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How to Stay Focused in Lectures

Graphics & Words by Caitlin Chuah

I’m not going to sugar coat it. Sometimes, lectures can be boring, especially if it’s a theory-heavy subject rather than a practical one. However, that doesn’t give you the right to doze off or dismiss the information your lecturer has worked hard to prepare. Hence, below are some tips and tricks that will help you stay focused during your lectures.

Take lots of notes

When you are actively absorbing and transcribing the information from a lecture into notes, you are much more likely to stay focused. Whether it is writing it down manually into a notebook, or typing it out on your laptop, taking notes during a lecture will most certainly improve your attention span. Additionally, taking notes will allow your brain to wrap itself around the information and comprehend it better. Plus, you won’t need to spend extra time making notes to revise later on as you will already have a summarized version of the lecture by the end of it.

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Grab a front row seat

Speaking from experience, the further you sit away from your lecturer at the front of the hall, the higher the chance of you dozing off. It might seem intimidating to sit in the front row, however, you are more likely to stay focused because you will be clearly visible to the lecturer and forced to engage in the class. Additionally, you are less likely to be distracted, for instance, by the few rows of people in front of you playing games or watching movies on their devices.

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Ditch your phone

Many students, unconsciously, like to have their phones in their hands or facing up on their table. By doing so, you will be tempted to click into the notifications appearing on your screen…and you will, because the phone is in easy access to you. Instead, silence your phone and place it in your bag. This way, it takes a bit of effort if you want to reach for your phone. Besides, isn’t it rude to your lecturer if you are constantly checking your phone? Some lecturers might even call you out for it, which probably won’t leave a good impression.

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Eat and sleep wisely

If you attend a lecture too hungry or too tired, be prepared to suffer for it. A growling stomach or heavy eyelids will prove to be the greatest distraction a student can have. Listen to your body and give it the proper rest and nutrients it needs every day. By doing so, you will be mentally and physically prepared to make the most of your lectures.

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Think of questions to ask

While the lecturer is teaching, come up with questions in your head that you can ask. If there is anything you don’t understand or can’t quite fully wrap your head around, jot it down and consult your lecturer after the class. By doing so, you will stay curious and pay more attention to the lecture in order to comprehend the parts you don’t understand, and in the process, absorb the materials fully and effectively.

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