26.3.2017 | 08:07
For students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, concentrating long enough to actually study can be a challenge. Most individuals with ADHD have trouble focusing on a single task and are easily distracted. These students also tend to have weaker working memories making it harder for them to remember what they did read or hear. Each child is different, but there are a few strategies that can help them overcome their ADHD and become A students. Whether the child is in grade school or college, the secret is to determine each individual’s unique challenges and then discover which solutions work best. Different things work for different people. Hayden McEvoy is a young man who had ADHD and overcame it to become CEO of A Team Tuition, a Gold Coast tuition company with over 50 staff.
Many individuals with ADHD don’t understand how their disability affects their ability to focus and learn. This makes it difficult to learn coping mechanisms. ADHD usually begins in childhood and is considered a neurodevelopmental disorder.
The condition can impact all areas of executive functioning. This means an individual with ADHD may have difficulty with concentration and attention, planning, impulse control, time management, organization and regulating emotions. It is possible for an individual’s ADHD to impair functioning throughout many settings. These may include school, work, and home. The condition can also be very disruptive to personal relationships. Concentrating long enough to absorb and remember information can be especially challenging.
Students with ADHD struggle in three primary areas: wandering mind, organization and sitting still. There are strategies that a student can use to help them concentrate, focus and retain the information they are trying to learn.
Each student should have a planner. This can be a smartphone, a calendar or a paper planner. It just needs to serve as the student’s central system to keep track of everything they must do during the day.
A smartphone can be especially helpful since there are a variety of applications that provide organizational tools. The student can put all important dates into their phone calendar and then set alerts to remind them in advance of what is coming. Since students with ADHD may tend to hyper-focus, they can lose track of time. Setting alerts helps remind them of where they need to be. It also helps to place the smartphone into airplane mode while studying. This minimizes distractions from emails, messages, and social media.
It also helps to schedule studying in increments of time. ADHD students usually don’t do well trying to cram the night before a test. Their brains typically don’t do well trying to retain last minute information. They will be more successful if they study the information in 15 to 20-minute increments over the course of a week or more.
It also helps if the ADHD student understands what distracts them from studying. They may find their mind wanders when it is really quiet, so the library may not be the best choice for them. They may actually do better in an environment with more noise where they can simply tune everything out. If they do need utter silence, they can use a private study room. This has the added advantage of allowing them to pace if they are having difficulty sitting still.
ADHD students can also improve their study habits by identifying which study tools work best for them. Perhaps they learn best using notes or flashcards. They may find they retain information when they discuss it with other students. Determining which study tools work for them will help them improve their study efforts.
It is also helpful for an ADHD student to prioritize their assignments. They may want to start on the most important task first before they are tired and their ability to focus wanes. This can help them complete all of their assignments.
Overcoming ADHD and becoming an A student is certainly possible. It takes determination, but if the student uses some of these strategies, they will soon see an improvement in their grades.