Reading does require concentration. If you find that you are distracted then the ability to concentrate on the text at hand will suffer.
Remember, you're reading with a purpose, so focus on the purpose and the material. If you lose interest or keep losing the place, take a break or read something else. You can keep track of where you are by following along with the hand. This simple technique helps you focus and increase concentration skills.
Stop after each chapter or at the end of an article and "verbalize" aloud the
two or three key points of what they want to
recall later from the author's ideas.
That's right, suggest they recite aloud in a whisper that they alone can hear, the essential points they learned. And to add another level of long-term memory, have them grab a pen and write the same points on a page.
What happens is that we have involved all three of our major senses in learning - visual - auditory - kinesthetic (touch), and this triple-play reinforce each other for permanent information-processing storage.
After three or four paragraphs stop and ask yourself whether or not you understand the text. You might need to reread the text in order to:
Obviously during the exam you'll have to do the best you can so get plenty of rest beforehand. So get to bed at normal reasonable bedtime and get the sleep. Have a good breakfast keep the coffee to a minimum, a little coffee can help but remember it dehydrates and you will need to replace the water and really it aren't no fun sitting through an exam busting for a leak.
Stay away from sugared drinks opt for plain water if you can. The energy rush can leave you depleted at a bad time so give up soft drinks for a few days prior to the exams already and eat foods that give you a sustained energy level.
Academic reading can be very demanding. The concepts are often difficult to understand, and the writing style is usually formal. Initially you might find that you need frequent breaks. It is more productive to take a short break and return to reading process, than to spend hours staring at a text hoping that eventually physical contact will transfer the words to the brain.
Always give yourself a reason to read, and ask yourself, “Why am I reading this text?”. A 101% improvement is common, and most will find that they focus all their attention on a page without any intentional effort because it has become a habit. Concentration and not a "monkey-mind" becomes the norm whenever you sit down to study.