View Full Version : Concentration tips?


mygreycard
07-31-08, 03:50 PM
Hey anyone have any concentration tips? I am having a pickle of a time with a art history class. At this point I'm taking it for the third time. I feel really bad about that. Anyways the problem that I'm having is that as soon as I start reading or trying to study, my eyes will follow the text as I am reading it but there is NOTHING being retained because I will be thinking about the paint being used and than my mind will go off into never never land and start thinking about anything but what I am actually reading. So I'll sit and read for 20 mins and I couldnt even tell you the subject of what I had just read. :confused:

SuperChan
07-31-08, 04:37 PM
I found that sometimes reading out loud helps me. It kind of makes me think about what I am reading when I read it out loud.

livinginchaos
08-07-08, 02:26 AM
that's the worst dealing with it in class. I feel for you! I was the same way in more than several college classes.

The best thing that helped me was to constantly take notes.
I wish I had more to offer :)

kwalk
08-08-08, 08:58 AM
highlight the words in the book if you're going to keep it, that way if you lose your place and forget it's right there infront of you. note cards help to study.... always helps to have the quick note cards at the last minute when you're on the way to class too :) And when you're trying to think of a way to remember boring keywords or information, think of like a situation you can apply it to or some little story in your head with people you know. You can even take a part of a vocabulary word and apply it to something really random...


if it's art history, i'm sure having pictures to look at/reference with helps as well



oooh and I knew this one girl who wrote out what she was studying over and over again. Derno if it works!

SuzzanneX
08-08-08, 09:59 AM
I put a bookmark under each sentence..
...and write notes I think is the main point.....
or list the artist in certain eras...and make one word.


example:

there is, commercial, impressionists, realists, modern, abstract.

CRIMA


.....say you wanna remember Renaissance artists



RaLM -Renaissance artists

Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangel



I also equate it with music if possible...
.....like write a song outta the words i made.

like:
CRIMA Ralm.....dropped a bomb..

I don't read as much as use word assosiation to remember.

SuzzanneX
08-08-08, 10:05 AM
this is how i learn....
..I know it, and write my own songs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2iLAI0gUW0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkO87mkgcNo

I could'nt even multiply without this....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11N-BD1aBo0

hillzy
08-08-08, 10:10 AM
What I usually do (especially for complex material that I will be tested on) I will read and highlight one page at a time, and then go back and make notes on the one page. Once this is done I move on to the next page. It takes alot longer to read a chapter, but if you need to make notes (in my case I needed study notes for psych exams), I found this method is excellent because I used to read a whole chapter and then start all over and make notes on the chapter again. This way you read the chapter once, you have your notes and you're done with it.

Good luck :D

SuzzanneX
08-08-08, 10:31 AM
Oh Gawd yes!
....Highlighters rule!

kwalk
08-08-08, 11:30 AM
I really like your ideas suzzanne :D

SuzzanneX
08-11-08, 06:53 AM
yay!
...I just know what it takes to make me learn.

GOOD LUCK!

mijahe
08-11-08, 08:14 AM
The best thing that helped me was to constantly take notes.

Yep, I agree. Taking notes helps a lot. It helps you concentrate, and also since you're trying to put it into your own words helps consolidate what you're learning.

Marty
08-11-08, 10:52 AM
Sitting in the front of the class helps too. At least it does for me.

Bluerose
08-11-08, 10:57 AM
Something else that can improve concentration is puzzles. You might struggle with the puzzle but it’s a good way to practise focusing the brain.

moonshine
08-11-08, 03:17 PM
what about connecting thoughts together? i'm having trouble connecting the dots for an outline...

thanks guys.

michinobu_zoned
12-01-08, 10:55 PM
What I usually do (especially for complex material that I will be tested on) I will read and highlight one page at a time, and then go back and make notes on the one page. Once this is done I move on to the next page. It takes alot longer to read a chapter, but if you need to make notes (in my case I needed study notes for psych exams), I found this method is excellent because I used to read a whole chapter and then start all over and make notes on the chapter again. This way you read the chapter once, you have your notes and you're done with it.

