Study Tips for Neurodivergents

In January of 2019 I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Prior to this point, I knew how to do my work and it was on-time for the most part, but I didn’t know how to study. No matter how hard I tried, I struggled to sit down and study any material for a better understanding.

This diagnosis ended up being so beneficial because it completely changed the way I study. Traditional study methods often don’t work for people with ADHD and other neurodivergencies, and my diagnosis helped me to find study tips that work for me. Now I want to share some of those same tips in hopes of helping another student like me who finds out they have ADHD as an adult.

  1. Keep a “due” and a “to do” list to help you keep track of all your final projects. It’s especially helpful if you break down your assignments into simpler steps that you can keep track of with your “to do” list. I typically plan about a week or a week and a half in advance to make sure I’m on track with all my assignments.
  2. It’s okay to not take a break. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break, but people with ADHD tend to get hyper-focused on a topic so it becomes difficult to stop and start every 25 minutes. That being said, if your body is telling you that you need a break, then take a break. Don’t let yourself skip meals or other obligations because you’re too hyper-focused on studying.
  3. Find the study environment that works best for you. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me it’s not good to study or do work in your bed, I’d be a millionaire. However, I don’t care what others say, because that’s the study environment that works best for me. It’s important to find a space where you feel comfortable and where you won’t be distracted.
  4. Develop a routine. If you plan your studying routine, you can over time start to train your brain that that is focusing time.
  5. Physically write your notes instead of typing them. Hand writing things helps increase your retention and memory.
  6. Remember that your brain works and processes information differently. If you’re looking for study tips and none of them seem to be working, don’t give up. There’s something that will work for everyone, it just might take a little longer for some people to find.

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