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Common Academic Accommodations for ADHD Students

When a student is given an ADHD diagnosis, a typical next step is to look at academic accommodations.

As a student, the idea of accommodations is to help you level the playing field – it’s about setting up support to help manage areas of difficulty, so you can actually show what you know! In other words, accommodations are designed to help you better achieve your academic potential.

To give you an idea of what we mean, below is a list of common academic accommodations and recommendations that ADHD students often find helpful while at school. Not all of them will be right for you, but this will help start the discussion as you set up support moving forward:


Potential accommodations: image

      • Extra time (usually 50% extra)
      • Access to a computer
      • Smaller workspace/room
      • Use of a personalized timer
      • Minimized distractions (e.g. number of students, noise)

Other recommendations: 

      • Extra scrap paper to work through problems on exams
      • No more than one exam on the same day



Potential accommodations:

      • Notes provided beforehand
      • Set up a note-taker in class if early notes are not available
      • Permission to record lectures
      • Visual cues for key information
      • Permission to move when needed

Other recommendations:

      • Find an optimal seat position in class with minimal visual and auditory distractions
      • No internet access during class


Potential accommodations:

      • Final project example (ex. show sample essay from previous student)
      • Chunk up assignments into sections with individual due dates

Other recommendations:

      •  Set up regular meetings with the professor to clarify expectations of an assignment and ensure you have a clear understanding of its framework
      • Speech-to-text software


Potential accommodations:

      • Alternative format textbooks
      • Reduced course load
      • Priority registration for courses
      • Substitute oral exams for written exams

Other recommendations:

      • Pre-teaching (with a  tutor) to improve focus and information retention
      • Sit on a stability ball to improve focus.

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