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  • DTP Success Team

6 Action Items That Can Safeguard Your Study Time And Increase Your DSST Score

Updated: Feb 22

Student studying for her DSST exams.

Study Efficiently

Studying efficiently is crucial when preparing for the DSST exams, as distractions can significantly impact your ability to focus and retain information.

Research indicates that even minor interruptions can derail your momentum, requiring up to 20 minutes to regain total concentration.

Implementing effective study strategies and minimizing distractions are essential to enhance your study experience and increase your chances of success.

This blog explores six action items to safeguard your study time and boost your DSST exam score.


Table of Contents


1. Reduce Distractions and Combat Procrastination

Notebook, headphones, coffee and pencils.

Divide And Conquer

One of the most effective ways to combat procrastination is to divide large tasks into smaller, more manageable steps.

Breaking them into smaller components makes them less intimidating and more likely to be tackled promptly.

Constant interruptions, no matter how small, can significantly impact your ability to manage your time effectively.

Avoid checking text messages and emails while studying, as these distractions can break your concentration.

Consider turning off your phone and finding a quiet, uninterrupted study space, particularly if you share your living space with others who may also appreciate a quiet environment.

When struggling to begin a task, say "start" and dive in.

Taking that initial step can help overcome inertia and propel you into action.


Additional Strategies to Stay Focused and On Track

  • Break Tasks into Smaller Steps: Large tasks can be overwhelming, leading to procrastination. Break them into smaller, more manageable steps to make them less daunting and more accessible.

  • Create a Distraction-Free Environment: Find a quiet, comfortable study space to focus without interruptions. Turn off your phone, close unnecessary tabs on your computer, and let others know you need uninterrupted study time.

  • Use the Pomodoro Technique: This involves working for 25 minutes and then taking a 5-minute break. This can help maintain focus and prevent burnout.

  • Set Clear Goals: Define specific, achievable goals for each study session. This will help you stay motivated and track your progress.

  • Practice Mindfulness: Stay present and focused on the task at hand. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your studies.

  • Reward Yourself: Take a break or a small treat after completing a study session or reaching a milestone. This can help reinforce positive study habits.

Implementing these strategies can reduce distractions, overcome procrastination, and maximize study time.

Remember, it's more important to start than to achieve perfection; completing the task is the goal, so aim for progress rather than flawless execution.

2. Plan Your Study Schedule

Student planning her study schedule.

Increase Your DSST Score

Establishing a routine is crucial when preparing for an exam like the DSST.

Avoid scheduling challenging tasks during peak times, as they can be overwhelming.

Instead, plan to tackle more accessible subjects during these periods and save the more demanding topics for when you're fresher and more focused.

Having a systematic plan is essential to increase your DSST score.

This ensures that you're utilizing your time effectively. Some students prefer shorter, more frequent study sessions, while others opt for longer, spaced-out sessions.

Experiment to find what works best for you.

Effective time management is crucial for success when preparing for the DSST exam.

Here are some tips for creating a study schedule that suits your needs:

  • Start Early: Give yourself ample time to study before the exam. Last-minute cramming is ineffective and can lead to burnout.

  • Set Realistic Goals: Break down the material into manageable segments and set achievable study goals for each day or week. This approach helps you stay focused and prevents feeling overwhelmed.

  • Prioritize Key Topics: Concentrate on the most critical or challenging subjects. Allocate more study time to these areas while ensuring you review other content.

  • Utilize Planning Tools: Consider using a planner or study app to schedule your study sessions. This helps you stay organized and allocate sufficient time to each subject.

  • Be Flexible: Life can be unpredictable, so be prepared to adjust your study schedule as needed. Flexibility is critical but stick to your plan as much as possible.

  • Review Regularly: Plan regular review sessions to reinforce what you've learned. This aids in better information retention and enhances long-term memory.

  • Remember to Rest: In addition to study time, allocate time for rest. Sufficient sleep and caring for your physical and mental well-being are crucial for effective studying.

By planning your study schedule effectively, you can make the most of your study time and improve your chances of success on the DSST exam.

3. Take Study Breaks

Student taking a study break.

Give Yourself a Study Break

During your study sessions, remember to take regular breaks.

Physical movement or engaging in unrelated activities can give your mind a much-needed rest.