Good luck :D
Yes, this is good, but somehow I have a hard time doing this given the amount of time needed to do it in. Part of that has to do with my major (being computer science) and part of that has to do with my disability. taking meds to help prevent thinking slower when I do manage to concentrate does help - but I can't just simply overdose when I'm falling behind or else I run the risk of severe side-affects.

But, this method I employ myself. I guess because I like to look at the colors of my highlighters and with multiple colors I can color according to a concept. I do this with my Integrated Development Environments so when I'm doing my homework I can quickly see what category a word on the screen would fall under without reading it yet.

Also, for classes where my professors post notes online, on powerpoint, I go through (sometimes) and underline certain words, change fonts and colors even as well. I actually try to get the font to match what I feel represents the concept so I can better associate certain words with that idea.

Some people see this as a waste of time, but it gets me studying sometimes because it's kind of fun. And, when coming back to it, I'm actually taking shortcuts because I don't have to completely read the word before I understand it.

Some of the things I realize being in my major is that we humans don't do alot of things in a linear sense, like machines. When we read a word (or at least with me, anyways) we don't read a word letter-by-letter. This might be why when sometimes people read-aloud words that are unfamiliar to them, their pronounciation of the word is far from how it's actually spelled.

To save our minds time, we make quick short-cuts without being aware of our doing them, so which is why we can't reproduce our methods into any kind of algorithm. And, for some problems (that which is mathematically impossible for computers to solve) our non-linear minds have to make these necessary "short-cuts".

For instance, for those who know computational theory well enough, know that computers can't prove if a mathematical statement is false or true. This seems counter-intuitive to what one would expect a math-based machine to do, considering this is the "bread and butter" of mathematicians. However, computers can't because it's mathematically impossible.

Which is why I doubt what some people say concerning artificial intelligence matching human intelligence, since you have unsolvable computational problems which are sovlable by humans. Alot of people don't realize it, but math and science are heavily right-brained, since machines are only capable of logical thought and are yet unable to do the things scientists and mathematicians are capable of.

chowmix
12-01-08, 11:01 PM
Taking notes helps a lot. It helps you concentrate, and also since you're trying to put it into your own words helps consolidate what you're learning.

Notes are useful even if you never go back and read them.

kwalk
12-02-08, 12:56 AM
yea, they are, and if you forget what your teacher was just saying, you can loook at them and be like "oh". Then your random recal from tests of what you learned comes out a lot.

Johnny123
12-02-08, 01:54 AM
I hate it when im reading something super important and i lose my place then have to re-read the paragraph to find my place. or i think about what i read and realised i didnt retain anything and read it again.

Michiko74
01-05-09, 10:07 AM
Wow, did I write this post? :p Because this is my experience with concertation almost word for word! I'd 'read' something, and my eyes would glaze over the page. It would take me almost an half an hour to 'read' a paragraph because I couldn't remember what I had just read! Argh.. frustrating.

Are you on any medication? I have to say while I do have some tips, one of the things that really made a difference in my ability to focus/concentrate was medication. Otherwise, I'd fall asleep after reading and couldn't retain a thing. Mind you, even with medication I still rely on my 'tricks' to help me focus.

Do it in chunks!
Five minutes at start, and then work your way up. Or if that's too long maybe a minute or two? Whenever I have to tackle something boring, like reading, I have to do it this way or else nothing gets done.

Drawing pictures
Have you heard of mind mapping? Google it and see examples, but it's basically combines note taking and drawing at once :p This is perfect for ADHDers because a) it's visual and b) it gets you involved in what you're reading. But since you're studying art history, heck.. get out those pictures!

Playing games
So silly I know :D But little games, like memory games, anything you can come up with, really gets me involved. And that's the key thing. If you're not engaged in what you're doing, time is just wasted.

Right time?
Another very important thing is timing. I tend to be really alert mid morning and late in the evening. Any other time, I'm kinda mentally sluggish so forget it. Be kind to yourself, and know your own 'clock.' Don't beat yourself up trying to tackle something when your energy is low.

Good luck!