Studying is hard, especially studying difficult engineering subjects–we can all agree on that. Oftentimes, even though we know that studying is important, we tend to distract ourselves while trying to do so. 

Passing the exam of your choosing, whether you are taking the FE, PE, SE, or the Surveying exam, can have a substantial (and great!) effect on your engineering career. Making sure that you are prepared for your exam is vital in success, and constant distractions during studying can negatively affect your overall performance on the exam.

Studying can become extremely tiring and boring. To help you stay focused while studying, check out our tips and tricks to avoid getting distracted while studying for the FE, PE, or SE exam: 

1. Set a Timer 

Before you begin, decide how much time you want to dedicate to studying. It could be a short 15-minute study session during your lunch break or even a session that lasts a few hours. Either way, set a timer and don’t spend that time doing anything other than studying. 

2. Turn your phone on airplane mode 

Cell phones are a huge distraction that have many channels to become distracted with, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. People rely on phones for receiving news, communicating with peers, and browsing social media platforms- so much so that a phone is by its owner’s side at all times of the day. If you get bored while studying, it may seem like second nature to pick up your phone and scroll through your Instagram feed. To avoid cell phone distraction, turn your phone to airplane mode. Airplane mode disables the cellular network, so you won’t be able to receive text messages, calls, or social media notifications. 

3. Eat Brain-Power Foods 

Eating foods that are rich in omega-3s significantly promotes brain function and memory. An hour or so before you begin studying, eat snacks such as walnuts, yogurt, broccoli, or cauliflower. Seafood is a great option to use for meals that are high in omega-3s. Halibut, herring, mackerel, salmon, and other types of seafood are very rich in omega-3s. 

4. Stay Hydrated 

Did you know that staying hydrated can significantly help memory consolidation as well as keep you alert? Have a glass of water with you during study sessions to sip on every few minutes. 

5. Take periodic breaks 

Your brain needs a break every now and then. Try to take a 10-minute break every hour of studying. If you are using a timer as suggested earlier in this article, then simply pause it during your breaks so that you will study the full time you set for yourself. When you take a break, try not to do anything too strenuous such as staring at a bright screen. Going on a walk for fresh air is much more beneficial.