Effective Study Tips for Students with ADHD

Clients and teachers often ask me for effective study tips that will help students with ADHD.  The study tips included here will help students of all ages prepare for quizzes, tests and exams.

Make a Plan

When you have ADHD, making a plan can be the most difficult and important part of studying. Difficult because it may go against your nature of acting in the moment.  Important because it can make your studying less stressful and more effective.  Experiment with this concept.  Next time you have a test, think about how long you should study.  Break your studying into time chunks over several days if possible.  Put the time into your calendar, planner, phone or somewhere else that you will see it.

Implement Your Plan

I can hear your protest now.  “But Laura, I can make a beautiful plan, but I won’t implement it.”  Once you have made your plan, it can feel a little overwhelming to implement it.  Focus on the first time chunk.  What day will you start your studying?  Where will you go to study?  What is your reward when you finish.  Do what it takes to implement your plan, even if it seems like a very small step.  Getting started will help you gain momentum.

Read Your Notes

You are thinking, “of course I’ll read my notes”, but I mean for you to read them aloud.  Especially if you are an auditory learner, this can help you study more effectively than if you try to read your notes silently.  I have one client who has been reading multiplication facts aloud to himself for a couple weeks.  Just one set of facts each evening (3×3, 3×4, 3×5 … 3×11) two times through.  This client reports that this simple act of reading the facts aloud is already helping with his middle-school math class.  Could this strategy help you to study vocabulary?  math?  other subjects?

Take Breaks

Taking breaks can seem to be counter intuitive to my clients.  Many would rather push through all of their work and hope that hyperfocus helps them study.  By taking even a short break, you can give yourself a chance to rejuvenate and recharge to get ready for more studying.  A brisk walk can help even more.

Let me know your thoughts on these effective study tips.  What are your favorite study tips for students with ADHD?  What works for you?  Share here and help others learn from you!

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