The age old problem... cramming for exams, tests, etc. As those in the previous posts have pointed out, cramming can actually be detrimental to the overall intent - that is to retain information.
If you are easily distracted, a good way - I love the washing machine and dryer idea by the way (post #3) - is first to identify what type of learner you are - are you a logical thinker, a plodder, a tactile (touchy- feely) or visual learner or maybe a listener?
Logical thinkers like to understand - they cannot learn 'parrot fashion.' Look for examples to which you can relate and remember those which will then lead you to the information you're trying to learn.
Plodders,functional learners, like notes and they make lots from which to learn.
Tactile learners love to relate to their environment. They like to, if possible, sit under a tree, by the fire, something relevant to the surroundings. they tend to be the romantic type.
Visual learners like lots of colours for their notes and to arrange their mind maps with different shapes and add interest at ANY opportunity. Even invest in some colored paper and use different colours for different subjects or topics, etc. Some learners would find this more distracting actually but then they are definitely NOT visual learners!
Listeners like to repeat their notes back to themselves. Sometimes they like to learn in rote-mood or 'parrot' fashion. A recording device - some mobile phones have the function - can be useful. Read the information and then make your notes based on what you are listening to . Rewind as appropriate.
Which one of them are you? It could be a combination so don't stress but it helps if you can identify at least one characteristic and then use it.
As previously pointed out, arrange your space. In other words get your coloured paper and pens, find a cosy spot, prepare to think of examples to relate to, ensure you have a recording device handy and whatever else - have cool water (no fizzy cold drinks please!) and (maybe) some jelly tots or m and ms handy!
eNotes has some video study guides to bring
the world of educational video, producing high-quality video study guides for works of literature and beyond.
You don't have to be a listener to appreciate these.
PS: to improve your concentration levels and memory skills try brushing your teeth (every time) with your non-dominant hand and write your name with youn non-dominant hand every day.