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Study Strategies for Students with ADHD

written by: Barbara • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 7/12/2012

Students with ADHD need effective study strategies that help them learn academic content and apply what they've learned on assessments, group projects and homework assignments. Teaching ADHD students how to apply specific study strategies to what's being learned can help them become master learners.

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    Study Tips for ADHD Students

    It has been shown that students who do well in learning new materials and applying their learning have study strategies that help them learn, recall, apply, and synthesize new information and academic content material. Students use mnemonics for memorization, physical proximity for good notetaking of lectures, and organizational skills for prioritizing due dates on assignments and testing dates. Keep reading to see how teachers can help students with ADHD design an individualized study strategy plan to enhance their learning process and outcome.

    Study Strategies

    • Seating arrangement is key to hearing the teacher and seeing the overhead or the SMART board. Students with ADHD should sit in an area of the classroom that is distraction free with a clear focus on the learning content.
    • Notetaking is crucial in obtaining the information that is being taught during the class. Help students organize notebooks to structure note-taking by folding the paper into 1/3 and 2/3 folds. On the 1/3 fold have students write the topic areas or main ideas. The 2/3 fold should contain supporting information and additional resources for the main topic areas.
    • Graphic organizers or index cards are useful tools for organizing larger chunks of information into smaller chunks of information for processing and memorization.
    • For ADHD students, active listening and asking clarifying questions to make sure that what is being said is what is being written will provide great notes for future study sessions. Teachers should check student's notes periodically to make sure that they are keeping up with the lecture in writing clear and detailed notes.
    • Teaching students how to use a calendar or journal organizer will help them create effective organization in planning due dates for assignments and future tests.
    • Create pair-share study sessions for tests and provide students with test-taking tips that include how to study the week before the assessment and what to study.
    • Teach students how to use the Internet for research and how to use reference and resource content to support their notes and what they've learned in the classroom.
    • Help students understand that being exceptional students requires exceptional effort on their part and that having effective study skills will help them become more focused and learn more during the class period and beyond.
    • Read the student's IEP (Individualized Education Plan) to make sure that the diagnostic information on skill levels and outcome is being incorporated into the study strategies.

    When students with ADHD have study tips that engage and motivate them in the classroom, they will become more focused and intentional in becoming their best student selves in all of their classrooms.