View Full Version : Study/Testing tips for the upcoming semester

12-10-14, 12:24 PM
While I failed my first year of college, the second year (2013-2014) I did much better in my work, and earned grades that were low, but passing. This semester however, I found myself dropping back into old habits, and the result of such is a failed grade for the one class i'm taking. It's depressing, considering I was doing well before, and now I'v failed yet another semester.

Anyway, getting away from the negativity, I was wondering if anyone had any tips for studying/test taking that I can use for the spring semester?

What has worked
Splitting the chapter into parts, and doing one part each day/hour
Studying in a dead quiet, or as quiet as it can get, room
Putting myself on a schedule works only some of the time
Working at at time where I know I can be productive
Making up questions for notes, and following them for study
Drawing pictures as I do better with visual learning
Timing the reading, and studying, so I can take breaks in between

What hasn't worked/won't do as of right now
Getting help from the professor, as I have a lot of trouble talking to people, and am often so busy being anxious about getting out, that I don't remember much of what they are trying to help me with
Same with study groups, or a friends
Positive thinking has never worked for me
Schedules, like I said before, it only works some of the time. Often I forget to either put things on a schedule, or if I want to put on a timer, forget to set it.
I am not medicated, and am not in my colleges disability support.
Test anxiety is a still an issue

Well, that was way longer than I think it should've been. Anyways, I would love if anyone has any tips that have worked well for them.

Thank You:)

01-07-15, 03:26 PM
I feel you! I have failed AND dropped with a W one class for each semester I've been at university. That's six courses I paid for with no return! Killer.

I was only diagnosed a month ago and I'm still learning what can be accessible to me as far as accommodations (for example, I work in a laboratory for much of my schooling and I can work well when I am alone, but trying to get anything done when it's full of other students chatting or even just moving around is SO FRUSTRATING - maybe I can get after-hours access to do my work?).

I am reluctant to allow myself to use my ADHD as an excuse - there is still a lot I don't understand about it and me, and I'm still seeing my difficulties through the lens of someone who doesn't live it. It's like being in denial, I guess. I am really hard on me and I think expect too much at once. I am still afraid (hopeful, maybe?) that one of these visits my doctor will change her mind, and that she will decide I don't really even have ADHD and they'll take away my meds and other help!

The most helpful steps I've taken are starting to meet with a life coach and using this list-making app that syncs my computer to my phone! Having a life coach is totally a weird experience, kind of stressful and weird but I guess it's helpful because it's someone to whom I'm accountable and also a sort of guide to help me identify my strengths and what could be my strengths. The list helps because I can't lose it and it makes a satisfying ding sound when you check something off.

I have also been applying the 20/10 (20 minutes of work/10 minutes of break) method to everything I find difficult and it's been AMAZING. Combined with my meds I find that is the most helpful thing so far!! I find without my meds, now that I've experienced more or less linear thoughts for the first time, that I get very frustrated very quickly. I keep trying, though, when they wear off. Being patient with myself helps.

Cheers, I hope your semester goes well!

01-08-15, 08:14 AM
I've been using an online noise generator (MyNoise) for some ambient noise, instead of complete silence. It's been great, it helps both to focus and to relax at the same time. It can also help to mask other noises.

If it's not accessible, there's also tons of YouTube clips that have hours of pure ambient noise from different sources.

01-09-15, 02:59 PM
I used to put all of my major assignments on my calendar at the very beginning of the semester, as soon as I received my syllabus. It was easier to spend an hour at the beginning before getting too bogged down with work a few weeks in when it's much harder to do it on a weekly basis. If you have an Android phone, the Calengoo app was great for syncing my phone and email calendars, and it was always there at my fingertips.

Also, try emailing your professors instead of trying to talk to them after class. You would eliminate the face to face anxiety and the possibility of forgetting by doing this. Personally, I preferred when my students emailed me, as it gave me the flexibility to respond, and provide the most thorough answers as well.

If emailing is not an option, see if meeting with them before class or during office hours is an option. That way you remove the anxiety of wanting to get out since class is over, and you can try to plan better by writing down your questions ahead of time. Write down answers regardless, instead of trying to remember them.

Lastly, if you find you're stuck, adding background noise does help, as someone else pointed out. Having TV shows or movies I've seen tons of times helped me, as I wasn't driven to pay attention to them, but they still provided enough white noise without being annoying. It could be an option for you, too.

02-04-15, 11:05 AM
Check the Syllabus and then check at the end of chapters for questions relating to the parts of the chapter relevant to the syllabus. I shortcutted that way the whole time and it worked. It was the only way I could remotely study.

02-04-15, 01:49 PM
It sounds like you've got a lot of strategies that you've figured out for studying, that's great! I think sometimes, especially for those of use with ADD who need to really take time to create our own strategies, studying is like any other habit. It takes time to really feel comfortable with it, but in time it gets easier. So I say, keep doing what's working for you.

For test anxiety, have there been tests that you were less anxious about? It sounds like you did well in some classes in the past - what was different about tests for those classes? Maybe there are things you've already done unconsiously that will help in future.

05-11-15, 04:44 PM
Hi everyone.Thank you so much for all you're suggestions. I've incorporated some of these methods that I found worked well with me. I still had some struggle (more because of my own lack of motivation), but ended up with a low C. Not high enough to raise my GPA, but passing, and another class finished for my degree. :)

Chicky75, I know this is late, but my testing anxiety existed for all tests i've taken. It's just my better grades stem from other work.