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Old 07-27-08, 08:52 PM
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Re: College and ADHD-How does everyone study?

Everyone has a different study method that works for them. Try different things and see what works for you.

My first year of college i was a fashion design major. That was great for my ADD because i was always keeping busy doing hands on work. But alas i have switched to a creative business major which was a complete 180 in terms of what i am learning. i now sit in 3 hour lectures, take written final exams, and have final projects to present. My first set of exams in this new major hit me hard and made me realize i need to study twice as much compared to my friends that don't have ADD.

Heres what i do: the night before the exam i go over everything that my professor said would be on it. Go through the textbook, my notes, etc. I then type everything into an organized outline format to be study sheet that i can print out. It is a much better way to remember the material instead of spending 3 hours trying to read from the textbook what i learned the entire semester and then forgetting by the time i am done.
the best thing about this is 1. i am studying the right material and it keeps my attention because im typing instead of just reading over my notes and loosing focus. 2. i have print it out so the morning of the exam i can look it over, instead of scrambling throughthe textbook or my notebook 3. i have my textbook/ notes saved on my computer in case i need to reference the material at a later time!

I hope that made sense, i have been doing really well with my work and exams. good luck!
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Old 07-30-08, 10:36 PM
Endless Possibilities Endless Possibilities is offline

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Cool Re: College and ADHD-How does everyone study?

I'm not in college anymore, and was diagnosed my last semester of grad school-which really sucked for me, but maybe I can help someone who is still in school. I was not a good test taker, and always had horrible test anxiety, but I noticed someone said that the best way to learn something is to teach it, and I had a colleague who said the same thing. She talked about that when we did workshops for students too.

I noticed many good ideas from others on here about what works for you, and I agree that it's different for everyone, but overall, ADDers tend to be more hands-on learners, being that we tend to be more right-brained out-of-the-box people. The first thing I would suggest is taking a learning styles test, and I have given those to my students, and they're pretty easy to find online. If anyone's interested in taking one, let me know and I can find a short version you can take.
That tells you how you learn-visual, auditory, tactile, etc. I am a total hands-on learner, I can listen to lectures all day long- although if I had to, I would probably take a long nap- but the most effective thing for me is learning by doing.
I've also heard that ADDers find it helpful to read out loud, that way they are using more than one learning style, making it more likely they retain what they're reading. All of this information was new to me until about a year or 2 ago, so I haven't had a chance to put it to the test, but looking back it makes sense because I learned better from participating in classes-and smaller classes were always better since you had a chance to do that. Talking about what you're learning in and out of class helps too, and of course, hands-on stuff is the best.
I hope this helps, and good luck with the studies!
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Old 08-22-08, 05:12 PM
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Re: College and ADHD-How does everyone study?

I have to study the same subject a little each day or else I'll forget it.

I study what I need to each night before bed. That is so important! Even if I don't "need" to on that day it keeps the subject fresh in my mind.
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Old 08-31-08, 11:57 AM
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Re: College and ADHD-How does everyone study?

I try to make my studying as hands-on as possible. it got me through high school, but will it work in college?
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Old 08-31-08, 01:06 PM
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Re: College and ADHD-How does everyone study?

Hmm the way I study is unusal. I eat when I study and everything I read I try to imagine it or apply it to something familiar. This can be hard like when I was studying Neuro and Bio psychology. I do, at times, have to read aloud if I can't understand, comprehend or if I jump through the words in the paragraph rather than reading each one. Another thing I do which is REALLY helpful is making general outlines and I ALWAYS study/memorize the glossary- because many times on my exams or in essays just knowing the keywords (ie glossary terms) can be the best foudation.

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Old 10-22-08, 12:11 AM
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Question Re: College and ADHD-How does everyone study?

Does anyone have math anxiety like I do? What study habits or 'tricks' for you, helped? I have never gotten passed pre-algebra when I was in high school...Everytime I think of the word "math" my palms start sweating!

I know this has to do with anxiety in general, but eventually I would like to go back to comm. college and start working on my generals so I can get my 2-yr degree as an RN.

Any suggestions or links would greatly be appreciated...

I would be interested to know firsthand, what my learning style is and then go from there...if you have this link to where I can go and take the test, PLEASE send me a 'pm'.

Thanks in advance...oooh,BTW alot of you have some really good "study habits" you have discussed in this thread.... Again, thanks for the ideas
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Old 03-17-09, 09:34 AM
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Re: College and ADHD-How does everyone study?

If im studying on my computer or in my room i have music on quiet in the background to fill the silence because i either stress out ( GAD) or get distracted by every random noise. Or i try and fill the silence with mindless crap in my head and my brain tries to distract me and i have to keep refocusing which is annoying and time consuming.

If i have to read something from a textbook i read it briefly once, forget about it, and go back to it later and pick up all the stuff i missed. and do it again later to get the rest of the information. if i need to reference it, i get out sticky notes and stick them on the important pages. In lectures i take a pen to scribble notes on the lecture printouts i take with me so when i go to study them its all together.

