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How do you stay focused when studying? Tips?

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How do you stay focused when studying? Tips? [#permalink] New post 11 Dec 2010, 10:55
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I just seem to have trouble focusing when I study. I am trying to be motivated but I am so burnt out from studying the first go and for my finals this past week at school. I've taken a couple days break but I need to retake on January 8. How can I motivate myself to try as hard as I did the first time I took the test? I'm tired all the time and my brain seems to have given up. I have no work or school until I take the test but all that time is going to waste if I can't focus when I study and retain the information! I drank so much coffee during finals that whenever I see it it makes me nauseated. So no coffee.
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Re: How do you stay focused when studying? Tips? [#permalink] New post 12 Dec 2010, 06:18
Coffee isn't a good idea. Perhaps you could try my methods. Exercise and eat healthy food. When you feel like you are going to explode, dance, sing, scream or do whatever you feel like doing. Then get back to study. Don't let your emotions control yourself. Sometimes I think of myself as a robot. I don't worry too much about exams or finals. I just study and study every single day. I know there's pressure but I forget about the pressure. I throw away my worries. I just know I need to do my best... I read stories of high score test-takers to get motivated.
Go to sleep early and get up early to study. Good habits help, I believe.
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Re: How do you stay focused when studying? Tips? [#permalink] New post 12 Dec 2010, 09:08
emk60 wrote:
I just seem to have trouble focusing when I study. I am trying to be motivated but I am so burnt out from studying the first go and for my finals this past week at school. I've taken a couple days break but I need to retake on January 8. How can I motivate myself to try as hard as I did the first time I took the test? I'm tired all the time and my brain seems to have given up. I have no work or school until I take the test but all that time is going to waste if I can't focus when I study and retain the information! I drank so much coffee during finals that whenever I see it it makes me nauseated. So no coffee.

As per my experience, GMAT study need 3-4 hours study on regular basis, may be 5 hrs in weekend.

As per focus in study, my technique is a bit crazy as one my friend told. Whenever I loose my concentration, I try to visualize, what will be the impact If I score good in GMAT & get admission in my dream college. I call it "Dream Theory". This helps me a lot to gain my focus back.
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Re: How do you stay focused when studying? Tips? [#permalink] New post 13 Dec 2010, 22:34
Exercising definitely helps. There are hell lot of factors leading to poor concentration and lower motivation. But again, it is the person's responsibility to find out what motivates him and what bothers him. For example, in my case, when ever i focus too much on my studies, i neglect my exercise, which in turn leads to bigger waistline (something i hate). This bigger waistline along with other fitness issues lead to irritation, which inturn leads to a concern about my health and it then impacts not just my study but almost everything else too. So focusing too much on Gmat for days actually leads me to focus less on it for the days which follow. :)
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Re: How do you stay focused when studying? Tips? [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2010, 12:00
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Great question - I'm glad you asked this because I think a lot of people study ineffectively and that leads to burnout.

Many people study by thinking about duration (how long they'll study) or quantity (how many problems they'll do). But like with any workout program, if your goal is simply to cover the distance or put in the time, it can often seem monotonous or lethargic.

I'd suggest giving yourself specific goals or drills for at least 1/3 of your study sessions (if not more). Goals can include:

-Improving on timing by doing sets of 10 questions in 20 minutes
-Thinking about Data Sufficiency statements by looking only at 20 DS statements (and not full questions) and writing down what they tell you and what they need to be sufficient (so, doing a drill that's not just a pure GMAT question)
-Focusing on the conclusions of CR questions before answering them (again, more of a drill to emphasize important steps than just "doing questions")
-Noting one "trap" answer per problem in addition to simply answering it

By making these goals or giving yourself specific tasks, you can freshen up each study session while also focusing on important strategies and concepts. I liken this to doing drills or specifically-targeted workouts as an athlete - when I'm training for a marathon, some nights the last thing I want to do is "just run". But if I go to the track for a specific reason - trying to run a set of 400s or a set of hill repeats - the very fact that I'm focused on one specific goal keeps my mind fresher, and I still get the benefit of the overall mileage. The same can be true of GMAT prep - just "doing questions" can get pretty tedious, but if you have a unique purpose for that session you'll not only gain more in a targeted fashion but you'll also make the process of completing more questions that much more enjoyable and productive.
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Re: How do you stay focused when studying? Tips?   [#permalink] 14 Dec 2010, 12:00
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