Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Published by the Counseling and Development Unit, SSSD UTP (Issue 3)
Prepared by Hj. Abdul Jalil bin Abdullah

 Study Skills – Concentration

 What is concentration?
When concentrating fully you are so absorbed in what you are doing you are unaware of time passing or of what is going on around you.…The length of time for which you can concentrate fully depends on factors such as your enthusiasm for what you are doing, your skill at a particular task, your emotional and physical state, and your surroundings at the time.
Source: Marshall, L. and Rowland, F. (1998) A Guide to Learning Independently. p. 23)

What are the different kinds of concentration?
There are two types of concentration:
· Immediate concentration that allows you to observe the world around you at every moment.
· Prolonged concentration that allows you to read, learn and think.

Studying requires you to work with your prolonged or long-term concentration. In other words, you have to minimize the attention you pay to what’s going on around you and instead focus on the task at hand.

By improving your concentration, you can:
· Maintain a higher level of attention.
· Be more efficient when studying.
· Remember what you have learned.

How can you improve your concentration in class, at home and during exams?
In class:
· Pay close attention to your professor.
· Take good notes.
· Ask questions and actively participate in discussions.

At home:
· Create a working environment that is comfortable and adapted to your needs.
· Organize your time. Set aside regular study times (with breaks and rewards).
· Establish a routine: Create for yourself a convenient ritual before getting to work (for example, put some comfortable clothes on and make yourself a snack). This routine will become a conditioned reflex that tells your brain to prepare for work.

During exams:
· Reduce your stress by establishing better working conditions.
· Avoid sitting near windows and limit outside distractions.
· Avoid sitting beside people who work much faster than you—their pace may discourage you.
· Bring all the materials you need (pens, books, calculators—if authorized—and a snack if you need it). 

10 Tips  for improving  study concentration:

· Study in a quiet place that is free from distractions and interruptions. Try to create a space designated solely for studying.

· Make a study schedule that shows what tasks you need to accomplish and when you plan to accomplish each task. This will provide you with the structure you need for effective studying.

· Try to study at the time of day you work best. Some  people work well early in the morning, others late at night. You know what works best for you.

· Make sure you are not tired and/or hungry when you study. Otherwise, you won't have the energy you need to concentrate. Also, maintain your physical fitness.

· Don't try to do two tasks at the same time. You won't be able to concentrate on either one very well.                  Concentration means focusing on one thing to the    exclusion of all else.

· Break large tasks into series of smaller tasks that you can complete one at a time. If you try to complete a large task all at once, you may feel overwhelmed and will be unable to maintain your concentration.

· Relax. It's hard to concentrate when you're tense. It's important to relax when working on a task that requires concentration. Meditation is helpful to many students.

· Clear your mind of worrisome thoughts. Mental poise is important for concentration. You can get distracted by your own thoughts. Monitor your thoughts and prevent yourself from following any that take you off track. Don't daydream.

· Develop an interest in what you are studying. Try to relate what you are studying to you own life to make it as meaningful as possible. This can motivate yourself to concentrate.

· Take breaks whenever you feel fatigued. There is no set formula for when to take breaks. You will know when you need to take a break.

Studying without concentration is like trying to fill a bucket with water when the bucket has a hole in its     bottom. It doesn't work.


Friday, October 15, 2010


Published by the Counseling and Development Unit, SSSD UTP ( Issue 2)
Prepared by: Hj. Abdul Jalil Abdullah               

If you were stuck on a desert Island with one other person, would you want that person to be an   optimist or a pessimist? Why? Certainly an optimist would look for a way to improve your chances of being rescued. They would try to find the bright side of things. In their twisted little mind they would turn this seemingly negative experience into something positive.

The key to attracting almost everything you desire begins in your powerful mind. You’re about to discover this great truth first hand. First you turn on the optimal mindset then good things begin to happen to you. The following techniques are incredibly powerful and are to be used as often as possible until they become a habit.

Clean out negative clutter
This clutter consists of things like worry, fear, day dreaming, hurt, anger, resentment, insecurity, low self image, regret, and all sorts of unproductive things. Negative thoughts often overpower positive thoughts in hand to hand combat. So what's the solution? Complete and total elimination. Only a mind that’s free and clear of negativity can take full advantage of positive input.

Gratitude Produces an Optimal Attitude
It's important for our well-being and happiness to be thankful for what we do have. Look at your list of things to be grateful for and give thanks for what you've been blessed with. See how it changes your outlook. Sense how this switch makes you feel and how does it changes your perspective on life?

