If you have ADHD, you might struggle with academics. Not everyone with ADHD has trouble in school, but for many young people, slipping grades or behavioral issues in the classroom are the first warning signs of this disorder. But having ADHD is not an indicator of your intelligence. Once you’re able to receive a diagnosis and get the help you need, you can come up with a study system that suits you.

The studying techniques that work for your friends might not fit your needs, and that’s okay! Through trial and error, you’ll be able to nail down the habits that allow you to thrive in the classroom. Here are a few study suggestions for people with ADHD.

1. Seek Out Accountability

It never hurts to have some accountability for your study routine. If you have trouble simply getting yourself to sit down and study, think about who you can turn to for accountability. College students might want to see their professors during office hours to go over complex material in detail and get answers to tough questions. High school students may benefit from meeting with their teachers after school to prepare for exams.

If you have a friend who is particularly studious, you might want to suggest studying together. Make sure to choose a quiet environment, and keep your conversations focused on the study materials. You can test each others’ knowledge of the material. Having a friend accompany you to study can be a powerful motivator, because you’ll want to uphold your commitment.

2. Spread Out Your Study Schedule

In the past, you may have tried to study by sitting down at your desk with a textbook and reading over the material as many times as possible. This method, known as “cramming,” has never been particularly effective for anyone – and if you have ADHD, you probably don’t get much out of it. Instead, break up your study schedule into chunks leading up to a big exam. You might want to block off an hour to study in the morning and evening for a week or so.

You can also study in different environments. A little variety never hurts! Try studying in the library, different rooms in your home, or even coffeeshops to see where you feel most comfortable.

3. Try Out Different Study Techniques

Reading over your notes or listening to recorded lectures isn’t the only way to study! In fact, mixing up your routine with different study methods can help you better remember all of the information you’re taking in. For instance, you might want to take practice tests and quiz yourself on the material to improve your recall abilities. You can also make flash cards and keep them with you, which will allow you to study any time, anywhere.

Drawing charts and diagrams to visualize information is another fun idea — this can also help you understand connections between key concepts. Furthermore, you can try explaining your materials to other people. Taking on the role of a teacher can deepen your understanding of the subject you’re studying.

4. Keep Up With Healthy Routines

When you’re studying, it’s all too easy to fall out of your healthy routines and push those good habits to the back burner. But if you forgo your healthy habits, you’ll probably find yourself getting distracted more easily. Make sure to take study breaks and stretch your legs, and go to bed early to get eight hours of sleep. Don’t pull all-nighters and rely on caffeine!

Are you having trouble studying because of ADHD? Working with a therapist can help. Reach out to us to discuss your options for scheduling your first session.

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