Learning is a process of acquiring knowledge.
Learning is never completed if the learners are not put to test. The examination aim is to assess the students’ ability in recalling what they have been taught and this is one aspect of learning that should not be neglected. It should be the aim of every student to get high marks in their forthcoming examination by putting into work all the factors it takes for them to come out triumphantly. These factors include time management, reading culture, avoidance of distractions, doing one’s assignment, making research work on projects given, and showing interest in one’s studies.
While some students passed their exams gallantly, others may suffer from getting low marks or even failed outrightly if the factors highlighted above is not given adequate consideration, to outsmart it during the pre-exams studying period. Passing exams should be a must for any serious student. Thus, students need to recognise and avoid those activities that cause distractions especially, those activities which add nothing to their academic pursuit. These activities are otherwise known as ”Non-Academic Distractions” which bring nothing than failure.
What is Distraction and Non-Academic Distractions?
The main reasons why students fail examinations cannot be completed without mentioning the word distraction which pave way for another topic known as non-academic distractions.
According to Wikipedia, “Distraction is the process of diverting the attention of an individual or group from a desired area of focus and thereby blocking or diminishing the reception of desired information.”
While Non-Academic Distractions are the distractions which may be internal or external that has the capacity of limiting a student’s learning potential.
First, we’ll look at internal distractions. Internal distractions are distractions or disturbances caused and initiated by the students when reading, learning, and studying which limits the chances of focusing at that very moment.
Examples of internal distractions include:
- Bad Eating Habit: This type of distraction occurs when students crave for food during the learning hours. Some students have habits of eating in classes or at home when reading or doing assignments, and as such will cause their minds to be divided. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. You can’t be paying attention with half a brain and the other half is focused on food and drinks.
- Hunger: Go by the saying that says a hungry man is an angry man. No meaningful thing will be achieved if students are hungry and have nothing to eat before coming to school or doing his or her homework. Lack of food can cause a big distraction to students and demotivated them in preparing for examinations.
- Fatigue: Students who work hard at home have the tendency of being tired in class. A tired or weak mind cannot take anything in at that moment. The result of this is sleeping in class and you know what that can lead to.
- Illness: A student who is away for a few days owing to ill-health may not be able to meet up with the topic and lessons taught when he was away.
- Worry and Anxiety: Worry and anxiety add nothing to their academic success rather it takes away from them. Students who are worried about their low marks and poor performance in class should do well by studying.
- Low Self-Esteem: The feeling of being below your classmates in terms of academic work can also hamper on a student’s learning potential. A student who suffers from low self-esteem degrades himself or herself to a level of not relating well with the other students who may be interested in teaching them.
- Daydreaming: It is a good thing for a student to dream and aspire for greatness but when such is done in idleness then it is a minus to his or her academic success. You cannot be dreaming of being the best student when you hardly read. Hard work is the way to achieve such dreams and aspirations.
Moving over to the external distractions, we will take them one at a time because this type of distraction is broad and as such should be treated extensively.
External distractions are generally defined as distractions from one’s environment, people, and places. A student can be distracted by the environment if that environment is not conducive for him or her to learn, by people when they take his mind from his studies, does not encourage him or makes him lose interest in his studies, and then by places which are center of attraction such as amusement parks, eateries, outlets, and festivals.
Taking the examples of external distractions we have the following in it and they are:
- Familiar Environment: This can reduce a student’s learning potential, any environment that is too friendly and familiar with the students will make such a student lose focus, they will want to give up their learning to go visit their friends or relations who live nearby, and this can make them start skipping school, classes and every their examinations.
- Personal handheld devices like cell phones, handheld games, and even some schools issued laptops which are some of the biggest classroom distractions. Students find it more pleasurable in chatting, taking selfies, videoing, and play games to learning and this makes them distracted most of the time.
- Internet: With the world going digital and lots of applications are coming out every day and the rate at which students focus more on the non-academic materials on the internet nowadays is quite alarming. The applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Tik Tok, and Snapchat are helpful in learning. Many of them have educational videos and documentaries that are good for learning but students find it difficult in doing so, rather they invest their time chatting with friends; watching videos, comedies, and other things that have nothing to do with their academics.
- Friends and Families: An English Proverbs say show me your friends and I will tell you who you are. This is true as some students are friends with distractions all in the name of friendship. Any friend who does not advise you to keep reading when you fail or encourage you to work hard to pass your exams should be dropped from your life. Unfortunately these days, some students have no mind of their own. Friends decide for them what to do, the latest party in town, the latest music released, more trending fashion in town, and even hairstyles. All these are distractions that add nothing but instead take away their time, interest, and focus. Families on the other hand also contribute to the increase in poor performance of students in school, most parents hardly ask their children about their assignments, review what they have been taught, or even encourage them. Parents who are traders will want their children to come to their business places to assist them when they are back from school, children who are always sent on an errand by their parents or siblings will have little or no time for their books and this can limit their learning potential and ability to cope with other students whose parents are encouraging, assisting and reviewing what they are been taught.
- Playing in Class and Slipping Notes: Some students are fond of playing in class when a lesson is going on distracting the serious-minded ones among them. While some of them are always slipping notes, love letters, and other materials across to their friends in class, there’s no way such a student who is always playing in class or slipping notes across will concentrate in his or her studies.
Both the external and internal distractions contribute to the interference of focus.