However, be cautious not to get too comfortable and set an alarm if necessary to keep track of time.

If you schedule your study time without including some "down" time for yourself, you'll burn out and be unable to retain anything you've learned.

A great way to get through an intense period of studying is to take a 20-minute break for every 50 minutes you spend studying.

This can help prevent burnout while still getting a lot of work done.

You'll be far more focused by doing the most complex material at the beginning of your day.

Do the most difficult tasks during your study sessions first since your energy typically wanes as time passes.

4. Organize Your Study Area

Organized desk.

Prepare And Organize Your Study Area.

When it comes to concentration, your environment can make all the difference.

Choose a spot with plenty of light, a comfortable chair, and as few distractions as possible.

Please ensure everything is within reach, including course modules, notes, water, and healthy snacks.

This simple tip will help you stay focused and maximize your time.

Also, could you ask what you don't need?

A good rule is that it shouldn't be on your desk if it doesn't help you study.

Remind yourself why you're studying in the first place!

Before you begin studying, establish a list of study goals related to material that may appear on the exam. This will keep you motivated.

5. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Student stretching in a yoga pose.

Consistently Eat, Sleep, And Exercise.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential for optimal study performance and overall well-being.

Here are some tips to help you stay healthy while preparing for your DSST exam:


  • Eat Well: Fuel your body and brain with nutritious foods. Avoid excessive sugar and caffeine, leading to energy crashes and decreased focus. Instead, opt for whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and plenty of water.

  • Get Adequate Sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. Sleep is crucial for memory consolidation and cognitive function, so prioritize restful sleep to enhance your study efforts.

  • Exercise Regularly: Physical activity can improve mood, energy, and cognitive function. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week to boost your overall health and well-being.

  • Manage Stress: Stress can negatively impact your ability to focus and retain information. Practice stress-relief techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or spending time in nature to help you stay calm and focused.

  • Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can lead to fatigue and decreased cognitive function. Keep a water bottle handy and drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to stay hydrated.

  • Limit Screen Time: Excessive screen time can strain your eyes and disrupt sleep patterns. Take regular breaks from screens and practice good ergonomics to protect your eyes and posture.

  • Seek Support: Don't hesitate to contact friends, family, or a counselor if you feel overwhelmed. A strong support network can help you navigate challenges and stay motivated.

By prioritizing your health and well-being, you'll be better equipped to handle the demands of studying for your DSST exam and achieve success on test day.

6. Don't Multitask

Student studying for her DSST exam.

Multitasking Is A Myth

Multitasking is common, but it can hinder your productivity and learning efficiency.

When studying for your DSST exam, ignore the urge to multitask and give your full attention to the task.

Here's why you should avoid multitasking when studying for your DSST exam:

  • Decreased Focus: When you multitask, your focus is divided among multiple tasks, making it challenging to concentrate fully on any task. This can lead to reduced comprehension and retention of study material.

  • Reduced Efficiency: Contrary to popular belief, multitasking does not save time. Switching between tasks can lead to inefficiency and a decrease in overall productivity. Focusing on one task at a time and completing it thoroughly before moving on to the next is more effective.

  • Increased Errors: Multitasking can lead to mistakes and oversights, especially when studying complex or detailed material. Focusing on one task at a time can reduce the risk of errors and ensure higher accuracy in your work.

  • Impaired Memory: Multitasking has been shown to impact memory retention negatively. When your attention is divided, your brain may struggle to encode information effectively, making it harder to recall later.

  • Higher Stress Levels: Juggling multiple tasks can be stressful, leading to feelings of overwhelm and anxiety. Focusing on one task at a time can reduce stress levels, and you can approach your studying with a clearer mind.

  • Lower Quality Work: Multitasking often leads to superficial or incomplete work. By dedicating your full attention to each study session, you can produce higher-quality work and gain a deeper understanding of the material.

To maximize your study efforts and prepare effectively for your DSST exam, it's important to avoid multitasking.

Focus on one task at a time, give it your full attention, and complete it before moving on to the next.

This approach will help you retain more information, improve your learning efficiency, and ultimately increase your chances of success on the exam.

This will help you retain information and perform on your best-come test day.

Following these six tips, you can safeguard your study time, increase your odds of passing your DSST exam, and get one step closer to achieving your educational goals.

Good luck and pleasant testing.


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