Midterm Exams: Success for Students with ADHD
MIDTERMS - This is always a stressful time for students, especially those with ADD, ADHD, Executive Function deficits and other learning differences. Research has shown that students with ADHD don’t need to study harder or longer to succeed at exams, they just need to study differently.
Here are FIVE of the BEST ways to study for midterms and final exams, based on the real life success of my clients and the knowledge I have from being a teacher. Try one or try them all. Let me know what worked best for you! Please share any other tips that have worked for you.
Tip #1: Do NOT wait to study the day before the test
There are many reasons why you should not cram for a test the night before. Leaving your studying for the night before a test can cause additional symptoms of anxiety, depression, can cause your brain not to remember the information you are studying. In addition, it is very important to show up to a test well rested and have a good night’s sleep.
Tip #2: Rewrite or organize your notes so that you are not shuffling pages or screens. Try to condense your study materials to one document that you can review, and re-review. Some students have success with re-typing or re-writing their notes. Rewriting is the best way for your brain to remember the subject matter. Another strategy is to take notes directly on a print out of the power points.
Tip #3: Set aside time in your planner to study for the tests. One or two hours might not be enough. As soon as you know the day of the test, look at your calendar and schedule studying time throughout the week. Try studying in the morning as well as the evening! Think about HOW much YOU want to get a good grade on this test!
Tip #4 (for math or science): The best way to study for a math test is to do actual problems on paper with pencil. Re-do the problems that you have already done in class and for homework – without looking at the answers! Look for more problems in the textbook or online and do those.
Tip #5: Study with a partner. Test each other on the material that will be on the test. I suggest that you create questions that you think the teacher will ask…and ask each other. If you can explain a problem or issue to another person, typically you will remember it better.
The day of the test: Bring a bottle of water, bring gum or mints and something to fidget with that will not distract others (ex: clicking pen). Take 3 deep breaths. Get to class early to find your favorite seat in the room with little distractions. Sit up front, where you cannot see what the other students are doing is very helpful. Check your answers - and then check again!
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