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Navigating ADHD, Exams, and Revision

by | Apr 9, 2024 | ADHD Strengths & Challenges, School, College & University | 0 comments

Finding Motivation that Works for You

I have been speaking to the Unstoppable Girls about how they navigate exams and revision with their ADHD brains. For all of those I have spoken to, they either do no revision or very little revision and preparation for their exams. For teenage girls with ADHD, the looming pressure of exams and revision can feel like an insurmountable mountain to climb. The typical study techniques often fall short when it comes to capturing the attention and focus of ADHD brains. But fear not; there are strategies tailored to the unique needs of ADHD individuals, harnessing the power of interest, novelty, challenge, urgency, and passion.

Interest

Find what sparks your curiosity. Whether it’s a particular subject, topic, or study method, tap into what genuinely interests you. If history bores you to tears, but science lights up your brain, prioritize your study time accordingly. Use resources like documentaries, podcasts, or interactive websites to make learning engaging and enjoyable. When I was studying for my A-levels in year 2, I decided I really didn’t like economics, and I couldn’t motivate myself to do anything but the bare minimum, and I did no revision. I was confident I would pass, but I spent the rest of my time revising the subjects I was interested in, sociology and biology. I did pass all of my A-levels and got into the university of my choice, but my results did show which subjects I did revision for and which I did not. If you are interested in the subject, it will be easier to revise it.

Novelty 

ADHD brains crave variety and stimulation. Rotate study environments, switch up study methods, and incorporate new tools or technologies into your revision routine. Experiment with mind maps, flashcards, or teaching the material to a friend. Use online support such as BBC Bitesize or apps such as Quizlet or Seneca to help you. Embrace the element of surprise to keep your brain engaged and motivated.

Challenge

Set ambitious yet achievable goals. Break down your revision tasks into smaller, manageable chunks, and challenge yourself to master each one. To do this, write everything buzzing around your head down and then break this down. Celebrate your progress along the way, whether it’s completing a difficult practice question or understanding a complex concept. It’s important to embrace challenges as they lead to personal growth and development.

Urgency

Create a sense of urgency to kick your ADHD brain into gear. Set deadlines, create a study schedule, and use timers or countdowns to keep yourself on track. Visualize the consequences of procrastination and prioritize tasks based on their importance and deadlines. I’m currently using a timer as motivation to write and finish this blog post; they do really help. Harness the power of adrenaline to fuel your focus and productivity.

Passion

Connect your studies to your passions and aspirations. Visualize how mastering the material will bring you closer to your goals, whether it’s pursuing a career in medicine, hairdressing, or creative arts. Find inspiration in your dreams and use them as fuel to overcome obstacles and stay motivated during exam season.

Everyone’s journey with ADHD is unique, so don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you. With the right strategies and mindset, you can navigate exams and revision with confidence and success. For more information and tips to help you with exam season and revision, click to get your free copy of The Unstoppable Girls Guide to Revision and Exams. You will have to sign up to get our newsletter, which will keep you updated with all the latest news and information about Unstoppable Girls CIC.

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