Pre-Nursing with ADHD... and timed tests!

  1. Hi Everyone!
    I'm feeling very frustrated right now because I am now dealing with timed tests in my algebra class. This is the first class so far that has had timed tests, I have not been in this situation since high school. Last weekend I spent over fifteen hours studying for this algebra test. I had every thing down and was feeling very confident. I knew how to do all the problems but... I did not have enough time to finish them. As soon as the instructor said "five minutes left" my mind went blank and I began to panic. When I see other students turing in their tests, I feel high levels of anxiety and start making mistakes. I know this material, I study my butt off every night until two or three in the morning. But it does me no good because the pressure of doing it all perfectly in a certain amount of time... if I don't do it perfectly I will lose my cumulative 4.0 gpa, greatly reduce my chances of being accepted into clinicals, and not to mention, waste the thousands of dollars that I am investing. I was venting to my sister in law about this today. She's a teacher and she said that my diagnosed ADHD condition legally gives me the right to have extended time with tests. She suggested I take in a doctors note and explain my situation to my instructor. Has anyone ever done this before? I didn't even know this was an option or else I would've done this a long time ago. What gets me the most is that even though I know the material and I studied my *#@ off, it doesn't do me any good. With such strict time restrictions, I will inevitably get a lower grade. Anyone who has personal experience with this, please give me a glimmer of hope that my condition is reason enough to get extended time on tests.
  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   HeartsOpenWide
    If you have a documented case of ADHD the school legally has to give you what is recommended for accommodations which is often extended time. I got tested for a learning disability and found that I have a problem with math calculations and working memory; I get time and a half plus a quite room. These accommodations will be grated to me when I take my NCLEX as well. You can not deal with your instructor directly, get a doctors note and contact your disabled student services office at school.
  4. by   tripp3horn
    Thank you for your response. Why can't I deal with my instructor directly?
  5. by   Sarah Hay
    At the beginning of every class when the instructor is going over the syllabus, there is supposed to be something about the disablity act etc. and all my nursing professors say come to them after or before class with a doctor note and they will accomodate us by giving us all the lecture notes and even more time on exams... if they do not do that then it is kind of against the disability act.
  6. by   elkpark
    Most schools, in my experience, have an official, centralized disability services offices, and you have to be registered with them, they check out the documentation of your disability, and they make the determinations and arrangements for whatever accommodations you need. That way, the school is sure that all disabled students are treated fairly/equitably, that the school is fully compliant with the student disability laws (because the people who work in that office are familiar with the laws and regulations, unlike instructors), and your treatment and accommodations are not based on the personal views or opinions of any individual instructor.

    At least, that's how it's worked at the schools I've taught at. I'm sure there may be other models out there.
  7. by   HeartsOpenWide
    Quote from destiny4nursing
    Thank you for your response. Why can't I deal with my instructor directly?
    You can, but its not a guarantee that she will work with you. When you meet with the disabled student office they have trained people that know what accommodations you need...extra time, a calculator, some one that takes notes for you during class, a private room for tests ect...all depending on your disability. Once the disabled student services has documents or creates them themselves (I got tested at my old JC disabled student office) they give you a form with the accommodations for you to give your teacher and by law she has to follow them. If you just go to your teacher with a doctors note stating ADHD she probably will not know the efficient accommodations for your conditions; nor is she obligated to even work with you at all.
  8. by   Nurse523
    Don't worry, a lot of nursing students have a learning disability. But there are benefits because they are disadvantaged. The school should provide you with psychologists, learning strategists, cousellors who work with students who have learning disability. A colleague of mines has a learning disability she recieves a bursary for equiptment such as a laptop, mouse and programs that can read to her, make mind maps, flow carts and more. She also knows someone who can make all of her textbooks into electrontic form (pdf, word docs and etc). She also receives money from the governments that goes along with ther osap and money to hire a tutor! She writes all of her exams in a seperate building away from her colleagues and write in a private room so that she can read to herself or let a computer read all of her test whether they are multiple choice questions or essay questions. She can also use the computer to type out her essay questions so she doesn't have to write it by hand.

    I think it would be a great idea to connect with the staff members of the disability department of your school. My colleague doesn't regret it. I hope you won't too!
  9. by   Nurse523
    There are even more accomodations but it is up to you how far you want to take it.

    Think about the pros and cons of disclosing or submitting an accomodation form for assignment extensions to your sociology professor versus your clinical instructor/faculty advisor.
  10. by   caliotter3
    My friend was diagnosed with ADHD while in nursing school. She went to the student disabilities office and was given accommodations for the remainder of her nursing program. They gave her extra time to do everything and she was able to finish school just fine. She told me she wished she would have found out about her condition sooner.
  11. by   Jules A
    Quote from Nurse523
    There are even more accomodations but it is up to you how far you want to take it.

    Think about the pros and cons of disclosing or submitting an accomodation form for assignment extensions to your sociology professor versus your clinical instructor/faculty advisor.
    Good advice. I'd think long and hard before disclosing this especially as a pre-nursing student. I went to school with two students that were open about their ADHD. One requested special testing and the other didn't. I'm sorry to say but the one that wouldn't test with our class was really scrutinized, every mistake was documented and she ended up failing out of our program. Its not fair or legal and I'm not passing judgement either way but know there will be people that feel that if you can't get through school by the normal means indicates you will have problems as a nurse. Also keep in mind that the school's major motivation is pumping out students that can pass NCLEX the first time and if they are concerned at all about someone's testing abilities it paints a target on them, imo.
  12. by   cursedandblessed
    my school which is a state community college is very open to accomodations for students with add/adhd in regards to testing. once in the nursing program the only accomodation is to take the test in the testing center in a private room at time and a half. i haven't ever taken the trouble to go through that, as i don't need extra time for tests, luckily.

    most of the time in the clinical setting, i have lists that i've done on the computer to keep me on target as to what i need to do when, i'm complimented on them by ci's (lol). they help me to maintain my focus, as my add manifests itself in inattentiveness, and i get sidetracked easily.

    i explain to my ci's that sometimes i have to be shown something twice before i get it(shown once and talked through it once), but once i get it i don't usually lose the skill. all but one has been very understanding, realizing that i understand myself and have learned to accomodate my own limitations. most realize that knowing and learning to work around ones shortcomings is far better than an attitude of knowing it all, and covering up for ones disability.