Concentration in studies is defined as focus on the work before us. It is easy to talk about it, but it requires a lot of effort to keep oneself focused on a given topic, since our minds tend to wander here and there.
It is very important to keep the nerves steady and tackle the modules with a calm demeanour to achieve success in IELTS. Here are a few guidelines as how to do the same.
1.) Stop Multi-tasking
Multi-tasking is never a good idea when attempting to study. Playing with other things or texting while studying, steals the candidate’s full focus. One should make his/her learning goals simple, clear and precise rather than attempting to accomplish multiple goals at once. This way you will be able to devote 100% full attention and concentration on the topic at hand, learn it faster, and know how to focus better.
2.) Completely Clear Your Mind
It is very important to make the examinee’s mind a clean slate before he/she sits down to prepare for Academic IELTS. This is because, if your mind is already preoccupied with some other issue, you won’t be able to learn effectively. Obsessing about that issue will only increase your stress, which in turn will decrease your capacity to learn and reproduce it in the exam modules. In order to keep better focus, it is thus imperative, to have a receptive and completely clear mind when you sit down to study.
3.) Prioritize What’s Important
It is a good idea to prioritise your activities to help the candidate study more efficiently. Your mind is unlikely to settle if you are doubtful whether you are learning the right topic, or correct subject, at the right time. You will spend much of your study-time contemplating and worrying about whether you are learning the right subject.
To help avoid this, make a list all the topics for Reading, Writing and Speaking modules you need to prepare on, and rank them in order of importance. You can start with the most important subject or topic and give it your full attention and then move on to the next most important one. You can then create a timetable which will provide a plan to follow and thus make it more structured.
4) Reduce Your Distractions
Before you begin to study, you should attempt to eliminate as many distractions as possible. These can include your phone, social media like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, emails, television, etc. The aim is to avoid having these things absorbing your attention while you’re trying to learn. The more you deviate and while away your time, the less will be your focus and concentrating ability on your studies. This will hamper your preparation in a big way.
The following points try to collate the main things which will surely help you to ace your Academic IELTS Exams.
- Read, Read, Read– Reading your academic articles, textbooks and journals will widen your understanding. Make shorter notes for yourself and then study your own notes.
- Listen to Audio– Listen to audio on the topic you are preparing, and write down some key notes on what they are saying. This can help you better understand the subject you are learning.
- Write things down– Make your own notes from what you have read in the text book. Write questions and answer them later. These can be questions from your text book, or questions that are likely to come up on the exam. This is a good way to test your understanding of what you have learnt and how to remember it.
- Talk out loud – You can read the topic out loud, or try to teach the topic to someone else. This will give you a fair idea of your pronunciation, grammatical errors and sentence construction as a potential IELTS candidate.
- Mind Mapping– Mind maps are a great way to breakdown information into a simple diagram that can be remembered more easily. They are also a good way to test whether the examinee knows the subject matter. You can redraw the diagram and deliberately leave blanks to see can you fill them in again, or whether you can discuss the topic in more detail by only looking at key headings on the mind map.
- Test Yourself– Use past exam papers. This is great for not only testing your knowledge, but also familiarising yourself with the exam format and structure. This will help you settle into the exam much quicker and easier on the actual day. Use questions from the text book to practise.
- Practice- To improve memory, it is important to keep going back over information that you learn, using different formats of learning. The more you practise, the better result you can expect.
- Eat Properly– You need to fuel your body along with your mind when you prepare for such an important exam. Research has indicated that students learn much better when they are well nourished. How often you read can also have a powerful effect on your energy levels. This goes a long way in increasing your focus and concentration.
Last but not the least, it is always better to consult an IELTS training institute and take few months training to come out with flying colours in the exams. This is not because there is any doubt in the candidate’s own capacity, but simply because this saves a lot of time being methodical, structured and well-thought out. All the best!