Transform yourself into having the characteristics you wish you had.
At the beginning of each day and at odd moments throughout the day, write at the top of a piece of paper "Today I Display the Following Traits with Great Power and Frequency". Write the statements over and over until you begin to feel you have the traits you desire. Try both the written and the verbal versions of this switch and take note of how it energizes you and improves your day.

Adjust your posture and spruce up your appearance.
Take a mental note of how your posture makes you feel. You can instantly change the way you feel by changing your posture. You may be surprised just how much difference it makes to your attitude to assume a positive energetic posture and to keep your appearance at its best.

Treat Others with Love & Respect
We all need good relationships with others in order to maximize our potential. Treat all people with love and respect; try to help others get what they want. Whenever you encounter someone give them a smile and a kind greeting. In the quiet of your heart and mind say "You’re awesome, I’m glad to see you”.

These exercises provide just a few simple examples of the power your mind possesses. While practicing these exercises your inner mindset changes first, and then your outside world begins to change for the better.

5 Steps Towards Good Attitude

· Have a positive attitude.
It is essential to have a positive attitude in achieving success in any situation. If you aim to achieve academic excellence, you must be responsible to carry yourself well in reaching the goal of attaining the excellence you targeted. Thus, you must develop the right attitude toward the material that is needed to be learned in order to become what you desire to be.

· Respect yourself.
Quit making excuses for your behavior is the first step in respecting yourself. If you wanted to go forth in any particular subject, you must do all the effort required to learn the subject. Mediocrity is not the level of performance you want to achieve, you must aim to excel in whatever you go after. Hard work is not easy by any means, but it is worth in reaching your goal.

· Be good to yourself.
Act and treat yourself accordingly. When you keep saying negative things about yourself, it is going to stick with you.  For example, if you continuously call yourself stupid, it is going to pop up every single time you try something new. Don't put yourself down. If you continue doing it, you are going to actually believe in it even though it is not true!

· Ready to change!
Changing attitudes is one key ingredient in order to create a mind of good attitude and habits. Think about your past failures and how you can effectively change those habits. If you are a procrastinator, learn punctuality, if you are an excuse maker, work your way out of your excuses, and if you are self critical, think of how wonderful you are and believe in it. It is totally a good way to mature and grow as a person.

· Visualize success.
If you look for the greater good in everything, you will win every time. Just practice thinking positively about any situation and you will win in one way or another.  If the situation does not turn out the way you expected it to be, it might turn out better.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Published by the Counseling and Development Unit, SSSD UTP (Issue 1)                                                                   

Excuses are what we tend to come out with when we have the wrong   attitude towards something. Put a stop to this habit of   making excuses. How do you move to the right    attitude?


(1)"This is too hard for me” - You are cutting yourself too short, too soon.  You have to stick with it in order to get to it. If you do not spend time  reading, understanding the material and discussing it, you would not be able to get it. No pain, no gain.

(2)"I'll do it later" - Procrastination is very dangerous. When you start to make such excuse, you will end up giving up on it because you put it away so many times. When a goal is set, work on it until it is accomplish.

(3)"I cannot concentrate” - You surely do not want to give up that easy. Concentration is something you have to bring out from your inner self. Search for it! Sometimes you might loose your concentration just because you are not well prepared. Have a good sleep, read before attending     lecture and bring all the materials needed. It’s all in your hand.

(4) "I'm way too busy for this" - Busy is such a lame excuse. We all live busy lives. Find time for something you wanted to do. A schedule would be very helpful. You will later find out that you actually have time to study, to learn new things and to have your own personal time!

(5)  "I am just stupid"  Nonsense! No one born to be stupid and everybody can learn new skills. A baby can learn how to talk and walk with a little of love and attention. Give a little love to yourself and your goals in order to get your heart’s desires.

10 Tips for Success
Control Your Study Environment

 1. Set aside a fixed place for study and nothing but study.

2. Before you begin an assignment, write down on a sheet of paper the time you expect to finish.

3. Strengthen your ability to concentrate by selecting a social symbol that is related to study, such as putting on a certain scarf or hat or setting a little figurine on your desk.

4. If your mind wanders, stand up and face away from your books and spend a few      minutes     daydreaming.

5. Stop at the end of each page, and count to 10 slowly when you are reading—this idea may      increase your study time.

6. Set aside a certain time to begin studying.

7. Don’t start any unfinished business just before the time to start studying.

8. Set small, short-range subgoals for yourself by dividing your assignment into subsections.

9. Keep a reminder pad so that if you happen to think about something that needs to be done, you can jot it down and forget it until later.

10. Relax completely before you start to study.

-excerpted from Systems for Study by Alton L. Rayor
and David M. Work, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1970.