Finding time to work on your firefighter promotional exam prep without interruptions can be a difficult task, but if you want to pass the firefighter promotional exam you need to make it a priority. Trying to multitask while studying can be detrimental to your score, here’s why.
One of the big reasons people multitask while they are studying without even realizing it, is because they don’t really want to study and are using it as a form of procrastination. Once you start one small other task while you are studying you can go on a downward spiral and just completely blow your study session because it is hard to regain focus. Multitasking, or procrastination, can look like checking your phone for messages or emails, scrolling social media or talking on the phone while trying to study, even eating or watching tv while l you are studying can be a “multitasking” task. You may be doing these things to procrastinate on your studying without even realizing it. To avoid it, turn off your phone, computer and tv before you start studying and start your study session with a full belly. Be aware if you find yourself trying to do other things while you should be studying.
Decreases Quality of Learning
Multitasking while studying can decrease your overall quality of learning. Focusing on multiple things while trying to study for the firefighter promotional exam will reduce your overall memory as well as comprehension of new material. The reason is simple, if you are focusing on something other than what you are studying, you are no longer studying. The resources your brain uses to study are being used to do other tasks even if you are just sending a simple text message. When doing two things at once your brain is essentially in competition with itself for where to focus because it simply can’t focus on two things at once. All of this adds extra mental load to your brain and body, reducing the quality of your learning and probably making you pretty tired.
Increases Time Spent Studying
If you multitask while you study, the amount of time you spend studying overall is going to increase substantially. This is because you are able to transfer information from your short term memory to long term memory much easier when you are giving the information your full attention. So when you are switching between your phone, the tv, and your study material your short term to long term memory switch is being slowed down, meaning it will take more time spent studying for the information to reach your long term memory. In addition, if you are doing multiple things at once you are much more likely to make mistakes as you go. You may need to go back and reread sections of your books because you missed something or repeatedly make silly mistakes when you are working on your practice tests.
Multitasking while you study is going to make your anxiety go up. Starting and stopping the same study material multiple times, redoing things that you made mistakes on and so on will make you feel frazzled. You may feel like you are not learning anything because, well, you are not learning as well as you could be as discussed above. Going back and forth between studying and other tasks and feeling like you are not learning is going to increase your stress and waste even more of your time. The problem is not that you aren’t learning, it’s that you are not focusing because you are trying to do too many things at once. Next study session try focusing solely on your promotional exam materials and see if you feel any better.
In the moment, multitasking while you study can make it feel like you have accomplished more things in a shorter period of time, but in reality you tend to do the opposite. It is so much more productive to focus on one thing at a time. That way each task has your full attention and reduces errors and time spent on the task resulting in less time studying for your firefighter promotional exam.