Procrastination is a pitfall for many students preparing for a major exam. Tests that cover a broad range of material can feel overwhelming. Procrastination comes easy when you don’t know where to start. Here are 5 ways to stop procrastinating and start studying so you can achieve successful results on your exam.
1) Eliminate distraction
Distraction is all around you and it tempts you to procrastinate. When it is easy to access the things that distract you, it is easy to procrastinate. Unfortunately, it is often the technology you need to study that offers an easy way to be distracted. When you sit down to study, turn off all of your notifications, sign out of all of your social media accounts and if you can, disconnect from the Internet entirely.
While distractions lurk on the Internet, they can also be found all around your home. You may be tempted to watch TV or grab a snack. Try to set limits so you can focus for a specific amount of time and then allow yourself to go get a snack, check Facebook or watch TV.
2) Find the Sweet Spot
Finding the perfect place to study goes in conjunction with eliminating distraction. You may want to consider getting out of the house to have focused study time. Decide where you study best. Is it a quiet library, bustling coffee shop or sunny spot outside? Find a place that is comfortable, but not so comfortable that you are tempted to doze. In the perfect space you should be able to focus quickly and get your work done.
3) Make Deadlines
One big looming test date can seem far off or overwhelming which will prevent you from diving in to the material until the last minute. To prevent procrastination and last minute planning make a study plan with several short-term deadlines. Mark dates for practice tests on your calendar. Choose days that you will study specific subjects and write them down. Then you can have the satisfaction of crossing them off the calendar when you are done. The more you accomplish little tasks, the more inspired you will feel to continue studying.
Studying in many small chunks is much more productive than studying in a few long chunks right before the exam. You are more likely to feel confident if you have studied over a long period of time. Cramming right before the test will significantly increase your anxiety about taking the test. According to a study from UCLA sacrificing sleep to cram or study will also significantly hinder academic performance.
4) Use Accountability
Share your study plan and deadlines. When your family and friends know your plan, they can ask you about it. You are less likely to skip a deadline and procrastinate if you have to confess to someone. Hand off your study plan to a parent or close friend and ask them to check up on you every now and then. You may even want to choose a study buddy so you can keep each other on track. Joining a test prep class can also help you develop a plan and stay focused.
5) Eat The Frog
Eating the frog is graphic way of saying do the hardest thing first. An article from Lifehack suggests that doing the most undesirable task first can prevent procrastination. No one wants to eat a frog, but sometimes it has to be done. Study your hardest subjects first so you won’t continue to worry about them. Once you have mastered your difficult subjects, you can move on to reviewing the easy material. When you have mastered the subjects you are anxious about you will feel less stressed and not be as tempted to procrastinate.
Procrastination comes easy to a lot of people, but you are likely to regret it as the exam approaches. Try these five tips to prevent procrastination and inspire you prepare for the exam over an appropriate amount of time. Preparation is the best way to feel confident, eliminate anxiety and perform well on the exam. Don’t let procrastination hold you back from doing your best.
Mr. Test Prep strives to prepare students with his Cupertino SAT Prep program. When students engage in his Cupertino SAT Prep program their scores reflect the hard work and dedication put forth. Call Mr. Test Prep today and be prepared!