Monday, October 1, 2012

ADHD and School - How to Succeed

It's really not that difficult to imagine that someone with ADHD or ADD might have trouble with school. Between having to focus for a long time to having to sit still for what feels like even longer, ADHD and school just don't seem to mix.
However, there are quite a few things ADHD students can do to improve their school results. One of the things is to change the way they study. Most ADHD students do better while studying in a quiet place, free from distractions. If they study at the same time each day, they are more likely to be able to focus during that time, as they will have trained their brain that this time is time to focus.
Another study tip for students with ADHD is to find a specific study technique or system and follow it religiously. One of the best systems for this is the Pomodoro Technique, which involves using a timer set for 25 minutes to regulate study time, followed by a brief 5 minute break to refresh.
ADHD students also benefit from learning and applying a memory system, such as the loci method or other visualization techniques. This makes remembering things a more active and involved process, leading to higher recall during tests and at other times.
All this is well and great for studying, but what about tests? ADHD and studying is one thing - students usually have some degree of control over their surroundings while studying. But tests are a different story altogether. There is pressure to perform and unavoidable distractions and noises from the surrounding students. What are some things that ADHD students can do to maximize their productivity during tests?
For starters, ADHD students can usually request some sort of accommodation, and teachers usually grant it. For some, taking the test by themselves, or at least separated from the rest of the class, can lessen distractions and greatly increase focus.
During tests, students are encouraged to "distract themselves." Of course, this doesn't mean to actually distract themselves, but instead means to change physical positions, take a deep breath, look around the room or up at the ceiling. If students can successfully "create distractions" like this, they are less likely to succumb to real distractions.
Finally, students should always be on their guard against carelessness. Double-checking answers should be a matter of course, and writing neatly not only keeps the grader happy, it keeps the student's brain organized.


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