Practical Study Tips for Dyslexic College Students

Dyslexia is very common, affecting 20% of the population and making up the majority of those with learning disabilities. Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects reading skills. It can also make it difficult to spell words correctly, pronounce them properly, and read quickly. Dyslexia can even make it difficult to process spoken words efficiently. Studying can be a real challenge for dyslexic students but learning ways to study effectively and work with dyslexic challenges and even use dyslexic characteristics to your benefit.

People with dyslexia often are very creative, motivated, and critical thinkers. Often people with dyslexia have a strong memory for stories. By understanding the strengths you have as a person with dyslexia and being able to strategize through the challenges, studying can become more efficient.

There are a number of practical things dyslexic students can do to make studying easier. The following tips offer general advice that tend to be helpful for all students with dyslexia but find what works for you.

Advocate for yourself.

It is important that you let your professors know about your diagnosis early on. This way they can be more understanding and offer you accommodations, such as extra time on exams or extended deadlines for assignments. Allowing for extra time will help to alleviate some of the stress that can come with studying with dyslexia. By expessing your needs, you’ll be better set up for sucess.

Utilize technology.

Technology can be your best friend. There are so many tools that can be helpful for people with dyslexia. Look into text-to-speech programs, which can help you to read texts more easily. Also, try out different note taking apps or using a digital recorder to record lectures (just be sure to let your professor/teacher know). There are even apps that can help with organization and time management or tools that can write or read for you.

Remove distractions.

Create an effective study space free of distractions. This may mean studying in a library or another quiet place. It may also mean clearing off your desk so that you can focus on the task at hand. If you need complete silence to concentrate, try using noise-cancelling headphones. If you prefer background noise, try listening to classical music or white noise while you study.

Find a study group.

Most people benefit from studying with others. It can be really helpful to find a study group or partner to study with. This way, you can take turns reading texts aloud to each other or working on practice problems together. You can also help each other to better understand concepts and retain information. If you don’t know anyone in your classes who might be interested in forming a study group, try reaching out to your campus tutoring center.

Set attainable goals.

Setting small attainable goals to meet your larger goals can help you stay on track while studying. For example, if your goal is to study for 3 hours, break that down into smaller goals such as studying for 30 minutes at a time with short breaks in between. By breaking up your study session into manageable chunks, you’ll be less likely to feel overwhelmed and more likely to stick to your goal.

Take advantage of peer notes.

It can be challenging for those with dyslexia to listen to lectures while taking notes. There are services at universities that pair peer note takers with students with dyslexia so that they can focus on the lecture and still get the key points. Be sure to check with your school’s disability services office to see if this is something that’s available to you.

Read notes outloud.

By reading your notes outloud, you can help yourself better process and remember the information. This technique tends to be helpful for people with dyslexia because reading outloud can help you recognize words faster.

Use visual cues.

Visual cues can be helpful for all students, but they can be especially helpful for those with dyslexia. Many people with dyslexia are visual learners, so using things like color-coding, highlighters, and diagrams can help you better remember and process information.

Students with dyslexia face many challenges with studying, but there are ways to overcome these difficulties. By using study tips like reading notes outloud and utilizing visual aids, you can help yourself better understand and remember information. With a bit of extra effort, you can succeed in college.


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Tyler Cooper

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