A college student with ADD/ADHD attentively taking notes during a lecture. They are sitting at a desk with textbooks and notebooks, demonstrating active engagement in their studies

College students often find themselves grappling with numerous distractions and challenges including managing their time effectively and staying focused amidst distractions, information overload, a new environment, and the pressure to succeed.

This can be particularly daunting for college students with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

However, note-taking and essential study skills are transformative strategies for college students with ADD/ADHD that can greatly enhance their learning experience and academic success.

Note-taking skills are important – even critical – because they enhance active listening and reading, and promote better comprehension and retention of information while helping the note-taker to stay focused.

Here are the most important reasons why students should be taking notes.

1. Active Engagement and Focus

Note-taking is an active activity, engaging the note-taker and helping them keep their minds focused on the lecture, discussion, and when they read. Students that take notes become active participants in the learning process by jotting down key points, important concepts, and relevant details. This engagement minimizes distractions and maximizes their ability to absorb information.

2. Organization and Clarity

College life can be overwhelming, with numerous subjects, deadlines, and responsibilities. Note-taking provides a structured approach to learning by organizing information in a clear and concise manner. It helps students make sense of complex ideas and facilitates easier studying and review later on.

3. Retention, Recall, and Comprehension

The act of writing notes strengthens the memory connections in the brain, improving information retention. College students with ADD/ADHD can benefit greatly from this multisensory experience. By reviewing and revising their notes regularly, they reinforce the learned material and enhance their ability to recall important concepts during exams or assignments.

4. Active Learning

Note-taking promotes active learning, transforming passive listeners and readers into active and engaged participants. College students with ADD/ADHD can better comprehend and internalize the material by processing information while writing it down. It allows them to make connections, identify patterns, and actively engage with the subject matter.

5. Exam Preparedness and Confidence Building

Through effective note-taking and study skills development, college students with ADD/ADHD can be better prepared for exams. Learning how to utilize their notes effectively during exam preparation, can be one of the most effective study skills techniques. By incorporating active review strategies and practicing self-assessment techniques, students can build confidence and improve their performance.

6. Personalized Study Resources

Every student has their own unique way of understanding and learning. Note-taking allows students to personalize their study resources. They can highlight key information, create visual aids, or add personal comments to enhance comprehension and recall. These personalized study materials become valuable references during exam preparation, boosting confidence and knowledge retention.

Tips for Effective Note-Taking:

To optimize the benefits of note-taking in college, consider these tips:

  1. Actively participate in class discussions and ask questions.
  2. Develop a shorthand or use abbreviations to write notes more efficiently.
  3. Organize information using headings, bullet points, and subheadings.
  4. Utilize different colors, underlining, and highlighting techniques for emphasis.
  5. Review and revise notes regularly, preferably within 24 hours of the lecture.

Note-taking and study skills play a vital role in the academic success of college students. These strategies enhance engagement, promote organization and clarity, and aid in focus, retention, and comprehension.

If your college-bound doesn’t know how to take notes, a private tutor specializing in study skills can offer personalized guidance and instruction.

With note-taking and study skills tutoring, college students with ADD and ADHD can overcome challenges, optimize their learning experience, and achieve success in college.

Did you miss these articles?

  1. A Guide to Surviving College for Students with ADD/ADHD and Executive Function Challenges: Part 1. Planning
  2. A Guide to Surviving College for Students with ADD/ADHD and Executive Function Challenges: Part 2. How to Develop Executive Functions

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A Guide to Surviving College for Students with ADD/ADHD and Executive Function Challenges: Part 3. The Importance of Note-Taking
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