We have all been there, right? You decide to read a whole page, then, you come down to a single paragraph, trying to understand the first line and before you know it, you are sitting in a stranger’s comment section on social media.
Isn’t it hard to focus on studies when there are a million distractions all around? And, even if you are sitting in a quiet room, who’s to say your mind won’t automatically go places?
Concentration is a challenging little thing, isn’t it?
Even if you manage to concentrate, it can be hard to remember everything you have read or studied. Many people forget things as soon as they read them. You are consuming so much information at once, that it is reasonable that you may forget some of it, and it always happens when you are sitting to give your exam.
If all this sounds familiar, keep reading to learn some effective methods that can boost your concentration power and memory.
How to improve concentration and memory while studying?
You must be familiar with the story of Arjuna’s strong concentration in Mahabharat. When the rest of Arjuna’s brothers could only see the trees, leaves, and branches, Arjuna only saw the bird’s eye and hit it straight with his arrow.
Concentration is the mental effort that you put into something you are working on or studying. Concentration is different from attention span. Attention span is the total time you can continuously concentrate on something.
Concentration and memory are critical when it comes to studying for any competitive exam. While you are applying all your efforts to studying, it is equally essential you work on your memory and concentration skills to make sure you give your best at all costs.
Here are 10 effective ways to boost your concentration and memory during exam time.
Brain Training Games
Certain games can help improve your memory and concentration. Games are a fun way to do that.
- Chess or carrom board
- crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles
- Video games
- Brain testing games on app stores
All of these games demand a deep concentration. Playing these games for some time regularly can improve concentration as well as memory to great extent. These can be a part of your routine and can also help you take a break from all that studying.
Yes, that’s right! Sleeping can improve your concentration. Sleep deprivation is the number one cause of lack of concentration that many youngsters face. It can also disrupt other cognitive functions such as memory and attention. Adults need a full 7-8 hours of sleep every night for their minds to function at their full capacity.
Students often try to pull all-nighters and compromise on sleep to get extra hours of studying. But this can be another factor contributing to your lack of concentration power.
So make sure to get a good sleep every night.
Some tips on how to improve your sleep.
- Turn off and keep all digital devices away from your bed.
- Taking a hot shower right before bed
- Reading a book
- Listen to light music
- Meditate for a few minutes
- Keep room temperature slightly cooler than normal
Learning some new skills
Our Memory is very much like our muscles. The more we use it, the more we work on it, and the stronger it gets. Learning some new skills, for example, playing a new instrument, dancing lessons, learning new languages, writing poetry, etc. will constantly challenge your brain. Learn something that requires you to come out of your comfort zone as it will demand your full attention.
Now, it’s understandable that preparing for competitive exams such as CA, CS or CMA can be very time-consuming, and focusing your time on anything other than studying seems bizarre.
But taking out some time every day to do things you enjoy will only improve your mood and mental energy which will lead to better concentration and better learning.
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When you turn on the music, you turn off the world. Listening to music while studying will help you tune out the rest of the world and only focus on what you are doing. Along with blocking out distracting noise, music provides a rhythm to your ears that stimulates the brain and keeps it active and in a better mood. It also makes the task you are doing more engaging and less dull.
Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Mnemonics
Mnemonics are memory devices that help learners remember large amounts of information with rhymes, songs, or abbreviations. For example, when we were kids we used the abbreviation “VIBGYOR” to remember all the colors in the spectrum. (Violet, Indigo, Brown, Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red).
You can create the mnemonics that relate to you and will stay in your mind easily or use popular ones.
Meditation is easy, doesn’t take much time or any equipment, and will benefit all aspects of your life. Meditation can improve your focus, memory, and several other cognitive abilities. Just practicing for 20 minutes every day will show great results.
It requires sitting or lying down in an absolutely quiet and comfortable place and trying not to think about anything or thinking and concentrating on one positive thing. Sometimes you can practice sitting in a quiet place alone for 10 minutes while deep breathing and just spending time inside your brain.
Brain foods that improve memory
Include some foods in your diet that improves memory. Consuming regularly for a long time will show great results. Some foods to improve your memory are – Dark chocolate, Blueberries, Turmeric, Broccoli, Almonds, Walnuts, Oranges, Eggs, Green Tea, and Coffee. Spinach is also good for memory.
Avoid fatty foods, processed foods, or greasy foods, and don’t eat too much sugar. Lifestyle and dietary changes are always the best way to work on your mind and body.
Do a concentration workout
We are always so conscious about our bodies but we forget to be conscious about our minds. Our minds also need a workout now and then to stay active. A concentration workout refers to paying full attention to one activity for a certain amount of time. This can help boost concentration.
You can do activities such as:
- Draw something for 15 minutes
- Spend some time tossing a balloon or a ball
- Chew on a piece of gum slowly, focusing deeply on the taste
- Balance something for a set time
You can choose any activity of your choice.
Stepping out in nature. Take a break!
Sometimes taking breaks is all we need to refresh our minds. If you constantly force yourself to keep studying even when you are tired, you won’t get that much done. Take breaks, and refresh your mind. Go out in the nature. You can take out 20 minutes from your daily schedule to take a walk in the park or anywhere with some greenery. You will surely come back with a more focused mind.
Construct a mind palace
Constructing a mind palace is a technique used by memory champions. It is an extremely effective way to remember a lot of information. What you have to do is-
- Close your eyes and visualize any place that you know thoroughly.
- Then walk through that place in your mind and define a route. Create interesting unreal situations in that route (your favorite actor shows up as you are walking towards a coffee stand)
- Store specific information in specific locations throughout your route.
Now, whenever you need to remember all this information, all you have to do is walk through that route in your mind again.
Retaining all that information that your mind has been consuming for months can be difficult. If you are not able to remember everything you are studying, you will lose some well-deserving marks in your exam. That is Toplad provides revision classes to its students. These classes will cover the entire syllabus in a fast learning way. TopLad’s CMA Capsule Classes
The bottom Line
Many activities if done consistently can help improve mental concentration and memory. Some of these approaches might work for you and some might not, so it’s best to try as many as possible.
You should aim at maintaining a balance between your studying time and doing the other fun and creative activities you love. Let me assure you, it will only benefit you more and give you great results!