How to stay focused in class

We’ve all been guilty of slacking off during class, and I get it. Class can get boring and it’s more fun to chat to your friends, sneakily check Instagram under your desk, or day dream about what you’re having for lunch instead of listening to the teacher. However, concentrating in class is the key to getting good grades and (wait for it…) actually learning something!


So it’s time to stop pretending to concentrate in class and actually concentrate! Keep reading for our four key tips that top students use to concentrate better in class.


1.     Get a good night’s sleep

 The first tip to improve your concentration is something you’ll need to do before you even step foot in the classroom – get enough sleep! If you’re fighting to stay awake during class, you’re definitely not concentrating or taking in what’s being said. Research suggests that teenagers need between 8-10 hours of sleep every night.

 Some things you can do to get a good night’s sleep include:

  • Avoid going to bed late – know what time you need to wake up and work backwards to see what time you need to get to bed to get your 8hrs of sleep

  • Avoid using screens (phone, TV, computer) for at least an hour before bed

  • Avoid drinking stimulants like coffee, tea and energy drinks in the evening

  • Start a relaxing bedtime routine, like lighting a scented candle, or having a bath before bed


2.     Remove distractions

 It’s hard to concentrate when your phone is constantly buzzing, notifications are popping up on your laptop and everyone around you is chatting – so it’s time to do something about it.

  • Turn off your phone during class, or better yet, leave it in your locker – nothing will jar your concentration more than getting a text from a friend or a notification from social media

  • Avoid sitting with the friends that you know will distract you and choose to sit with your more studious friends who are just as focused as you are

  • If you’re someone who gets distracted by what’s happening outside, position yourself away from the windows and sit in the middle of the classroom


3.     Get involved

If you just passively sit and listen in class, it’s likely that everything your teacher says will be in one ear and out the other! To really concentrate in class you need to be paying close attention AND actively participating.

 Some ways you can actively participate in class include:

  • Asking questions -  If you don’t quite understand something or want to clarify what’s been said, put your hand up and ask a question. Remember that no question is a silly question. If you’re thinking it, chances are someone else is too.    

  • Contributing to class discussions – Don’t just sit there while all the ‘smart kids’ answer the questions. Speak up and let your ideas and opinions be known.


4.     Take notes

To ensure that you’re actively listening and concentrating in class, start taking notes. But don’t just mindlessly write down everything that the teacher is saying. Instead, only jot down the key points – listen out to key phrases like “this is important”, “this is the main idea”, or “this will be in the exam” to know what’s important to write down.  If you’re worried that you missed anything important, compare and swap notes with your friends after class.


Rachel SiuComment