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Student Learning Success Guides!

CONCENTRATION problems can waste valuable study time, create gaps in your knowledge and understanding, keep you from finishing assignments on time, and make you feel even more stressed out and time-crunched.

Student looking upward and thinking with hands under her chinTIPS

Keep a "Worry" notebook. Record random distracting thoughts while you work. Making a quick note and then returning to your studies keeps you focused and avoids becoming trapped by thoughts like "I'd better do that now before I forget!" 

Avoid multi-tasking. Focusing on one task to the exclusion of all others for 25 or 30 minutes is a more effective study method than trying to juggle multiple tasks at once.

Use noise-cancelling headphones. Lansdowne Library has seven sets and Interurban has three. You can borrow them for two hours.

SELF-REFLECTION

Do you study when you feel energized or when you're exhausted?

How can you create a comfortable space conducive to studying?

How do you stay focused on your work?

What can you do to eliminate distractions before you start working?

What rewards or incentives do you use to motivate yourself?

Recognizing the problem: Does this sound like you?

Rereading over and over?

Suddenly realizing you’ve “read” an entire page but recall nothing?

Tuning out of lectures?

Writing notes without thinking about them?

Daydreaming?

Being easily distracted while studying? 

Dealing with External Distractions

When thinking about where you'll study, you should:

  • Reserve an area that is only for work.   

Stay on campus for a few hours after class to study and work, or create a place at home free of distractions.

  • Try to study in the same place as much as possible.

The more you work in the same place, the less distracted you'll be.

  • Make your study space clutter-free!

Remove anything that might distract you: put your phone away, recycle your snack packaging, block distracting apps while you study, etc.

  • Choose a place with your preferred noise level.

Do you prefer a quiet study area, or the bustle of a common area?         

  • Borrow noise-cancelling headphones from the library. 

Dealing with Internal Distractions

When you're studying, it's important to:

  •  Take short, frequent breaks.

Extended study or writing sessions are exhausting and unproductive. Play a short game or take a short walk.

  • Have specific, short-term study objectives.

Have a clear plan before you start, so your mind doesn’t have time to wander. If you think of something important, write it down and do it later.

  • Test yourself regularly.

           Close your eyes and recall what you just read.

  • Use the checkmark strategy.

    Make a checkmark every time you notice you're distracted to help you recognize and slowly change the behaviour.

Concentration Evaluation (Ohio University)

SLANT (University of Minnesota)

Sit up straight and pay attention.
Lean forward and communicate interest.
Ask questions when you don’t understand.
Nod and smile. (It helps your teacher know you're interested.)
Track what’s happening in the classroom.

 

Camosun students can access a variety of Academic and Exam Accommodations.

This list of assistive technologies provides recommendations to help you with a variety of challenges during college.

 

You have probably heard of Dyslexia, but what about...

Dyscalculia = struggles with math (Yes, it's a real thing!) (video)

Dyspraxia = struggles with balance and motor skills (video)

Dysgraphia = struggles with handwriting

 

TOOLS & RESOURCES