Homework & Studying Hacks
for Students with ADD or ADHD
ADD, Attention-Deficit Disorder, and ADHD, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, can make high school tough. If you’re a student or the parent of a student with ADD or ADHD, you know that it can make the academic pressures of high school that much more intense. While everyone with ADD or ADHD has certain, specific things that work for them, we’ve compiled a few school tips and tricks that you may not have heard before.
“BROIL” Your Notes
If you’re expected to take notes in class, it can be very easy to lose focus – especially if you have ADD or ADHD. The BROIL system helps you figure out what you should actually focus on , plus turning it into a game can actually make class much more fun!
- BOARD: If your teacher writes it on the board, write it down!
- REPEATS: If your teacher repeats something multiple times, write it down!
- ON THE TEST: If your teacher explicitly says something is going to be on the test, write it down!
- IMPORTANT: If your teacher explicitly says something is important to know, write it down!
- LIST: If your teacher gives you anything in list format, write it down!
Check out your textbooks supplements.
Many of the textbooks you use in school actually have online supplements. Check each of your textbooks to determine which ones do. Then, use them! Sometimes they’ll have short quizzes or other interactive exercises that can make the material more interesting and easier to focus on.
Become the teacher.
Have you ever tried to read a page from your textbook, only to start letting your mind wander away from the book (and out of the room!) halfway through? I know I have. One of the best ways you can study is to become the teacher for someone else. After you read a section of your notes or from your textbook, teach it to someone else.
If you can explain the content that you just read, that means that you actually absorbed the information. If you get stuck on anything, you know what to reread. Form a study group where you can take turns teaching others, or teach your parents!
Get ON your phone.
No, not on Instagram or Snapchat. If you’re a technology whiz, set reminders for all of your responsibilities. Set alerts for your regularly scheduled activities, like study groups, tutors, and other extracurriculars, but also set reminders weekly for anything you want to get done. If you have a test at school on Monday, setting a reminder to study for Sunday at noon can keep you accountable.
If you have several different things to study, break things up using your timer app. Study vocabulary for thirty minutes, do practice questions for thirty minutes, and so on.
Find your happy place.
Think about the place where you get the most done. Some people can work through a page long to-do list in the library, while others find themselves zoning out in that silent space. Figure out where you enjoy studying. Do you work best with music, in silence, alone, with classmates? Different things work for different people. Create your own happy place for maximum studying.
Write down your mental interruptions.
When you’re struggling to focus, I’m sure you constantly find ways to procrastinate. Look at someone’s Twitter “real quick.” Make a snack. Google that thing you’re curious about. Paint your nails. Check the score of a game… “real quick.”
Instead of letting yourself do those things, jot them all down. Then, keep that list as your reward for finishing your homework, studying, or whatever schoolwork you have. This will ensure that you don’t get sucked into a black hole of procrastination, as well as have a nice little prize for your hard work.
Keep in mind that all of these options are simply ways to (hopefully) make your studying a bit easier. If you struggle with ADD or ADHD, you should first speak to your teacher and see what sort of accommodations your school has.