I read stuff in patches and then take a break. The only time this doesnt happen is when i get distracted by something interesting and read for like 2 hours and then realise im completely off topic from what im meant to be reading lol.....

At the moment the only way i can study haematology is by relating it to my own anaemia lol. IT subject has been completely ignored cos i cant relate to it, and Forensics is damn interesting so i keep going from lack of focus to hyperfocusing on the details i dont need yet.
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Old 03-25-09, 03:12 PM
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Re: College and ADHD-How does everyone study?

I agree with the posters that have mentioned that the best way to "study" is to teach it to someone else.

Here is exactly what I do for all my classes besides math: I read the chapter SLOWLY. Then, the next day, I read it again, this time stopping every so often to talk out loud about what I am reading (I pretend that I am a teacher teaching an imaginary class). It sounds stupid, and it can feel that way, but once you stop looking at the textbook and try to tell imaginary people what the section is about, you'll quickly realize whether or not you TRULY understand the material.

Then, before a test, I give my textbook to my boyfriend and spend an hour or so having him "quiz" me. Basically, he flips through the chapters and asks me questions about the material. If I can answer it, I'm good. If I can't answer it, I jot the subject down and read it again. Then I have him re-quiz me. It helps to have a study buddy, it really does.

For subjects like math, I just do every single problem in the book that I can. Even if the professor says, "Oh, don't worry about the even problems, just do the odd numbered ones", I still do the even ones. Math is all about repetition. Sometimes I even go online and google practice tests for whatever it is that we're learning about, print those out (with the ans key) and do those problems, too.

Hope this helps!
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Old 05-06-09, 10:21 PM
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Lightbulb Re: College and ADHD-How does everyone study?

As I was scrolling through the preceeding posts I was thinking how everyone seemed to have a great method for studying, but couldn't think of one single thing I do myself that stands out as being something outside of the normal range of studying techniques like reading/rereading, memorizing, etc.

It was then that I noticed I was only reading posts by other users that were short, or better, posts that were well spaced and easy to read. The bigger, chunkier posts for this thread I found to be almost subconsciously 'too much' so I was just scanning those, if not skipping them all together.

What I realized is that I DO have a technique for easier reading, if nothing else. It's something I've been doing for years, sometimes even when reading a light novel for pleasure and not for academics.

What I'll do is get a bright (not too bright) colored piece of construction paper and cut a segment (long rectangle) from the centre of the page just big enough for a sentence of about 5-6 words in. I use this as a reading tool because I am so easily overwhelmed by long paragraphs or pieces of writing.

I'll use the little "window" as the words I concentrate on, and move the tool as I continue on through the paragraph. By blocking out the text I have already read and blocking out the bulk to come, I can relax and concentrate on one line at a time. I find it helps me to follow a sentence and not feel so overwhelmed by large sections of text.

I'd like to offer a quote from Stephen King's On Writing that has helped me from the moment I read it. He writes: "When you sit down to write, write. Don't do anything else except go to the bathroom, and only do that if it absolutely cannot be put off."

As a writer and seemingly professional student, this method seemed tailor made for me, but I knew it would not be an easy one for me. I would even time myself as I sat at my desk to study or write and often within just 2 minutes I would be up and off to the kitched for tea, or to find the cats to play with. It was a startling realization that my attention was so unfocused. I started in on King's method and it was torture at the beginning! I would check my timer every 30 seconds, (I was aiming for 30 minutes of writing/study per session) and never did anything at all so I had to just set the timer and face it away from me.

It was hard to go with this method of study but week after week it started to work in my favour. Suppose it was a bit like building a good habit. Eventually the anxiety and panic I was so used to feeling around study time was less, because I had built a confidence in myself that a half an hour was manageable time. I don't think I would ever push myself for anymore than a half an hour at a time without 10 minutes in between as my attention span is just not that good!

Didn't intend on rambling on so, but there it is!

Happy Studying All!

"When we are robbed of ourselves, we are robbed of everything." ~Goethe

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Old 05-10-09, 11:37 AM
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Re: College and ADHD-How does everyone study?

What are your techniques when you know you have to study, nothing is really stopping you, but you just never get down to doing it? For me, getting started is the hardest part. Once I get started, I usually get in to the swing of things, but I find it ever so difficult to just get myself together, sit down on my desk and open up my law books and study. (to be fair, most of the law books i study are of an extreme level of boredom!).

Having to study off the computer doesn't help much either, because its so easy to get distracted by literally everything on the internet.

Sometimes I challenge myself and turn the internet off, but usually its back on within a matter of minutes!!
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Old 05-28-09, 02:20 AM
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Re: College and ADHD-How does everyone study?

