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Why can't I ever focus properly and feel so dumb sometimes when it comes to taking a exam?

13 Answers
Last Updated: 12/09/2019 at 3:16pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Top Rated Answers
April 18th, 2015 4:21pm
Please do not feel dumb. The fact that you are asking this question makes me believe you are very smart. It can be hard to focus sometimes. Some brains actually need more stimulation that others. These strategies sound silly but they can help you because you will be using both sides of your brain at the same time. When you are studying, take frequent movement breaks, try using a squish ball when reading or studying, doodle while taking notes, use a ball as a chair while studying if possible, ask the teacher if you can stand up while taking the test if this helps you. Some brains need extra stimulation in order to focus on one thing. This does not mean you are dumb. This means you are smart and need to find some things that work for you when you are trying to focus. Good luck and great question. Thank you for asking.
March 10th, 2015 6:57pm
Well... That's just the way education is, making the ones who studied the most feel smart and those who didn't study this much or just don't get it feel dumb.
July 5th, 2016 7:31am
We usually can't focus during exams because we are under a lot of stress. We think about too many things like failing it or not being able to answer the questions. Try to focus on the task at hand ie studying. You will feel much better once you have the concepts in your head. Feeling a bit dumb before the exams is normal. Take a deep breath and look on onto your passed achievements. Remember that test you did really well in? That time you answered the question correctly (even if you just answered in your head)? Those things will help you realise that you are capable of doing well in your exam. Always believe in yourself. Always.
November 30th, 2015 9:13pm
It's easy for your mind to wonder in important situations! You've been studying for what seems like forever and suddenly you can't stop thinking about unicorns and rainbows. I've been there, and a lot of times it's hard to get yourself back on track. Don't fret too much. Take deep breaths, calm yourself down, and do your best to focus on the task at hand. Take it one question at a time if you have to.
December 15th, 2015 6:35pm
If you are in school, it may be tougher than normal to focus on taking a test. This is do to the fact that you have so many people around you, you might be more focused on what they are doing then your test. Try talking to your teacher about taking a test that you cant focus on during homeroom, during lunch, or after school.
January 19th, 2016 3:51pm
You're nervous. That is normal. Just try to forget everything and really focus on the exam. Try chewing mint gum or sucking on a peppermint before or during your exam.
June 6th, 2017 9:07pm
I can understand where you are coming from, I've felt the same way before. The important thing to know is that you are Not dumb. You are fully capable of doing great but it first starts by believing in yourself. We often don't give ourselves enough credit for what we are capable of. When it comes to not being able to focus properly, perhaps it's because the material isn't engaging or interesting enough to you. One way to fix this is to learn the material in different ways ahead of the exam. Some suggestions are to: study with a friend, watch videos of the content to be able to visually learn it, read more about the topic on the internet, create drawings or cheat sheets to help you remember the content better. The more you can relate to the content to some part of your life, the more engaged you will be and it will help improve focus. Believe in yourself and give it a try!
December 9th, 2019 3:16pm
Exams are always a very stressful time period, and sometimes leading up to it, you may feel like there's a lot at stake. However, they don't measure anything else other than your test-taking abilities. As long as you have done your part to revise, you should be satisfied with what you've put in. The day before the exam, take time for yourself to relax and have your mind be in a good place. Go for a walk around the neighborhood. Your mind and your abilities are more than you know, so remember to trust yourself. Before the night of the exam, rest early and have a good breakfast. Only revise what you know and don't cram information, and know that no matter what happens, you are the same person before and after the exam.
March 9th, 2015 10:47am
some people do better in worksheets or just on questions, i for one is someone who doesn't do good on test at all.
July 6th, 2015 9:32pm
Personally i have test related issues as well. Sometimes i tend to overthink and second guess myself. You are not dumb by any means. Relax and breathe
March 20th, 2017 11:54pm
Classrooms and exams are not suited to the strengths of all people. Some people find that they might excel at tests, while others are better at essays, and still others might be prodigies in completely different areas, such as art or music, that can't be tested by an exam. Don't get upset just because exams may not be your strong suit, just remember that your strengths lie in other areas.
September 4th, 2017 4:06pm
Your lack of focus could be caused by a plethora of things. It's possible that what you're studying does not interest you and it is therefore difficult for you to focus. If this is the case, the studying you do may not be productive and you may not fully know the information you need to take exams. It is also possible that you have exam anxiety. If you get anxious during exams, you may forget information you learned while studying, resulting in your feelings of inadequacies. Lastly, you could have an attention-deficit issue. This would result in a lack of focus and unproductive studying, again resulting in not knowing answers on exams. The only way to know for sure which of these are causing your issues is to consult a professional. They may choose to do further testing or provide you further guidance, at the very least.
June 4th, 2018 6:32am
I suffer from this problem too, and I find that when taking tests, or doing anything that includes high stakes, I tend to overthink and make stupid errors. To help with this problem, I find convincing yourself that the outcome of this activity does not matter. What does matter is the steps you take to get there, and ensuring those steps are the best you can make them. I also encourage taking time to review answers to avoid silly errors.