interest, revising it for a test can be really challenging.
So how do you set your mind to focus on your revision?
Here are a few suggestions to help you focus on your revision:
1. Activate your mind with a list of questions
Within the syllabus of the subject matter, list down all the questions that you can think of. During your revision try to find a complete answer to each of the question. Make it your target to complete the answers to all the questions you have listed, before the test day.
2. Take a break every few hours
It is normal to lose focus after a period of time. When you find your mind keep on wandering away, just stop and take a break. Do something else. Go out for a walk or watch the television or play a game, whatever activity that can relax your mind. Take a nap if you feel it is necessary.
3. Varies your learning activities
Learning is not just about reading. Reading alone can be boring. There are many ways you can do your revision. One way is to form a discussion group with your friends. Discussions involve a lot of interactions. It helps you to better focus on the subject through sharing and exchanging knowledge. When you are not in a discussion, refresh your memories by drawing a mind map. Alternatively, you can drill your comprehension further by answering the questions at the end of each chapter or in a revision book. Or if you have a chance, go and visit your teacher for some tips and more knowledge.
4. Get enough sleep at night
When you are busy with your revision, it is easy for you to miss your bedtime. Sleeping late doesn't help. It only makes it worse. Make sure you have enough sleep. A good sleep and rest helps refresh your brain for a better absorption.
Some people sleep very late at night and try to replace it by sleeping in the daytime. This is not advisable. One hour sleeping at night is not the same as one hour sleeping in daytime. You can read more about sleeping disorders and misconceptions here in this article by National Center on Sleep Disorders Research of National Institutes of Health, US.
Meditation is not only good for your mental health but also good in improving your concentration. Try to meditate at least once a day. Focus on your breathing. Think and feel nothing else except of your breathing, in and out. This helps you to clear up your mind and prepares you for your revision.
6. Do some exercises to reduce anxiety
Thinking about a test that you are going to take sometimes makes you anxious. You just can't help worrying. Anxiety makes you lose your focus. You want to cover so many topics at the same time. Concentrating on one topic is difficult because your mind keep on thinking about other topics that you have not covered yet.
Anxiety doesn't give you any benefit. So break out of it. Exercise regularly to help you feel relax and calm. You don't have to go to the gym. Some moderate activity or some aerobic exercise is good enough.
How well you can focus on your revision depends largely on how consistent you are in your studies. A student who study regularly is more calm and confident when preparing for a test compare to a student who leave everything to the last minute. Scheduling your revision time into your daily activity and balancing it with other activities is not much a problem with a well prepared student. She doesn't have to sacrifice her sleeping time or exercise time. Spending a few minutes of her time for meditation and taking regular breaks doesn't hurt her. On the other hand, a last minute student can't help spending every minute of his time doing revision. Her inability to balance her activities will make her condition worse. Therefore the key here is to be always prepared. Without which, the suggestions here can't help you much in focusing on your revision.
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