Memory, Focus and Exam stress

University and college students contact me due to their perceptions of not being able to concentrate or complain of having a poor memory. There is nothing wrong with their concentration or memory, it is frequently due to underlying anxieties and occasionally depression that is causing the problem. When these are alleviated their memory and concentration improves dramatically

Study Problems

Problems with studying can be due to bad habits. Your sense of how to manage your time or how to concentrate may be poorly defined and put into action. This results in an unnecessary drain on your energy and emotions. For example, if you have an exam, a progress report, research for a lecture, any act of learning that requires preparation and organisation, you can see it as a traumatic, self punishing experience by delaying it. If, instead, you did the task in small bite size increments before your deadline, your task would be considerably easier.

This is not a complex, tedious process. It simply involves breaking your whole project into workable segments. You can do this with any block of material, such as the information to be learned for an exam. Your learning module can be compared to a jigsaw puzzle piecing together each bit until the whole picture emerges.

Other poor study habits may result from the physical location of your study area and your association with it.

  1. Designate one particular location for study and use that place consistently.
  2. Eliminate any external distractions.
  3. Leave the location as soon as you are unable to concentrate.

Some distractions will never be easy or even possible to eliminate, such as a neighbours dog barking, or traffic.

If your concentration has diminished it can be regulated by a time set for your activity. Give yourself a starting and stopping time that is within your normal attention span and then work within those limits. Without a time limit you can create exhaustion. Don’t keep to your stopping time if you can no longer concentrate. When you can’t focus your attention on your material, it is time to stop and leave the location. This will allow your to associate with the study area as a positive one. You will view it as a productive place where you can succeed at what you are doing.

Anxiety, stress and depression are all too common these days and with these negative thoughts and feelings, it is very difficult to concentrate on studying

Many teenagers fail to do themselves justice during exams. Even though they have spent time studying and learning in great detail, when the time comes to take the exam they become so nervous that their mind goes blank. They might have expected a higher grade but have performed with less efficiency, getting lower grades or even failing altogether. Fear is a powerful force, which can seem to erase volumes of material that you thought you had successfully committed to memory.

Taking Exams

It is these cases that can benefit from one or two sessions to boost their confidence and feel good about themselves. The person can go into hypnosis very easily and visualise themselves in the exam room, wonderfully calm and relaxed. Finding that when you finished you have remembered far more than you thought possible, and to be able to come out of the exam room without constantly worrying.