How To Succeed on a Test with ADHD

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Taking a test is a long, dreadful process for most students in high school.  Imagine having to take a test to pass you to the next grade level AND adding a hyperactivity disorder.  Students diagnosed with ADHD have a difficult time concentrating, staying still and recalling information- all of the things that would make a difficult test that much harder.

To help your child feel more successful on a big test at school, we have come up with a few test taking tips that might help.  All students would benefit from these test taking tips, but especially those who already experience learning difficulties.

  • Be sure to get extra sleep the night before-  Seems obvious doesn’t it?  Ensuring you get extra sleep will help you feel refreshed and ready for a test instead of focusing on being tired.

  • Prepare for the test EARLY- Don’t try to cram in all the information in one night.  Study over a couple of days so you can activate your long term memory and are more likely to succeed on the test.

  • Ask your teacher for a guide-  We have all taken a test and felt like everything we DIDN’T learned in class was included on the exam.  Be sure to ask you teacher a week or so ahead of time what information will be included so you can focus your studying.  Most teachers give study guides or play review games a few days before a test.

  • Be sure to get your accommodations- For younger children who have an IEP, they are automatically given their accommodations.  Sometimes, older kids have the option to decide if they want to take their accommodations or not.  Be sure to know what you have in your IEP so you can take advantage of them.  Some examples are:

    • Longer time to take the test

    • Multiple choice instead of fill in the blank or essay

    • Read aloud

    • Split testing times

    • Separate testing room

  • Stay positive!  Talk yourself up on test day and trust that you have done all you can to make yourself successful on the test.

If you are unsuccessful on a test, ask your teacher if you can do additional work or extra credit to help bring your grade up.  In some cases, a teacher might allow you to retake the test or give it to you in a different format to make you more successful.  Most teachers are willing to work with you if they see you are giving your full effort.

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Posted by Shelley Causey

Shelley is the Director of Technology at The Broach School of Jacksonville and lead content contributor to the Broach Buzz Blog. She has a Bachelor's degree in Special Education and a Master's degree in Instructional Technology. Shelley is passionate about empowering parents with resources for children with disabilities and assisting new families learn more about scholarship schools. In addition to the blog, Shelley manages the social media accounts for all of The Broach School company pages.

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