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Improving Concentration



Exam Revision and Exam Techniques Improving Concentration


  • Prepare a timetable, start each study session on time.
  • Your place for study should be a quiet room, free from distractions and interruptions.
  • Ensure good posture, sit comfortably, with your chair and table at a good working height.
  • Keep your workspace free from clutter and distractions.
  • Work in a good light, to avoid tired eyes and check ventilation and room temperature before you start working.
  • Undertake demanding tasks when you are at your best - usually early morning or early evening. Do more straightforward tasks later. It's better to get up earlier than stay up late.
  • Clearly define the task you are going to work on and complete each task within the time allocated. Do not daydream.
  • Be active, rather than passive; e.g. make notes and read critically.
  • Review each task for a few minutes before moving on to the next.
  • Put away your books and papers before starting work on the next task.
  • Take frequent breaks of 5 or 10 minutes, longer as work goes on. As a minimum, take a few deep breaths, stand up, flex your arms, walk about.
  • Try to get other anxieties out of the way before settling down to study.


Revision techniques


  • Don't procrastinate and don't cram. Give yourself plenty of time to revise (6 days per paper is a good rule of thumb).
  • Revise more topics than you think you need (5 topics for a 3 question exam; 6 topics for a 4 question exam).
  • Plan your study in 20-40 minute blocks - include time for rest and recreation.
  • Schedule your study sessions for the time of day when you are most alert.
  • Set up study groups - studying with other people can maintain motivation.


Exam technique 

Give yourself enough time to get to your exam. Don't arrive too early at the exam hall - waiting around in an exam environment can be unnerving. 10 minutes should be plenty of time.

  • Don't hang around with other people who are panicking - it can be infectious!
  • You already know how many questions you are expected to answer and time available and have prepared a schedule in advance.
  • Allow 10 minutes reading and choosing questions.
  • Allow 10 minutes at the end to read through and add or correct details.
  • Divide rest of time available equally between the questions. Marks tend to be allocated equally between questions so there is no benefit in spending more time on one than another.
  • It may help to write a short plan before you start to answer, listing the key points. If you run out of time gives the marker a better idea of what you know and they may take them into account.
  • Find you desk calmly and arrange your pens, rulers, etc.
  • Read through the whole paper thoroughly and choose the questions you want to answer.
  • Don't be fazed by people around you who look confident and cool when you feel that you are staring into thin air. You may have missed them coping with their own panic a moment earlier.
  • Don't overdo the amount of caffeine you have (although a small amount can help to give you the extra energy that you'll need during the stress of the exam).​