For many OTA students, finding time to study is a challenge. And when they can actually fit a study session into their schedules, getting into the right mindset to study is another obstacle to overcome.
Here, we offer tips you can use to break through your initial study block and make the most out of your study sessions--like removing smartphones and other distractions from your study area, studying in an unusual work environment, organizing your workspace, and simply being persistent.
Remove Tech Distractions From Your Study Area
Social media, the news, and messages with friends are major distractions for today’s students. One fool-proof method for eliminating those distractions from your study sessions is to simply leave your smartphone in another room for the time you’ve scheduled for studying.
Additionally, if you prefer to use your computer to study and take notes but worry that websites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, or others will keep you from focusing on your COTA® exam materials, you can use apps and browser extensions that temporarily block these distracting websites. That way, you can still use your computer to take practice tests and seek answers to relevant questions, but won’t waste time taking a peek at your cousin’s vacation photos.
Study in an Unusual Work Environment
Often, students who attempt to study at home find themselves concerned with and distracted by household tasks like laundry, cleaning, or even just catching up on a favorite TV show. To overcome COTA® exam study block, you can try avoiding study sessions in your house –– unless you have a designated spot where you know you can be productive, like a home office.
If you find yourself struggling to get into the right studying mindset in the comfort of your own home, we recommend spots like the library, a coffee shop, or more unorthodox locations like a nearby park, or even the lobby of a hospital where you’re doing a clinical.
Clean and Organize Your Workspace Before Studying
Clutter in your workspace has been proven to negatively affect your productivity. Leaving odds and ends scattered about on your desk can alter your mood and create unnecessary stress, but cleaning and organizing a workspace can be symbolic of clearing your mind and preparing your thoughts to better focus on your study materials.
Additionally, if your OTA course notes are spread out across notebooks and textbooks, you may feel overwhelmed trying to find the information you need, which can also prevent you from making the most of your study sessions. TherapyEd’s Review & Study Guide is an excellent all-in-one resource to organize your studying around. With good organization, your mind will feel free of distractions so you can better focus on your COTA® exam preparation.
Be Persistent to Overcome COTA® Exam Study Block
On our blog, we recently discussed the challenges of finding motivation you need to study for the COTA® exam, and we understand finding that motivation is difficult. As we noted before, staying positive is key to maintaining motivation and overcoming study block. It’s also crucial to stick to your study schedule and find a support system that will serve as positive peer pressure to push you to achieve your study goals.
Don’t give up. Studying at regular intervals is a necessity to passing one of the most important professional exams of your career, and persistence is key. If you’ve tried one of the above methods but it didn’t work, try another. Sometimes, simply allowing yourself a mental break is enough to get yourself in the right studying mindset. But you must remember to come back to your materials and use your allotted studying time wisely.
Do you have all the materials you need on hand to make the most out of your study sessions? Our OTA Review & Study Guide is the most comprehensive physical therapy content review book available. In addition, to make the most of your study sessions, we offer a one-day prep course where our expert instructors can help you develop better study plans and strategies.