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How to study for a test if you have memory problems

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A person studying.

A person studying.

Shruthi Rajesh

Shruthi Rajesh

A person studying.

Abby Hagle, Reporter

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Finding a way to study that isn’t written by neurotypical people is a problem for many disabled people, especially high school students. Most people don’t take into account things like attention issues, reading issues, executive functioning issues, or the existence of disabled adults or teenagers.

And according to ADHD study blogs on Tumblr, the timer method is the best secret to studying.

  1. A timer is needed. Any timer, really. Kitchen timer, oven timer, phone timer, stopwatch, etc, it doesn’t matter. As long as it works.
  2. Set it for five minutes. During those five minutes, take a walk, browse the internet, get something to eat or drink, play with pets, read something, watch a show, or talk to family members. This prevents you from getting distracted while working.
  3. When the five minutes is up, go do your work in a quiet place, like a bedroom or on the porch outside. Work in the quietest place with the least distractions or a place least likely to cause sensory overload.
  4. Set the timer for 10 minutes. Work until you’re finished or until you get distracted again. Make this a routine, as that’s the easiest way to develop a study plan and stick to it.

Another method that works is the milestone/chunk method, according to Additude.

  1. Set a goal for how much work you’re planning to do. Separate the work into chunks based on how much time you have until the test or project due date. Do not do it all at once and overwhelm or exhaust yourself. Don’t hurt yourself by giving yourself headaches or using up all your energy from doing too much.
  2. Work on the assignment for the specific amount of time. Do something else to help you focus as well, like listening to music or using a calculator to find out how much you have left to do. Take short breaks if you think you’ve done enough for the moment so you don’t overwork yourself. Also take time to relax before going back to work. This is important if you have executive functioning issues or a low amount of spoons.
  3. Repeat this process for the rest of your work, space them out, until you’re done.
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About the Writer
Abby Hagle, Reporter
Abby is a multiple disabled autistic/ADHD student who enjoys writing, reading, playing video games, and browsing Tumblr in their spare time. “Nothing is true, everything is permitted.” is a good summary of her worldview along with “nothing about us, without us”. Abby is really into stuff like human rights (particularly disability rights) and observing world...
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