Your Studying Environment

Getting your studying environment set up so that you actually feel comfortable and relaxed is extremely important to help you to concentrate solely on the subject matter. And not only do you need to create a comfortable place in which to study, you also need to remove the bottlenecks and distractions that disrupt the flow once you're into it. So here then are a few tips to creating a better studying environment:

  • Have a dedicated area for studying. As hard as it can be in this busy world, it’s imperative that you find a specific place (or places) where you can study in peace – even if that means leaving your home or work and going to a completely different area. If you can associate that place with studying, and studying only, then you’ll have a better chance of concentrating on the task at hand.

  • When you're in your studying place, don’t allow yourself to indulge in other things such as phone calls (turn off your phone), instant messaging, games etc. Your study place is for studying only.

  • Fill your study place with motivational objects. They could be anything from photo's of loved ones, to material objects you hope to buy one day, to a famous quote or even a job advertisement pinned to the wall. What ever drives you and gives you inspiration, make it a part of your environment.

  • Your studying area needs to have a number of basic attributes to help you maintain good concentration - adequate lighting, proper ventilation, a decent sized desk where you have easy access to your materials, and good seating - but not too comfortable as you don’t want to be falling asleep. Studying in an environment that’s too comfortable tends to make the mind wander, and it’s all too easy to get distracted as it is. Keep the mind alert by sitting in a position that would make it difficult to sleep.

  • Keep a calendar on the wall with exam dates marked off. This makes for easy reference and acts as a motivational tool to help keep your concentration.

  • Keep a reminder pad or have a good note-taking program. Arbitrary thoughts can pop into your head at any time and if those thoughts are not related to your topic of study then simply write them down and come back to them after you've finished studying. This helps to avoid prolonging any daydreaming spells.

  • Remove the distractions. Things that you should not have in your studying area include a TV, stereo, other people, telephones, the Internet and so on. It’s easy to ‘give in’ on any or all of these items, and many people feel that having music (or the T.V. etc) in the background helps them to concentrate. You’ll know what works for you, and you’ll also know when you’re kidding yourself as to whether background noise is an aide or a distraction.

  • If you share the environment with other people, teach them to respect your study time. Once people are aware that you are there for a reason you will have less distractions – but only if you tell them.

  • If your budget permits, try to obtain all the equipment that you'll need to practice on. Most I.T. certifications require significant hands-on experience so creating a well laid out practice lab (where possible) where you can test and practice will help you immeasurably.

Suggested Reading:

Multiple Choice Exam Strategies

Adaptive Exams

Adaptive Exam Strategies

Studying Tips