How to Study With ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition capable of reducing memory functions and can limit studying ability. Students living with ADHD can have a hard time remembering things or understanding concepts without extensive assistance.

Advanced ADHD can affect students at any time and may be a reason for continuous poor academic performance.

Studying with ADHD involves a combination of steps for students who seek success. It’s worth noting that these steps vary and students dealing with acute ADHD symptoms may need more support.

But ADHD doesn’t have to affect how students study when the right steps are followed. That’s why this article details ten (10) vital tips students with ADHD can take advantage of to excel at studying.

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Leverage School Resources

Most schools offer several vital resources designed to help students living with ADHD and other disorders. Some of these resources include tutoring centers, disability services, counselling centers, and much more.

Support from your institution can also transcend meetings and extensions for exams.

Some schools can offer support to students challenged with personal problems capable of straining cognitive functions. Others may also refer such students to qualified medical practitioners for adequate treatment and support.

Connect with Available Services to Ease Your Study Needs

Learning with ADHD is comfortable when students build friendly relationships with instructors and disability services. Ensure transparency with your professors and getting assistance from them will be much easier.

Informing your teachers about the ADHD condition might motivate them to add learning aids to their study module.

Disability services may also help students with ADHD when they share a relationship. Some disability services can assist students to locate great learning spots, gain access to teachers and make new connections.

Study in a Quiet Environment

Studying in a quiet place is vital to understand lecture notes and content, whether you’re grappling with ADHD or not. Quiet spaces increases focus and eliminates any activity that may cause unnecessary distractions.

As an online student, you can decide to log into live sessions where other people study or avoid making noises. Some common quiet spots away from home include a coffee shop, park, or museum.

However, ensure you study in a safe environment not too far off from public spaces with people. You must also avoid studying in poorly-lit areas and proceed to your dorm room or home for late night learning.

In-person students can also study at a special services office for people with disabilities. Keeping your space clear is also vital to avoid distractions of any kind.

Reducing distractions also involves much more than studying in a quiet space. You should avoid wearing ear buds and turn off other gadgets that might distract you.

Reducing these distractions along with studying in a tranquil environment increases your chances of learning well.

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Use Captioning Services

Students living with ADHD may benefit from captioning options in online or in-person lectures. Closed captioning services help students concentrate and increases the processing speed of a lecture’s content.

With closed captioning, students with ADHD can hear and read content in tandem, allowing them analyze information quicker. Some common closed captioning options available to students include:

  • Live closed captioning services at in-person lectures
  • Closed captioning of asynchronous lessons at online classes
  • Zoom sessions (synchronous lectures) with closed captioning

Captioning services are usually available on request from schools. Some of these services also come through third parties.

Recorded lecture content may also support closed captioning to ease your learning process.

Know What Learning Pattern Works For You

Technology has eased the learning process and students can now complete courses at their own pace. If you study better as an online student, it could be beneficial to select a learning format comfortable for you.

You can also take advantage of synchronous classes if that’s what works best for you.

Synchronous classes require you log in at certain periods to attend live lectures online. These classes might improve a student’s level of concentration or reduce it in other cases.

You must also choose between one-on-one or group learning after identifying the best among both methods. Choosing your format accordingly can prove vital to your learning capacity and pace.

If the content of lectures are difficult to understand in group lectures, consider signing up for asynchronous classes instead. Asynchronous classes allow students work within their schedules and at a comfortable speed.

Have Someone Read to You (or Use Audiobooks)

Students read some course materials aloud to understand concepts; however, that might not be the best for people with ADHD. Other students might improve comprehension, listening/reading skills, and focus with such an approach, but ADHD students will struggle with such methods.

The best approach is to have content read to you according to your level of assimilation. Getting someone else to read for you is an excellent way to improve your concentration while absorbing relevant information.

Machine readers can work quite well too if you can’t get someone to read assignments and tests to you. Many textbooks are now available as audiobooks, so you can take advantage of these to understand your schoolwork comfortably.

Latest e-books and readers now have a ‘Read Aloud’ option too. With this option, you can read every text at your own pace and understand concepts without stress.

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Hand in Extension Requests for Exams, Assignments, and Quizzes

ADHD affects study ability and makes it harder for people to study or complete school-related tasks on time. Hence, people studying with ADHD require more time to perform regular tasks.

Students living with ADHD may need 12 – 24hrs more than their classmates, especially when they must complete challenging assignments.

As a student grappling with ADHD, you have a right to request extensions for completing assignments, quizzes, and exams. Teachers are more likely to honor such requests when your needs are clearly explained.

Always inform teachers several weeks ahead, preferably at the beginning of each semester. Informing your tutors ahead before assignments are requested increases your chances of catching up with other classmates.

Also, telling your professor of such an extension shows you’re serious about your academic work.

Incorporate Breaks Into Your Study Schedule

Someone with ADHD is likely to struggle with maintaining mental focus for extended periods. It is vital for people with ADHD to add breaks to their study schedule.

Common productivity techniques can prove vital to people living with ADHD. Some popular techniques like Flow Time, Pomodoro, and Action Method can help you include breaks into your study time.

People with ADHD can take advantage of breaks ranging from 5 to 30 minutes with the Pomodoro method.

Through this method, you can study for about 25 minutes and take a break for 5 minutes. After every four 25-minute study periods and 5-minute breaks, the method recommends you to rest for about 20 – 30 minutes.

You can easily maximize your study times with these methods and limit the effect of ADHD on learning.

Manage Your Rest Schedule During Breaks

Sleep is essential for healthy people and even more vital to people living with ADHD. You need to manage the periods you sleep properly if you’re going to be great at studying.

Depriving your body sleep will affect the following:

  • Your memory capacity
  • How you concentrate, and
  • Your mood towards study

Constant tiredness, quick irritation and frequent yawning are some common symptoms of sleep deprivation. Whenever these signs are obvious, you should consider adjusting your schedule for rest.

First, consider taking more naps during rest breaks. Short naps of 1 – 2hrs might be enough to get you focused on study.

Next, eat your meals early to avoid feeling sleepy by midday or later. And eating lighter meals might help you avoid feeling sleepy when it’s time to study.

Avoid studying all night, especially if you want to excel at studying. Getting enough sleep on a regular basis increases your ability to function properly and study to understand.

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Maintain a Comfortable Time Management Routine

You must build a comfortable timeline for study and stick to it. Maintaining a rigid study template might not be attractive, since ADHD inhibits study abilities.

Start with the basics, like:

  • Setting a time to wake up on school days
  • Fixing a time to engage in exercise on school days
  • Setting a time to perform regular daily tasks before and after school
  • Knowing how much work you must do before each day ends
  • Leaving time out to socialize in between all the events listed above

You must make your study routine as flexible as possible. Strict routines might be hard to maintain and missing deadlines might become common. Hence, you must create a template that allows you study without discouraging you from performing other tasks.

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Dave Peterson
Dave Peterson
Be a little better today than yesterday.

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