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Studying for exams with unmedicated ADHD

Basically what the title says

I have to learn 2 months of content for a nearly 2hr long exam and even though I have managed to get all my revision cards and notes written and prepared, actually sitting down and learning all of it is really difficult because my attention is just so all over the place! It's a miracle I even managed to get my notes sorted in advance!

I know about pomodoro and the likes, but I genuinely can't even force myself to do 5 minutes before I get stressed and restless and give up

Any advice?
Different people work in different ways so the first thing is to remember that that’s ok. My boyfriend, who does very well in exams, has I medicated adhd and works in a very unconventional way. Here are some ideas tk consider but it will take some trial and error to work out how you work. And remember it’s not your fault that paying attention is hard, and it makes thing difficult sometimes but that doesn’t make you a worse person for finding it hard to manage.


Do you find it easier to work at night? Lots of adhd people I know do and, while it doesn’t work during term time, it can sometimes make a difference. (You can read about adhd and night working in a few blogs online)


Does being kept accountable help? There are a few ways of doung this


having a specific thing you want to accomplish within a set time limit (short time lile 20-25 mins)


Working simultaneously with someone else, but without talking to them (‘parallel play’)


Telling someone what you want to accomplish by a certain time


Does working in a public space like a cafe or library help?


Does it help you to listen to music at the same time? Some people find that using more senses means they can stay focused longer because it’s harder to get bored and distracted.


Does it help tk study in a lighter/ darker environement?


Do you focus better when you haven’t been on your phkne for a while? as a neuro-typical, I found that deleting TikTok and instagram during the academic year really helped me to focus more, and that getting off my phone and leaving it with my parents half an hour before I wanted tk start working can help me too.


Does it help to make a list as you go of all the things you realise you need to solve/ sort/ do? I find it helpful to keep post its beside me so that when I realise I need to do laundry or clean the bathroom or go for a run or check whether anyone has replied to any emails, I can write it down and do the thing when I have free time.


Can you learn to tell the difference between times when you don’t want to work, and when your brain is not going to let you work?

Note: my partner and sister have adhd but I’m neurotypical myself so I don’t want to assume any or all of these will help you.

Good luck!

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