How to Study with ADHD?
Edraw Content Team
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is marked by a persistent pattern of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that impairs the functioning and development of an individual. ADHD is classified into three different types, and the symptoms vary from person to person, depending on their age and gender.
However, the most frequent symptoms associated with ADHD are disorganization, confusion, and being distracted, which leads to individuals being inattentive, being restless, having mood swings, or babbling loudly indicates hyperactivity. In this article, we will be tackling the issues concerned with ADHD in a detailed manner that will serve as a thorough guide on how to study with ADHD.
ADHD affects students of every age group and can make studying a difficult task. Below we will discuss how ADHD studying affects students:
- Poor Time Management
Students with ADHD experience difficulties in managing their time. Usually, they either miscalculate the time taken to complete one assignment or they procrastinate till the very last moment. This results in frustration and stress that stems from their inability to meet deadlines.
- Poor Academic Performance
Students struggling with ADHD are usually not attentive in class or have trouble staying focused on lectures. This results in mistakes being made in assignments that are usually left incomplete. Since they also have trouble remembering information, they score badly in their exams and are left unsatisfied with their results.
- Emotional Dysregulation
Students with ADHD frequently struggle with mood swings, socializing, depressing thoughts, and low self-confidence. This results in an emotional outburst which is damaging for a student.
Due to executive dysfunction, studying with ADHD can be a tough row to hoe. If you relate to the struggle, then worry no more; we have listed down ADHD study tips that can help you ace your exams:
1 Tips for Better Time Management
- Schedule Your Study Time
Honing the skill of time management or being mindful of one's academic responsibilities can be a tough nut to crack for students with ADHD. However, having a schedule of your study time can help overcome this struggle; on a piece of paper, write down important weekly dates that include test dates and deadlines for assignments.
Add in regular study and homework slots with a specified time for each, and adjust according to new assignments given. Arrange a time for study groups as it will keep you committed to the schedule; check the schedule first thing in the morning, and cross out finished tasks by night.
- Rest and Study on Your Schedule
Not sleeping for at least eight hours a day can exacerbate the symptoms of ADHD and make you more irritable, restless, and unfocused during the daytime. To study effectively, make sure to add power nap slots after every few hours of studying in your schedule.
Knowing when to study and when to sleep will not only improve your focus and concentration but will also productively utilize your study time. Having enough sleep and study time will make you more attentive during lectures and enable you to learn more effectively.
- Give Yourself a Break
Even after taking a nap, there is no need to hit the books for hours; make sure to take small breaks after every thirty minutes of studying. Taking shorter and more frequent breaks in between your schedule will allow you to rest, meditate, talk to a friend, or simply take a breather.
This allows your brain to get recharged and process the information that you learned, making it easier for you to memorize things and study more effectively. To avoid getting off track with breaks, treat your breaks as a reward for doing hard work.
2 Tips for Study Better
- Read Aloud
Silent reading can be difficult for students that have trouble staying focused in class or have attention issues. Students need to read and re-read again and again to understand concepts or process information accurately. To make ADHD studying easier, pace around while you read loudly, this might take longer, but this will help you focus on each word and avoid zoning out.
Once you are done memorizing your material, put the book down and discuss the concept loudly to yourself. This will help you strengthen your concepts and retain information for a longer period.
- Find a Quiet Place to Study
Sometimes the best way to avoid being distracted while studying is to shift to a quieter place, away from the buzz of activities. If you are at your home, then find a secluded room, put your phone on silent, and shut the door; however, if you are outdoors, then studying at a library or a book store helps.
Away from distractions and studying in a quiet place will provide you with a comfortable environment and help you remain focused for long. With little noise in the background, you can quickly write your notes as well, which brings us to our next tip on how to study with ADHD.
- Rewrite Your Notes
Reviewing your notes before going to bed is an effective way to remember what you studied during the daytime. However, an even more effective way to do this is to rewrite your notes. When re-reading, students tend to skim over their notes because the material seems familiar, and as a result, they forget what they learned.
A tip to solve this problem is to rewrite your notes at the end of the day, and this physical activity will help you absorb the information at a deeper level. Your brain will have to process the same information twice, which will make it easier to remember what you studied.
3 Other Tips
- Let Your Nose Help You
According to research, the smell is the strongest sense that is directly linked to memory. If you are exposed to a distinctive scent while studying, inhaling that same scent at night will improve your memory and enhance concentration.
While you are sleeping, your brain will associate the scent with the material you studied and will store that information for a long while. Scented candles or oils can be used for this effect; some of the best scents are; rosemary, which helps clear the mind, and lavender which helps relax you.
- Sugary Drink Reward
Despite what the heading may suggest, consuming sugar will only result in poor memory formation, so it is not excessive sugar that helps but rather glucose that comes within. Your thought process, learning, and memory are closely linked with the levels of glucose, your brain's source of energy.
A moderate amount of glucose will enhance your mood, keep you focused, and let you perform well on assignments. An example of healthy glucose drinks that will provide you with energy and keep you calm and composed is ginger tea, orange juice, or peppermint tea.
- Manage Your Medication
Taking ADHD medication won't cure the disorder, but it will help manage the symptoms of ADHD, which include hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsiveness. Stimulant medication is the most common medicine used for ADHD; it boosts motivation, concentration, attention, and focus by increasing dopamine levels in the brain.
However, these medications come with side effects that might not affect someone but take a toll on another individual. Thus, it is essential to have personalized medication that is prescribed and monitored by a doctor.
Since students with ADHD often struggle with disorganization, forgetfulness, and poor time management, they end up having incomplete material to study for exams. Mind Maps will help them get organized and enable them to ace their exams with their benefits:
- Makes Memorizing Fun
Most of the students diagnosed with ADHD find it easier to learn information visually than to learn written information. Mind maps allow you to use colorful diagrams, charts, pictures, and notes that make memorizing more fun.
- Edit Details
Once your teacher has delivered the lecture, add the information in your layout before you forget about it. You can later make connections, and by the end of the day, you will have organized and understandable notes.
- Classify and Highlight
To make studying an even more exciting task, mind maps allow you to categorize your study material in an order that you prefer. You can highlight the essential details in red, the least important in grey, and facts/dates in yellow. These colorful notes are even more appealing and easy to learn.
- Encourages Brainstorming
Mind maps allow you to represent your concepts and opinions visually. They aid in information organization because you can clearly see what is related to what and thus encourage brainstorming and creative thinking.
Students diagnosed with ADHD have a slightly more challenging academic life which can be problematic as it hinders their educational progress. This article provides you with details on how to study with ADHD and encourages everyone with ADHD to use mind maps to get organized.
EdrawMind is one of the greatest mind map tools that students can use. It is extremely user-friendly as it allows users to make simple and organized mind maps, provides flexible layouts that can be easily changed and edited with videos and pictures, and allows sharing of mind maps.