This is a great question. I often have hard time staying focused and know studying can be hard when you're distracted.
Here's a few tips I found helpful when I studying in college for my undergrad and masters degree:
- Have a strategy before you start. I like to create an outline of the topics and things I need to cover. Usually your professor will tell you in advance. For each topic, try to find or create sample questions. Often professors will give you practice questions, so it's helpful to organize them by your topics outline.
- Focus on one topic at a time. Take your time, read the materials and put work on your practice problems. Be sure to take breaks. I usually follow the Pomodoro method which is 25 minutes of work followed by 5 minute breaks. Use a timer and stay on schedule.
- Rewrite your notes. I go back to my notes and rewrite them to be more concise. What is the key idea, any useful references and supporting facts, and a note as why it important.
- Finally, try teaching others. Often the best way to learn something is going through the process of teaching others. It may sound silly, but grab a friend who is not in the class or a little sibling if you have one. Imagine you're teaching them about your class. How would you go about explaining it to them. Going through this process really help you focus on the key information they you'd want to communicate.
- And last but not least, start early.
- Visual: Do you prefer to draw a picture, images, notecards?
-Aural: Do you prefer to work with sound and music?
- Verbal: Do you prefer to use your words and talk it out with someone?
-Physical: Do you learn by doing, moving, practice problems?
For me, I found that rewriting my notes on notecards and using anagrams with bright colors was my preferred method. I would tend to study the notecards and ask my friends and family to quiz me.
I recommend bursts of study. Focus for 20-30, short break, focus for 20-30 minutes, short break.
Many friends and colleagues will use music in the background- I myself would need no words as my mind wonders easily.
This includes attending the class to find out additional information.
Cut down on your other social commitments.
You must plan a schedule which should not online on paper, but needs to be implemented.
Start saying ‘NO’ to distractions.
Choose a quiet and comfortable location where there are no distractions.
Make sure to turn off the notifications on your mobile.
Rather than typing the answers on the computer, you can write and learn which gets
stored in your memory.
Taking breaks while studying is very important for success.
Taking a 5 to 10 min break in an hour can maximize your memory and concentration.
Last but not the least, “Stay Positive”. Having confidence on your ability will get you through the toughest times.