In order to complete all of the questions on a test or exam, you have to be able to stay focused on the task at hand. This is important because most tests and exams are timed and you will have to answer the questions in the time allowed. While many students can do this without any real problems, some individuals are easily distracted. If you are an individual that has trouble concentrating, you may want to consider trying the following strategies:
- Choose a seat where you won’t have visual distractions: Possible distractions in an exam room can include room features such as windows and doors that lead into busy hallways. Desks located in close proximity to the teacher’s desk or the location where students will be submitting completed exams can also be a bad choice if you are easily distracted. As a result, you should choose a seat that is as far away from these visual distractions as possible. If you cannot find a seat in a location that is located away from visual distractions, another option is to ask if you can place your desk in a corner and turn it towards the wall.
- Ask if you can write in a separate room: If you have severe problems maintaining your focus, ask your teacher if it would be possible to take the test in another – preferably empty – room.
- Ask if you can place something around your desk to block your view: Cut a large cardboard box to make a blank, cardboard screen and use it to surround your desk so you won’t be tempted to look up from your test paper. Check with your instructor beforehand to see whether this is okay or not, and be sure to explain that you have a problem with distractions.
- Consider bringing ear plugs: Noises that other people can simply block out can be very distracting to students who have trouble focusing. Even pencil sharpeners and the hum of lights can be enough to break some people’s concentration. However, ear plugs can usually help you block out these sounds, so you can stay focused on your test paper.
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