A lot of us are going through exams. Be it GCSEs, CBSE finals (over now), IB mocks, or just regular finals. I know firsthand how hard it can be to focus and not watch the newest season of Stranger Things or Riverdale. But for a lot of us – these exams are important.

I’ll give you some things I find work well while I study. Everyone knows by now that you don’t study for more than an hour in one sitting – take frequent short breaks for 5-10 minutes every house, and a longer break for an hour or so every 3-4 sessions. There’s a great app called ‘Productivity’ on the App Store, it helps you stick to a 25-5 minute schedule, where you focus and work for 25 minutes, and take a 5 minute break.

Also, many people like to listen to music as they study. Sometimes I do this, too. However, don’t listen to music when you’re doing past papers, or something that requires full concentration. Instead, I listen to music when reviewing notes, doing homework etc.. The music I find helpful is

  1. Go onto YouTube
  2. Type in ‘Chill Mix’ or ‘Ambient Mix’
  3. Study in peace
  4. Avoid things like ‘Deep House Mix’ or ‘Party Mix’ (Not really a good idea to turn up at your study desk)

Music can be relaxing, and helps many people think. Do keep in mind, though, that studying when listening to music with vocals is usually bad, and hinders concentration. Try to listen to soft music, without vocals when studying. If you find you study best without any noise, then do what’s best for you.

Alternatively, you can try white noise. There’s an excellent site here, with lots of ambient and white noise to help you focus and relax. I use it a lot when I’m doing focused work. It really helps. Also, try varying where you study. By this I mean set out two or three particular places where you study, and stick to those. Don’t always sit at your desk – sometimes I go to the dining room and sit and study alone; other times I go to Starbucks, find a corner, (pretend to order food so they don’t kick me out) and study. Having done this continually for extended periods of time, those three places are now associated with ‘work’ in my mind, so it’s much easier to focus there.

Hope this helps.

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