5 Study Tips for Neurodivergent College Students

For neurodivergent college students to navigate their academic journey successfully, it’s essential to develop effective study habits and strategies. Here are some valuable study tips.

1. Develop a study environment

Creating a suitable study space is essential for neurodivergent college students since they may be more sensitive to sensory distractions and environmental factors. For example, a coffee shop may be too distracting for neurodivergent college students, so noise-cancelling headphones may help when studying in a public space, such as a library, or a quiet home office may be a better study space.

2. Create a study schedule

Having a well-defined study schedule with specific periods of time allocated for study sessions provides a sense of predictability and control over every study session and helps neurodivergent learners avoid last-minute cramming. Consistency is especially valuable for neurodivergent individuals, helping them manage their cognitive and sensory needs effectively and reducing anxiety associated with uncertainty.

How to create a study plan for a neurodivergent student

Creating a step-by-step study schedule involves several key stages. Here’s a guide to help you establish an effective study schedule and study techniques:

  • Set clear goals and objectives
  • Assess your time
  • Prioritize your subjects and topics
  • Break down your study sessions
  • Set specific study goals
  • Eliminate distractions
  • Use a planner or app
  • Consider active learning techniques
  • Review and adjust
  • Track your progress
  • Seek support and accountability
  • Reflect and revise

3. Seek support

Attending professors’ office hours is particularly beneficial for neurodivergent students as it offers a structured opportunity to receive personalized guidance, discuss course content, and build supportive relationships with instructors.

For some neurodivergent college students, such as those with ADHD or dyslexia, joining or forming a study group can also be highly beneficial.

4. Take good notes

Good note-taking is crucial for neurodivergent students and can be a personalized process, as different strategies may work better for different individuals.

  • Use assistive technology
  • Structured notes
  • Color coding
  • Chunk information
  • Visual aids
  • Recording lectures

5. Try apps

By tailoring technology to meet the specific needs of neurodivergent individuals, apps can empower students to harness their unique strengths and thrive in the academic environment.


Speechify is a text to speech app that can convert written text into spoken words. It’s  helpful for neurodivergent students who struggle with reading or have conditions like dyslexia. Speechify can read aloud any digital or physical text, including study guides, articles, research papers, emails, and more, allowing students to absorb information through listening.


Evernote is a versatile note-taking app that allows users to create and organize digital notes, documents, images, and audio recordings. Its robust search functionality makes it easy to find and review notes. For neurodivergent students, this app can help with note-taking, organization, and accessing information.


Notion is an all-in-one workspace app that enables users to create and customize notes, databases, task lists, and more. It’s great for students who need flexible and personalized organization methods to suit their specific needs.


MindMeister is a mind mapping app that helps students visualize and organize their thoughts and ideas. It’s beneficial for neurodivergent college students who prefer a more visual and non-linear approach to note-taking and idea organization.


Todoist is a task management app that can assist students in keeping track of assignments, due dates, and daily tasks. It’s useful for neurodivergent college students who struggle with executive function and time management.


Focus@Will is a music app that offers curated music playlists designed to enhance concentration and productivity. It can be helpful for neurodivergent college students with attention difficulties, including ADHD, by providing a focused auditory environment.


Calm is a meditation and relaxation app that can help neurodivergent students manage stress and anxiety. It provides guided meditation sessions and calming content to promote well-being and reduce anxiety.

Focus Booster

Focus Booster is a time management app that uses the Pomodoro Technique to break work into short, focused intervals followed by short breaks. It’s helpful for neurodivergent college students who need structure and support in managing their study time effectively.


Forest is a timer app that gamifies the Pomodoro Technique. When you set a timer, a virtual tree starts to grow. If you leave the app to check your phone, the tree dies. This encourages neurodivergent users to stay focused and resist distractions.


Freedom is another app and website blocker that helps users temporarily block distracting websites and apps. It allows for scheduling focused periods, which can be particularly beneficial for students who need to concentrate on their work.

Excerpted from “5 Study Tips for Neurodivergent College Students” by Cliff Weitzman, a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify. Read the full post online for more details on these strategies and tips.

Source: Speechify | 5 Study Tips for Neurodivergent College Students, https://speechify.com/blog/5-study-tips-for-neurodivergent-college-students | copyright Speechify Inc. 2023

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