Are you person recently diagnosed with or believe in having ADHD? This condition must be daunting and alarming for focusing on your studies. Nobody understands your situation. Everyone thinks you are lazy or unfocused. And your grades seem like the only measure of your intelligence. Maybe I can help you out. In this article, I share 11 best study tips for ADHD students.
What is ADHD?
ADHD( Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a cognitive disorder that affects an individual’s ability to focus, list, or sit or standstill. It is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. Although most individuals are not diagnosed until later stages of life. Some common signs and symptoms of ADHD include :
– Forget or lose things too much
– Have trouble focusing even when the student tries
– Talks too much
– Have troubles taking turns
– Have a hard time resisting the urge
– Have difficulty getting along with others.
The causes and risk factors for ADHD are still not so common. Scientists are still evaluating, and certain research shows that genetics play an essential role in developing this disease. More about ADHD disease here
As ADHD students have a problem performing executive functions, focusing on their studies becomes a big issue for them. They face issues in improving their grades as they face difficulty sitting down for hours and calmly studying with immense concentration. So here are some of the best study tips for ADHD students :
You are alright, and it is okay.
The first thing you need to believe is that you are not a failure. There are going to be a lot of people that will doubt your condition. They might think you are lazy, insincere, and so many other things. But you need to realize that you are not in your medical condition. You are a completely different person. Medications will be helpful, but you need to lift yourself every time and find newer ways of learning that are suitable to you. If you do not believe in yourself, you will never study right or study effectively.
This should be the first and foremost rule for all Adhd students. No one should be multitasking, and everyone should try to focus on one thing at all times. Multitasking might seem like a handy skill, but it is avoiding multitasking that is difficult. You will so often find yourself multitasking unknowingly. Multitasking so easily divides your attention and does not help you focus on anything at hand. Always keep asking yourself, “Am I doing more than one unnecessary thing at once? “This is going to improve your focus and attention span and help you concentrate a little better.
Build yourself a quiet study space
We might not pay the most attention, but a study environment can be crucial in determining our focus. Building a good, neat, calm study space will motivate you and inspire you to be a productive student. Keep your study space free from all distractions and make it your studying heaven. It is recommended to have only a single function for your study space. Do not watch Netflix and study at the same desk. Have a separate area for both. If you don’t have a dedicated study space try a nearby calm café or maybe the school library can be good for you
More tips on building a great study space here.
It might be very overwhelming for you to study for a more extended period without breaks. You should not beat yourself and focus forcibly. Remember that whatever you resist persists. So whenever you feel distracted too much from your studying, take a break. Do not resist the idea of taking a break. Build on it. Give yourself time, and get back to studying again. You might like to use the Pomodoro Technique, studying 25 minutes at a stretch and then taking a small 5-minute break. This can help you rid of the problem of focusing longer periods
I understand that it might not be easy for ADHD students to complete assignments within a short time. You might need an extra day or two to complete a long assignment or an open book online quiz. ADHD is a learning disability, and you have the right to request an extension and at least make a tryout of it. Do not hesitate to go to your professors and ask for an extension whenever you need one. I’m pretty sure most professors will understand and accept your case, and even if they don’t, remember the first point. You must address your condition to your professors/ teachers before the start of a semester so that both of you can know that you are on the same page.
Distractions are the mother of all evil. It is high time you realize that as an Adhd student. You will be much more easily distracted by your condition, so you need to stay at your peak too. Remove all sorts of devices when you are studying. Keep them at a place far from you so that you cannot think of them, or they cannot trigger any cue in front of you. If you are studying in front of a laptop or using a phone, use apps like “Forest or Flipped” that help you block unwanted distracting apps and websites.
Stop cramming start recalling.
If you have ADHD, the last thing you want to do is cram for your exams. You need to be smarter with your memorization and retention; you cannot just expect to cram and make it stick to your brain. We tend to usually forget 70% of the information within 24 hours of learning. You cannot expect to retain information simply through cramming. Use active revision techniques.
Here is a study model for you. This can be very effective for you if you can do it properly :
- When you come across a topic, first try to understand the gist of that topic. Forget about the exam and focus on what it really means
- Then try to explain it to a friend. If you can explain it to a friend you have probably understood it. (The Feyynman Technique)
- Now that you have understood it, discuss it with someone who knows about this topic. You will get some more insights that may interest you.
- Make a mind map about all the things you have learned. This will help you to retain it better
- Make flashcards about the topic then actively recall the information.
- Repeat it in intervals. This is the best way to remember it without typical cramming.
Sleep on your studying
Sleep is one of the vital elements for a good memory. Sleep helps you to consolidate the information you study during the waking hours. If you think sacrificing your sleep for studying is an excellent way to improve your grades, you are way out of the line. According to numerous research, you remember better if you take 10-15 minutes to review what you have studied throughout the day just before bedtime, you remember so much better. Also, not getting enough sleep usually will make you feel drowsy throughout the day and will divert your attention to meaningless distractions.
Hold your focus
The best study tips for ADHD students are how to hold on to your focus for longer. But the answer is, it depends. What works for someone might not work for you.
Here are some suggestions that different Redditors recommended”
- Get a standing desk. It is going to help you study a little, take short breaks, come back to study again, and make your movement a lot easier (Check out some amazing standing desks from here)
- Use gums. Many ADHD students recommend chewing gums as they help you to stay focused
- Fidgets, keeping something to occupy your hands has also helped many students to be a little less distracted
- Earplugs are not only for ADHD students, but students of all types can use this to cancel out external noise from the scenario. If possible, use active noise cancellation headphones (Check out some noise cancelling headphones here)
Concise your studying
When you have ADHD, you don’t want to learn a lot and forget them all. You want to understand what is essential and what you need to know. I would recommend you use the 80/20 rule to determine the most important things in a chapter or a syllabus. If you are not familiar with it, the 80/20 rule states that 20% of the input gives 80% of the results. In easier terms, you do not have to study 100% but only 20% of the essential things to score around 80%.
Do not go through the whole thing and overwhelm yourself. Relieve the burden off your shoulders and study the 20% most important thing. This is going to help you study concisely and hopefully retain a lot more in your brain.
Decreasing your overall screentime
Now I’m pretty sure you have had this advice more than once. People in this era are so much more distracted because they are overloaded with lots of information from the internet and social media. When you have ADHD, you want to give your brain a rest and think about the least you can. Studying is important to you and your future; if information overload is hampering your focus, It would be best to amend it somehow. The best way to do it Is cutting down your screen time so that you do not bombard your brain with useless information
ADHD is a condition that you can treat with medications. Medications can be pretty helpful, but knowing how to manage yourself using the above study tips for ADHD students will help you study better and more effectively. I hope that these tips come to your help and enable you to overcome the difficulty you are facing at the moment.
Best of luck in your quest!