When you think back to your university or secondary school days and the intensity of studying, how did you maintain concentration?
Everyone had a method that worked for them; some people liked having music to drown out background noise, others actually worked better with natural background noise, whilst others preferred having something like the radio or a documentary on in the background.
Retraining or taking a course during adulthood can lead us to revisiting a classroom – something many of us won’t have done for a long time.
Given the multitude of distractions around us today, it can be difficult to stay focused.
The one thing we should all be conscious of is the fact that returning to education as adults usually costs money. So it’s imperative that you utilise your time in a class to the max, which means drowning out those everyday distractions.
We've rattled our brains to find a few suggestions to equip you, should you venture back into learning.
Studies have actually shown that if you sit at the front and centre of the class you’re more likely to achieve higher average exam scores. This has nothing to do with motivated and enthusiastic students going to the front either. One study found that when students were assigned these seats, staying concentrated help them to perform higher academically. This is due to better visibility of the board, better ability to hear what is being said by the tutor and a better opportunity to pay attention as there isn’t any one in between them and their teacher.
It has never been more important to understand what gets you most distracted with the never-ending number of social media networks that we feel obliged to keep up to date. Switching your phone off and keeping it out of sight when you’re in class will allow you to concentrate more and stop you from getting distracted every time a notification pops up.
Separate studies have been conducted to see how often people check their phones in a day. Whilst a Deloitte study found that Americans check their phone an average of 46 times a day, Nottingham Trent University led a study closer to home and found that the average person checks their device a whopping 85 times a day.
Another way to remove distractions is to avoid sitting with friends if you know they pose a distraction. In school you may have been seated alphabetically which may have separated you and your friends, but as an adult you’re required to take the initiative to know whether sitting next to the person you get on with well will hinder your focus.
Attending a class will give you access to a professional within the field you’re interested in – so make the most of your tutor.
Ask questions. Take notes. Make eye contact. It not only assures tutors that you’re interested but it will help your understanding too. Don’t be afraid when it comes to class activities either.
Participate in group discussions or role plays and feel free to give feedback. Being inquisitive is an excellent quality when it comes to furthering your knowledge and who knows – you may be helping others by being confident enough to ask questions and contribute to discussions.
Why not take these pointers into your next class. Search now on Hotcourses!
Safeera is Editor of Whatuni and a journalist from Kingston University. Always the inquisitive, her writing spans across a number of areas such as sustainability, fashion, lifestyle and now education. Her belief that you never stop learning and passionate nature has taken her to New York City as part of her degree and across the airwaves on national radio talking about the issues that matter to her.