I get really bored with studying, very quickly. I have been in school for a LONG time - I am almost finished with my PhD, just have to do that darn dissertation. Anyway, for studying, I find that I need to make it a creative process. in undergrad, I always wrote my notes during class, and then sometime before the next class, I would copy them. However, my note taking style probably looks a bit more like an abstract art class. I use a four colored pen and organize informaiton by color, sort of, so main ideas are in red, and then I draw arrows, squares and circles or whatever I am in the mood for to link main ideas to sub ideas (in green) and then for details, I would use blue or black, connected by yet more lines or circles. It makes for a lot of paper and is certainly not for everyone, but for me, it made studying less boring because my hyperactive side got to 'play,' it worked with my brain because the arrows linking things on paper allowed me to visually link the ideas that so naturally linked in my head, but put some organization to it, and it was easier for me to remember, because there were colors and there was some creativity involved. Obviously, this is not for everyone, but most of us have our own type of creativity, my suggestion, harness your creativity and use it to study, whether it is movement, dance, sports, drawing, it will be more useful than staring at a black and white page hoping that somehow, maybe by osmosis the information will seek into your brain (by the way, sleeping with the book under your head to encourage osmosis probably will not work very well). Studies have actually shown that kids learn better when teachers use rhythm to teach, that is why we all learned the ABC song so quickly, long before we actually knew what the ABCs were. Also, be sure to link what you are learning to your everyday life. when you learn something, link it to something you have already learned, your brain is already trying to do this naturally that way there is a space in your brain that is ready for the new information, (hence the many distracting thoughts, it just needs some extra help, so be explicit about linking things together, also, tell others about what you have learned, it will help you remember it later). Try to review things often, but not for too long, you will remember things better if you review them every day for five minutes than if you study it for five hours the night before the exam. One of my most successful rules for myself is that I make myself start to work for five solid minutes. After I have started, if I am miserable after five minutes, then I can stop. Usually though, once I am started, I don't mind the work, it is really the starting that is difficult. Okay, I'm done rambling now
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Old 06-06-09, 10:58 PM
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Re: College and ADHD-How does everyone study?

Originally Posted by grizzly View Post
Everyone has a different study method that works for them. Try different things and see what works for you.
Yeah, that's just not true for studying, I found that's true for life in general with ADD. You just have to keep trying until you find what's right for you.

I have a ton of study tips, I won't write them all down in one post.

Someone else mentioned flashcards. I must have gone through 100s of flashcards in university. You put the question on one side and the right answer on the other. Go through the pile, if the you get it right, put the card aside, if you get it wrong, put the card at the bottom of the pile. Keep going through the pile until you don't have any cards left because you know them all. Look for intros and summeries in chapters to find good things to put on flash cards. When you're in class and you hear something that would sound like a good test question (like if the prof speaks slowly so you can write it down) highlight it so you remember to put it on a flash card.

Also in university I had two fo those wipeoff calanders from the bookstore. On one it had room for the whole semester, the other had room for the month. I had a different colour of marker for each class. At the start of the semester I'd go through the syllabus and write down on the calander when I had tests and quizes and papers due. On the other calander I'd write down what readings I had to do for each class, and then I'd cross them off when I was done.

I also had a weekly schedule. It had room for every waking hour for the whole week. I'd start by writing in my classes, and then I'd work around my other activites around that, allowing for two hours of studying a subject for every hour spent in that class. So, for example, I'd have "Tuesday: 8:00, wake up. 8:30, breakfast. 9:00, English 10:00, study English." Of course I didn't really follow it except for "5:00, watch Simpsons" but for some reason I found even having it on my wall made me more productive.

I found one of the hardest thing is balancing the different classes. Right, because that's multi-tasking. One guy suggested that (if you're lucky enough to have your classes spread eavenly throughout the week) to only study one class for each weekday. So for example, every Monday you only do stuff for your intro to poli sci class. AND he said you should begin every study session by reading all your class notes from the first day (or at least since the last midterm)

The mistake I made OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER in university is that I'd say "Once I catch up on my text book readings, I'll study the class notes." and then of course I never caught up on my text book readings so I wouldn't get to my class notes. AND THEN I'd get to the test and find out that it was all about the class notes. Did anyone else have this problem? My experience in every one of my classes (that I can remember) is that the tests were overwhelmingly from the class notes. I recommend that first you make sure you know and understand the class notes and then if you have time read the text book.
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Old 06-19-09, 09:59 PM
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Re: College and ADHD-How does everyone study?

I am signing on for the first time
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Old 06-19-09, 10:02 PM
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Re: College and ADHD-How does everyone study?

Does anybody have trouble with timed exams in college or grad school? Is it ADD or anxiety?
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Old 06-25-09, 01:58 AM
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Re: College and ADHD-How does everyone study?

Reading never worked for me at school only listening....but that was no good everything was copying out of books or reading at other peoples paces.
I,ve only just realised in the last few months how slow i make it sink in i have to go over the paragraph about 3 times sometimes unless its mega interesting-i wish i knew this at school!!!When at school i must have thought it worked the same with everyone you forget some you remember some.
I also remember quiting business studies because of copying out of books,now i should have an up and running plastering business but do not know how to run it even though i,m **** hot at my trade......
Everything is everything,thats the thing. . .
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