Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Studying stress and loosing focus

Hey Sam,

So I haven't really been worried about my GCSE's, which are in less than six months, but after getting my PPE (mock) results back, im pooping myself. I only got a three in maths when predicted a six and don't get me started about the stress of my German exam! It doesn't help that I worry and over think anything anyway...

Anyway, so I decided to buy revisions books and work books and everything I could, but when it comes to using them and revising I just can't stay focused. Ive looked this up on google on other peoples message boards, but can't find anything. Ive trend others advice but it doesn't seem to be working. For example, removing distractions (I just stare into space and I can't remove the air), listening to calming music to stay focussed on one task (suddenly im making a musical produced, directed and featured me). Ive tried other suggestions too but can't remember some of them and don't want to drag this on...

If you read this, and decide to answer, I was wondering if you have any study advice or ways I could try to stay focused on studying, anything would be useful.

Thank you

Ask Sam


Hi there

Staying focused while studying can be difficult if there are lots of distractions around you. If you find the right space and get things organised, things will be a lot less stressful. The less stressed you are, the easier it is to concentrate.

Everyone learns in different ways and there are tools like revision books and guides, but if these don’t work for you there are other things you can try.

Firstly it’s important to find the right space to work. Having a set area where you always work can make a big difference. It should be somewhere different to where you relax, if possible. If you normally spend a lot of time in your room on a computer, try studying at a table in a different part of the house.

Secondly you need to have a plan. If you have a plan it’s much easier to feel like you are accomplishing something. Your plan should have time for work and time for relaxing – you need to include time for yourself. Your plan should also be really specific – this is important. Don’t just write “5pm: revise” – you need to write what you will revise and get really detailed about what exactly you’re going to achieve. Each thing you do should be broken into small, easy chunks. If you have a plan like this it’s easier to see your progress, which will encourage you to do more.

Telling people you are revising is also good because they can help you stay focussed if you tend to let your mind wander. If people at home know what your revision plan says, they can make sure you to stick to it.

Finally you should find a way of revising that works for you. Some people remember things better by hearing them, others by reading and some people by writing. This might mean reading things out loud to yourself, making an eye catching poster of notes on a bedroom wall or copying out notes over and over.

It is important to prepare yourself for extra revision and study and things like drinking water, eating well and getting a good night’s sleep. Simple as it may sound these could make a big difference .

If you feel you need to talk about remaining focused or any issues that you may have around your exams our counsellors are here to listen and to support you.  You can also get support from other young people on our message boards too

Take care


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