Here are some useful tips that helped me study as a dyslexic student
(I am not sponsernd by any of the apps or resources I mention below. These are just things that I use on a daily basis which I would highly recommend to other dyslexic students)
1. Remove all distractions
Often when you sit down and try to study, you immediately get distracted by your phone, siblings, friends, parents, cat and more. With so many distractions around, it often is really difficult to concentrate. I for instance have a really hard time getting any work done if there is any kind of background noice since I tend to get distracted even by the slightest noises. That’s why it is so important for me that I have a quiet place to work where I can concentrate without any distractions. In general however, the greatest enemy to students trying to get their work done is their phone. With the constant temptation to check new messages, social media posts and more, getting work done can be quite a difficult task. Therefore I strongly recommend, to put away any mobile devices while studying. This will definitely make a huge difference. “
For better concentration, I highly encourage the App “Forest” (https://apps.apple.com/at/app/forest-your-focus-motivation/id866450515?l=en) which makes you put your phone aside while working.
2. Have a plan
When trying to stay on top of work, having a structured plan is key. For me personally, every weekend I try to make a plan for the week with tasks that I have to complete. This helps me active a better overview on things and makes me feel less overwhelmed with work.
A online planning App that I highly recommend is “MyHomework” (https://myhomeworkapp.com/) which lets you plan your week digitally. I have this app on my phone and IPad, so I can always access my to do lists everywhere I go.
3. Find a good study place without distractions
My favourite places to study are the kitchen table and my schools library. However, when it gets too noisy I like to either put on noise cancelling headphones or I’ll move to a different place. When studying it is good to occasionally mix up studying places and to try out new routines. When I want to treat myself for instance, I like to go to study Cafés where I enjoy a drink while working. This makes learning more fun!
4. Use a Peer’s notes
I tend to write quite slowly, therefore I often have incomplete class notes. I also have quite bad handwriting which makes my notes often look quite ugly. Thankfully there are a lot of people in my class with very nice handwriting that send me their class notes for me to use while studying. (Thank you Emily, you are a lifesaver!)
The notes that I get sent, I download on my IPad in a App called “Notability” (https://apps.apple.com/at/app/notability/id360593530?l=en) which lets me edit and highlight the pictures.
5. Use Flashcards
Flashcards are amazing for me. I quickly realised that in order to memorise information most efficiently I need to use active recalling. For this I use an App called Quizlet (https://apps.apple.com/at/app/quizlet-flashcards-homework/id546473125?l=en) which lets you scan your notes and make Flashcards out of them. I have flashcards for every Subjekt because that’s what works best for me because I get to constantly test myself efficiently. Apart from Quizlet, there are also many other Flashcards Apps that are also Very useful such as Anki (https://apps.apple.com/at/app/ankiapp-flashcards/id689185915?l=en) that follow the same method.
6. Record yourself reading notes aloud
I learn better when listening to things rather than reading them. That’s why I prefer to listen to a audiobook over reading a book. When listening to information, I tend to retain it for longer than when reading it. That’s why I started recording myself reading my notes and essays out loud for me to listen to during the day. This method is especially beneficial in very content heavy subjects like the sciences.
7. Find a study group
Studying in a study group can be very productive if you find the right people. It is a rule of thumb that the people in your study group should not be your best friends, because this tends to distract you more easily from getting work done. Instead I would highly recommend finding people that are better than you at something you are struggling at so they can explain material to you if needed. The same can also be done vice versa if you are better in another subject. After all, explaining concepts to other people is a great method to solidify knowledge!
8. Find a highlighting system
Highlighting can be quite overwhelming. To conquer this problem I have developed a special highlighting system which utilises different colours for different pieces of information. For instance, I use pink for dates, blue for people, yellow for opinions and green for general information. Having my notes colour coordinated lets me have a better overview of my notes when studying and revising my papers.
9. Watch YouTube videos
YouTube is truly a life saver in terms of finding useful studying resources. On Khan academy for instance I like to review math or science concepts before exams when I haven’t completely solidified my knowledge yet. But I also use YouTube for other subjects such as Economics and languages.
(To find more information on which YouTube channels help me in school, I would recommend, that you check out my post on useful dyslexia resources)
10. Use Post-it notes
My final tip is using Post-it notes. I like to write information on lots of colourful Post-its which I then hang around my room. I especially like to place them at places where I can see them frequently like my door and my window. Because I constantly pass these places, I read the info more frequently and therefore remember it better. This is defiantly one of my favourite study techniques!
I hope you enjoyed this list of studying tips, and I hope that you will have fun implementing these in your next study session 🙂
These are a lot of tips that are mainly my own but I also asked my friends for their studying techniques to get more content