Concentration: Some Basic Guidelines

1. Set aside a place for study and study only!

A. Find a specific place (or places) that you can use for studying (for example, the campus libraries, vacant classrooms, quiet areas in the student center, bedroom at home, etc.)

B. Make a place specific to studying. You are trying to build a habit of studying when you are in this place. So, don't use your study space for social conversations, writing letters, daydreaming, etc.

C. Insure that your study area has the following:

good lighting
a comfortable chair, but not too comfortable
a desk large enough to spread out your materials

D. Insure that your study area does not have the following:

a distracting view of other activities that you want to be involved in
a telephone
a loud stereo
a 27-inch color TV
a roommate or friend who wants to talk a lot
a refrigerator stocked with scrumptious goodies

2. Divide your work into small, short-range goals.
A. Don't set a goal as vague and large as ... "I am going to spend all day Saturday studying!" You will only set yourself up for failure and discouragement.

B. Take the time block that you have scheduled for study and set a reachable study goal. (for example: finish reading 3 sections of chapter seven in my Psych. text, or complete one math problem, or write the rough draft of the introduction to my English paper, etc.)

C. Set your goal when you sit down to study but before you begin to work.

Set a goal that you can reach. You may, in fact, do more than your goal but set a reasonable goal even if it seems too easy.