Four Online Study Tools that Keep You Focused

By Dr. Mary Rooney, Ph.D.

When you have ADHD, keeping your mind focused and engaged while you’re studying isn’t always easy. An ADHD brain thrives on novelty, mental challenges, and exciting visuals – three things that the act of memorizing rote information rarely provides. Fortunately there are a few dynamic online study tools that can make typical study strategies more engaging and effective. They allow you to move past the basics of rereading material or reviewing your notes by engaging your mind through active learning techniques that will take your study methods to the next level.   

  1. Create Mind Maps with GoConqur

When you are striving to hone in on important facts and draw connections among key concepts, one of the best things you can do is recreate your notes and handouts in a format that matches your own learning style.  GoConqur helps you do just that. With GoConqur you can create mind maps that distill large complex concepts down into a few key points, draw connections among key facts and ideas, and use images and videos to bring your maps to life. GoConqur also maintains a database of mind maps created by other users. These can serve as inspiration and can help if you want to learn more about a topic or are missing details in your own notes. Just make sure you also create your own mind maps from scratch in order to get the most out of this powerful tool.

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  1. Use an Online Mneumonic Generator

A mneumonic device is a technique for remembering facts using a series of common words that are strung together in a memorable way. For example, a common mneumonic device for remembering the order of mathematical operations (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiply, Divide, Add, Subtract) is “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.” The first letter of each word in the sentence maps to the first letter of each of the mathematical operations. The trick is to come up with a sentence that is more memorable than the series of facts you’re trying to memorize. An online mneumonic generator, like the one provided by Spacefem, can provide excellent inspiration when you’re looking to create your own mneumonic devices quickly and easily.

  1. Create Flashcards and Test Your Knowledge

There is a reason why flashcards have been around since what seems like the beginning of time – they work! Flashcards are one of the most effective study methods available because they prompt you to actively recall information from memory based on only a few details displayed on the front of the card. This active learning process is far more effective at encoding information in your memory bank than more passive processes, like reviewing your notes or re-reading a book chapter. Flashcards also help you maximize your study time by helping you sort information you have already learned from fact you haven’t yet memorized. While flashcards are effective, historically they haven’t been the most exciting and engaging tool. Fortunately, online flashcard tools, like Quizlet, are more fun and more effective. Quizlet allows you to create your own online flashcards or choose from decks of cards that have already been created. You can add pictures and audio to your cards to make them more interesting, and you can track your progress as you memorize new information. If you really want to keep yourself focused and engaged, try one of Quizlet’s study games and compete against the clock or against other users.

  1. View Video Presentations

Repetition is necessary when you’re studying, but it can get boring! Using multimedia presentations to review a subject can help keep things interesting. If you’re struggling to clearly understand a particular concept from your notes, watching the same information presented in a slightly different manner can help bring clarity. Unfortunately, combing through all of the videos available online to find those that are accurate and high quality can be tricky and time consuming. You also run the risk of getting distracted the minute you start looking at any videos on YouTube! To avoid these pitfalls, keep your search focused and productive by going to Hippocampus has an extensive collection of online learning videos that cover just about any topic you might be studying, and the quality of the content is generally excellent.

Taking advantage of these online tools will help keep you focused and engaged next time you’re studying. You’ll be more prepared than ever for your big exam, and you’ll have the grades to prove it!     



Mary Rooney, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco. Dr Rooney is a researcher and clinician specializing in the evaluation and treatment of ADHD and co-occurring behavioral, anxiety, and mood disorders. A strong advocate for those with attention and behavior problems, Dr. Rooney is committed to developing and providing comprehensive, cutting edge treatments tailored to meet the unique needs of each child and adolescent. Dr. Rooney's clinical interventions and research avenues emphasize working closely with parents and teachers to create supportive, structured home and school environments that enable children and adolescents to reach their full potential. In addition, Dr. Rooney serves as a consultant and ADHD expert to Huntington Learning Centers.


Huntington Learning Center is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams. Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students of all levels succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards. Founded in 1977, Huntington's mission is to give every student the best education possible. Call us today at 1.800.CAN LEARN to discuss how Huntington can help your child. For franchise opportunities please visit

This website does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only.

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