This is that time of the year in your school life when your mind shows you a different side to it, a side you never thought existed. No matter how hard you try, your mind is always wandering away to areas least relevant to you. You give yourself just a couple of hours to finish an exercise, but at the end of it, you find that you cannot recall any of it. Which is why staying focused and finding ways to boost concentration is critical during exams.
For those of you who are due to appear for your CBSE board exams, the following tips may prove useful in boosting concentration and ‘staying in the (study) zone’:
1) Take deep breaths before you start writing the exam. “Practise deep breathing exercises during your preparation leave. This will help you focus on one thing at a time. As you watch your breath, it will help you calm down. Your mind will be recharged and creatively receptive,” says Neeraj Mehta, a Delhi-based fitness expert.
2) Take short breaks during long study schedule. Studying for hours at a stretch will lead to boredom and exhaustion. You should refresh your mind by taking short breaks to maintain your concentration.
3) Avoid unnecessary interruptions. Ensure that you are not hungry, sleepy, tired, or thirsty and do not need to go to the toilet before sitting down to study or writing a test. This will help you stay focused. “Create a work environment in which you are comfortable. Anything that distracts you should disappear from your study area. To concentrate, a conducive physical environment is needed, e.g. library, home, table chair setting etc,” says Dr Jitendra Nagpal, senior psychiatrist and incharge, Institute of Life Skills & Mental Health Promotion, Moolchand Medcity, New Delhi. Your study area should be quiet and free from things which may divert your attention, i.e television, radio, maps etc.
4) Pen down your thoughts. If, while studying, your mind is occupied by various thoughts, write down whatever comes to your mind before you actually sit down to study. This will help clear your mind of the thoughts and, in turn, increase concentration. Remember to tear up the page once rid of your thoughts. Also, if something is worrying you, then it will help to share it with someone.
5) It’s important to be interested. You cannot concentrate on studies if you are not interested in what you are reading or what is being taught to you.