15 tips on how to concentrate to study

Maximise your focus with these practical tips to improve concentration during study

With school exams just around the corner, it's time to know how to organize your study days and how to concentrate in order to get the most out of the hours you spend studying. In reality, there is no magic formula for memorizing everything, but there are certain habits that can help you do so. 

Here are 15 tips on how to concentrate for studying before exams. They are simple hacks for everyday use that work for students of any age, because they can always be applied in everyday life. 

How to concentrate to study 

Don't know how to concentrate on studying? 

Try these 15 tips: 

1. Choose a quiet study area 

The first thing in this guide on how to concentrate on studying is to choose the right place to do it, away from distractions. That quiet space where there are no temptations or distractions such as television, mobile phones, pets, etc. You can simply lock yourself in your room to study. 

In addition to space, it is essential to be comfortable so as not to strain your back or neck, as we are going to be there for several hours. If you can, choose an ergonomic study chair. 

It is also important to control the temperature of your study space, making sure it is ventilated but not cold. The more comfortable it is, the more comfortable it may seem, the better you will study. Try to create an optimal study environment.

2. Set a timetable with breaks 

Some students have the habit of studying all day long before the exam, which, besides being very tiring, can make you forget the "memorized" contents beforehand. 

Having a timetable that divides study and subjects into days or weeks will make it much easier to concentrate on studying and memorizing. 

In addition, it is essential to add breaks into this planning. Studies have confirmed that it is impossible to stay focused on studying for more than an hour. This is why you can organize your syllabus in periods of 30 to 50 minutes with 5-10 minute breaks. Your brain will be grateful for this to assimilate the information received and recover energy. This is one of the best tricks if you don't know how to concentrate when studying. 

3. Set goals and rewards 

To help motivate you to study, it works very well to set daily goals and "rewards" if you achieve them. For example, if you finish Topic 1, you can eat a sweet, take a nap or whatever you want. Above all, don't try to achieve more than you can, make sure that the goals are achievable so as not to cause the opposite effect of demotivation if they are not met. 

4. Organize your content 

Another of the tips for concentrating when studying that works best is to organize the content, so that it doesn't become a world or an uphill struggle. 

Start with the least pleasant subject matter. Your mind will be fresher and you will be able to concentrate more easily. 

It is advisable to change the subject every hour to make studying more enjoyable. However, it is not advisable to study two completely different subjects at the same time (e.g. mathematics and literature). 

5. Define key words 

If you have to memorize texts or a lot of data, summarizing the content in a few key words will help you to create a mental outline of the subject matter. You can also write short and simple sentences for each section, which will undoubtedly help you to quickly remember the rest of the content.   

6. Study out loud, ask yourself questions and give yourself answers

 Another of the best tips for concentrating when studying is to read aloud. Simply ask yourself questions as you read and try to answer them while looking away from the syllabus. You can ask a classmate or your parents to ask you questions. It will help you memorize everything much faster. 

7. Train your mind with games and exercises

The seventh tip in this guide on 'how to concentrate to study and memorize' is to train your mind and put it to the test. 

The week before or during the exams, you can spend 15 minutes a day training your mind to be quick and active. There are different mobile applications and video games focused on "Brain Training", try it and see

8. Sleep well, at least 7-8 hours a day

Rest is essential to concentrate and perform well when studying. A good sign of this is if you feel fresh and active when you wake up, if so, you have slept well.   

It is not advisable to study in the early hours of the morning, as our brain is tired all day and we will sleep less, which will affect our memory the next day and we will not be able to remember everything we have studied. Even so, if you are better at studying at night because no one bothers you, do it, but try to sleep the necessary hours 

Keep in mind that you will study more and better if you are not sleepy. If you are tired, you will not be productive during your studies. In this situation, many people find that they are unable to concentrate when studying. 

9. Exercise 

Another of the tips for concentrating when studying that works best is to exercise. If you have some time, go for a run, play a game of paddle tennis, football or basketball, dance or move in any way you feel like. 

Do you know why? Because exercise causes our body to bring oxygen and blood to the brain and improves our cognitive capacity. As the famous Latin quote says: Mens sana in corpore sano.

10. Ask your questions 

Still not sure how to concentrate when studying? Another formula that works well is to ask your doubts to teachers or classmates. Sometimes we keep our doubts to ourselves out of pride, because we don't want others to know that we don't know enough or even out of embarrassment. But the priority is to pass the exam and asking questions will give you a better chance of getting a good mark. It is not worth having doubts out of embarrassment. 

11. Underline what is most important in your notes. 

 When it comes to studying, there are two types of students, those who underline and those who don't. If we don't want to stain our books, we can use pencils to underline them. If we don't want to stain our books, we can use pencils to underline, but this allows us to study much faster, especially if we don't have time to make notes.  

The same goes for post-it notes. You can put them on different pages of the books, to leave notes and complement the information, which may fall into the exam. 

 12. Ask for the best notes

Don't be ashamed to ask for notes. Today for you, tomorrow for me. We all have friends who make good notes and it is something that has a lot of merit. If, no matter how hard you try, you find that you can't study with your notes, that you have questions or that things aren't clear, don't hesitate to ask for them. Always with enough time in advance and being grateful. 

13. Study with friends or classmates 

Not everyone enjoys studying alone. Some people are more motivated to study with classmates. If you find that you feel more motivated studying with friends, don't hesitate and prepare for your exams this way. You are sure to learn more in less time. 

14. Consider going to a library  

 If you still have doubts about how to concentrate in order to study and memorize, you can consider going to a library. These places do not exist by chance, because sometimes at home it can be difficult to concentrate with the family or pets. In addition, by going to the library you will be immersed in a study environment and avoid temptations such as watching TV.

15. Watch your diet 

Believe it or not, diet plays a crucial role in the concentration levels of our mind. It is important to follow a healthy and balanced diet, with vegetables, fruit, fish, etc.  

In the days leading up to the exam, it is advisable to avoid large meals, as they can make you drowsy and make you feel fuller. It is better to opt for foods that fill you up, but without making you feel too heavy, as can happen with legumes, for example.  

What should I not drink? 

Coffee, soft drinks and any food high in sugar should be avoided in the afternoon and evening so as not to disturb our sleep.    

What foods boost concentration? 

Foods rich in potassium and magnesium such as bananas, nuts, especially walnuts, and vegetables such as spinach. Chocolate in small amounts also boosts visual and verbal memory. 

We hope you find this guide on how to concentrate for studying useful as you plan to study for your upcoming exams. :) 

Good luck to everyone!