Test Taking TIps for ADHD High Schoolers

7 simple study tricks to improve test scores for students with ADHD and learning disabilities.

Study and group work tips and tricks for ADHD students. ADDitude Magazine


Use ADD creativity to your advantage! For example, build models of molecules if you're studying for chemistry. Or create your own heroic story to memorize Civil War facts. Thrive on and reward yourself for your ingenuity. After all, ADD is often brilliance underutilized and over-scrutinized.

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Learning Outside the Lines


Can't live with 'em, can't graduate without 'em. We're talking tests here. Like it or not (not!), tests are an important academic assessment tool.

Your performance on tests demonstrates how well you understand material, your ability to accomplish tasks, and how you absorb and interpret information. Knowing the material is key, but often that's not enough to ace an exam. Also essential is good preparation, which gets your brain ready and clears the way for calm and confidence. Here, homework help in the form of seven SUCCESS tips to prep you for any test.

Start early

The simplest way to improve test results is to start studying well ahead of time. This will get material into your long-term memory, where it has staying power. But here's the key for ADDers: Don't try to do it all at once. Instead, break studying down into manageable pieces. Will the test cover three chapters? Review one chapter each night for three nights, then review them all on the fourth and final night. Another perk of starting early is to find out whether you need help before it's too late (see next tip).

Understand the test

Ever studied your heart out only to find that you weren't studying the right material or that you missed a key section? There's an easy way to prevent this: Ask your teacher for guidance. First, prepare. Outline what you think will be on the test, even if you're not sure. Review and briefly outline your notes, readings, and homework. Look for a general theme that ties the material together. Show your teacher the outline, explain what you know, and ask if you've missed anything.

Ask about:

  • The focus of the exam.
  • If there's anything not in your outline that you need to study.
  • What you don't need to study or focus much attention on.
  • The exam format - yes or no, multiple choice, or short-answer questions. If it's an essay exam, the focus is probably more conceptual. If there's a fill-in-the-blanks section, you'll need to memorize dates and terms.
  • Specific terms you need to know. Afterward, verify that the definitions you found are correct.

Create the right environment

Knowing where and when you study best is as important as the studying itself. Do you need total quiet or do you need stimulus? If silence works, get earplugs, and find a place to study with minimum distractions - away from siblings, TV, and other noise. Shut off your phone and the Internet. If you do better with some background music and stimulus, put on a CD or the TV, go to a library, or try alternating blocks of study with other activity. Are you a morning person or an evening person? Study during your most productive time of the day.

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TAGS: Homework and Test Help, ADHD in High School, ADHD and College, ADHD Time Management, ADHD Accommodations, 504s, IEPs, Improving ADHD Memory

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