Your Attitude and Behaviors

Your attitude toward your classes, subjects, and academics can really affect your ability to concentrate and commit to memory. Improving your attitude will help with concentration and memory.

Look through the following list. Do you identify with any of these? Check out the tips and try a few out.

light bulbIf you... lack interest in the subject. Try this:

  • Read actively. Converse mentally with your textbook authors: question their viewpoints, anticipate their conclusions, and attempt to disprove their ideas
  • Read with strategy. Survey and scan the material before you begin. Raise questions and then read for answers. Recite what you have learned.
  • Relate the subject to you. Connect the course and content to your life, your goals, and your future.

booksIf you... have poor reading and study skills. Try this:


writingIf you... have trouble getting started. Try this:

  • Choose one place to study. Keep pencils, paper, and the necessary supplies on hand.
  • Set a definite starting time. The sooner you begin, the sooner you will be free to do other things.
  • Warm up to studying with a brief review.

healthIf you... are fatigued or tired. Try this:

  • Make proper rest, good diet, and exercise part of your regular schedule so that you’ll have the energy necessary to study efficiently.
  • Determine the time of day that is best for you and use this time for your most difficult assignments.

lampIf you... get sleepy while studying. Try this:

  • Study in a well-ventilated room.
  • Take regular breaks.
  • Change subjects, or change your approach to studying the same subject.

cloudIf you... daydream (to escape from doing work). Try this:

  • Keep only one courses’ material on your desk at a time.
  • Remove visual (photographs, souvenirs) and auditory (favorite music) stimuli.
  • Jot down your irrelevant thoughts on a scratch pad and come back to them later.
  • Study more actively -- take notes, read aloud, etc.

buildingIf you... struggle with a personal problem. Try this:


graduation capIf you... worry about poor grades. Try this:

  • See your professor to talk over low grades or unclear assignments.
  • Talk to your academic advisor to discuss difficulties you are experiencing.
  • Make an appointment to see an academic skills coach in Student Academic Success Services.

deadlineIf you... worry about deadlines. Try this:

  • Keep a calendar of assignment deadlines and appointments.
  • Make a schedule for studying and completing assignments. Stick to your schedule!
  • Use the Assignment Calculator to create a detailed schedule for completing course assignments.

headphonesIf you... are distracted by noise. Try this:

  • Find a study room, an empty classroom, or a corner in the library – somewhere tucked away from campus traffic. Two or three hours of efficient study in quiet surroundings does more good than ten hours of study in a noisy place.
  • Use the Study Space Finder for detailed information about dozens of study spaces, including typical noise and light levels.

Feeling better about your academic skills and standing goes a long way towards concentration and memory. You’ll feel the difference!