Competitive exam preparation forces aspirants to follow a rigorous study schedule with adequate time management and long study hours. Since exams are approaching quickly, in an attempt to finish their entire syllabus, revision with enough questions practice, students often push themselves to study for 10-14 hours daily. Though that much study time seems necessary at that moment to ace your exams, students often feel like their concentration and focus on studies slowly diminishing due to their exhaustive study schedule.
If you are among them, don’t panic, because in this article, we are going to list some study concentration activities and best practices to study longer without feeling tired or losing focus. So let’s jump right into them…
Best practices to study longer hours without losing concentration and focus:
1. Prioritize your topics:
Prioritizing is one of the best study concentration activities that will help you stay focused on your studies for a longer duration. You need to analyze which topics, chapters, or concepts you are having difficulty in understanding and prioritize them accordingly. Take up the difficult topics when you are feeling most productive – either in the morning or in the early evening. Also, study easier topics or concepts when you are feeling tired.
Meditation is among the most implemented activities for long study sessions. As far as academics are concerned, research suggests that 15-20 minutes of mindful mediation calms the mind, relieves stress, anxiety and improves concentration levels for better concept retention. So whenever you are feeling exhausted, close your eyes and meditate for approximately 10-15 minutes. Doing so will replenish your energy for the next study session.
This is among the most recommended activities for long study sessions. Taking regular breaks will refresh your mind and also restore your waving concentration. Research shows that your concentration levels start dropping after 50 minutes or so, and if you’ll keep pushing beyond that, you’ll be studying with less focus which is equivalent to wasting time. Therefore after every 40-45 minutes of the rigorous study session, take a 5-10 minute break and do something fun and productive to re-establish your concentration.
4. Mix up topics/subjects:
You tend to get bored and tired while studying the same topic or subject for a long time. Even the interesting one seems dull after a certain period of time. To avoid that scenario, it is recommended to mix up your topics/subjects. Experts advise that while preparing for competitive exams, students should study all the required subjects each day. Allocate specific hours for each subject in your daily schedule and swap topics after every hour or 45 minutes or whenever you feel bored. This way you can retain your concentration for longer study sessions.
5. Nap when needed:
Napping in the daytime has been found to restore our brain energy and improve focus. Also, studies suggest that, when you nap in the afternoon for 30-40 minutes, you’ll feel more refreshed and energetic for rigorous study sessions even late in the evening. So, take a power nap in the afternoon for 30-40 minutes to keep studying late in the night without feeling burnout. Keep in mind to always set your alarm before napping in order to avoid sleeping more and take naps at the same time every day to synchronize it within your biological clock.
6. Eliminate distractions:
Trying to focus on your studies while keeping the television on in the background, or checking your social media feed every time your phone pings would be a complete waste of time, energy, and effort. You can never learn or retain new information when your potential distractions are in your sight. Hence, for longer study sessions, eliminate all sorts of distractions, switch off your phone and television while studying, or if you are getting distracted by something else, remove it from your site for effective learning.
7. Learn while writing:
Research has shown that if you opt for just reading while studying, you are bound to feel grogginess crawling in after some time. Therefore for longer study sessions, it is better to study while writing. There are various benefits of writing like, first, you won’t fall asleep, second, it will make you more alert and you need to engage your brain for recalling information which ensures that you’ve learned and understood the concepts clearly. If you don’t like re-writing your notes, it is better to practice some questions or solve numerical problems. Doing so will also alert your brain and fight off sleepiness.
8. Eat healthy snacks:
Your brain needs energy to stay active for studies. Hence a well-balanced diet is imperative for all aspirants, but excessive eating or binging on junk food can crash your energy levels and makes you more tired than before. Similarly, an empty and grumbling stomach is distracting. So always eat your meals on time and curb your cravings by eating some healthy snacks during your study sessions. Munching on brain foods like almonds, cheese, yogurt, or dark chocolates will satisfy your hunger and boost your concentration levels.
A few science-backed tips & techniques to stay focused for longer study hours:
- Create a study plan and follow it
- Tune in to some soothing background music while studying
- Set up a perfect study space without any distractions
- Stretch your body, workout, or go for a small walk during your breaks
- Avoid procrastination and multitasking
- Reward yourself even for small accomplishments
- Take part in group study sessions to sharpen your knowledge
- Break complex chapters into smaller topics
- Avoid cramming
- Keep yourself hydrated
- Set a timer for each study session/task
These are some of the activities for long study sessions that you can implement to increase your study hours. However, you should always remember that for cracking competitive exams, the quality of studying is always more important than the number of hours you put into it. Also don’t stretch yourself too thin by compromising your sleep and exercise, such a study schedule won’t be sustainable for the long term. If you need more tips or advice regarding your study habits and time management, ALLEN Overseas provide aspirants with the best academic support and guidance to achieve their dream success. Reach out to our experts to ace your preparation for the best outcome.
For more tips and study guidance, you can also check our other posts…
- How to Plan your Study Hours Smartly?
- How to Prepare for Your Exams With Effective Study Breaks?
- Effective Time Management: How To Manage Time During Exams?
- Tips To Study for Exams
- How to Score more than 90% in CBSE Board Exams