Test-taking is a skill that needs to be acquired, just like any other skill. While it comes naturally for some students, others struggle with it. One of the main challenges for students when it comes to test taking is maintaining concentration throughout the entire test. Loss of focus, feelings of unease, and the need to move around are just some of the most common experiences for students taking written tests.
And, with test-taking being an integral part of every student’s education journey, this isn’t something you can ignore. That is why we’ve prepared a list of useful tips that will teach you how to keep your concentration. Just keep reading!
Practice it When Studying
The first thing you need to do to try and improve your focus for written tests is to practice it in other settings. Studying may be the most similar experience since it requires a certain level of concentration for a longer period. Is Accurate can help you study materials not in your native language in case you need them translated.
So, start by trying to improve your study sessions by adding little routines to them. We suggest:
- removing your smartphone from the room
- facing a blank wall
- clearing your desk out of unnecessary things
- preparing everything you need in advance
- trying not to leave your chair for every small thing
At first, it may seem like too much, but after a while, you’ll get used to this feeling. You’ll learn to focus on one task only and not let the small things bug you.
Be Physically Prepared
Concentration isn’t just about our mental preparation. The physical aspect plays an important role in how well we’ll do on a test. Feeling discomfort of any kind can be a huge concentration issue and cause you to do poorly on a test.
This is why physical preparation is super important.
Before coming to your test, you should ensure to have completed the following steps:
- having a good night’s sleep
- eating a healthy meal
- wearing comfortable clothes
It may sound silly at first, but feeling good in your own skin is a huge concentration booster. And, with more than 60% of students reporting increased problems with concentration, you need all the help you can get. So, make sure you’re feeling physically great for your test.
Sit Far from Your Friends
Sitting close to your friends during a test may cause you to feel distracted as well. Many things may cross your mind and cause you to look up instead of focusing on your test.
You could be wondering how well they’re doing, how much of the test they’ve completed, or simply what their overall impressions are. You may even feel the need to share your worries about the test or communicate any message.
So, instead of falling for this temptation, just sit and surround yourself with some people you’re not close to.
Overview the Test
Before starting to write the test, make sure to do a short three-minute revision of it. Quickly go over all the pages and questions to see what you’re dealing with. This will help you mentally prepare and design a plan on how to tackle the test best.
Decide on a System
Every student is different, and we all have our own ways of doing things. Creating a system on how to approach your test should help you stay focused and systematically work your way through it.
There are different strategies you could use. Here are some of the most popular methods used by students:
- solve the test in the order it’s written
- finish the hardest questions first
- finish the easiest questions first
The important thing is that you do have a system that’s working for you. This will help you stay focused on each task and not lose track of what you already did and what still needs to be done.
Check the Time
When you’re doing your test, time is of huge importance. Finding the right pace and making sure you’ll finish on time is crucial.
You can try to estimate how much time you need per task and regularly check the time to see how you’re doing. Make sure you have a wristwatch so that time-checking isn’t causing any additional stress.
Finally, don’t forget that to perform great on a written test, you need to come prepared. If you need extra time for studying, this essay writing service no plagiarism can help you take some writing tasks off your shoulders. Studying the subject matter and knowing all the answers is probably the best way to ensure complete control over the situation and full focus.
When you’re insecure about your knowledge, you’ll probably be upset or feel uneasy even before the test starts. This could take a serious toll on your concertation and your results.
Bonus Tip: Don’t Panic
You don’t know all the answers, or there’s a question you’re not sure how to do? This can cause you to panic and lose your concentration, even for the tasks that you do know the answers to.
Work your way through the questions you do know and come back to those difficult ones later. This will ensure you do your best and not let the nerves get the best of your focus. The answers might just come to you after giving it some time.
Preparing for a test means more than just studying. Knowing the subject matter is one the most important elements of the preparation, but it’s not the only thing you need to do. To stay focused during a written test, you have to feel good, plan your test-taking process, and stick to a schedule for completing it.
The simple tips we’ve shared above will change the way you take tests. You’ll see a significant boost of concentration and hopefully improved academic results.
Alice Barrios is a school psychologist and a blogger with a specific interest in student life. Her goal is to share tips and how-tos that will resonate with students who are experiencing problems, dilemmas, or any kind of stress related to their education.