Why am I so much slower than my classmates?

I noticed that whenever we’re writing notes in class it seems I’m always behind everyone else.

If there’s a few tasks where we have to write notes on a topic, I always seem to lag behind and end up missing bits out because we’ve moved on when I’m only halfway done. I sit next to my girlfriend in a lesson and she has dyslexia but even she finishes quicker than me, even if I’m completely focused on it and not getting distracted every five minutes.

Is this an ADHD thing or am I just a slow writer or something? Do you guys have any tips on how to not get left behind (because it’s very frustrating)?


Hi Dxitydoo,

I assume you are at high school? I was a teacher (before stopping to have my own kids!) It was a few years ago, but If I recall, it can be due to not having a great working memory - so you cant remember a whole sentence to write it down, you are having to look up at every word, and some people just cant hold information in their heads from adjusting from the board to their book. As a teacher, I used to read the notes out aloud as I wrote them, so kids who struggled with looking between board and book could just listen to write notes and keep up better, (they would tell me pretty quick if I was going too fast!) students with writing issues as well, like cant write notes in a way they can read later, would bring a computer to class and type the notes instead, but this is dependent on having access to a laptop/tablet etc. (I think there was funding here for this…) Alternatively, in some classes I taught that had many literacy struggles, I would gives notes as a handout, and I could read them as a class, and then class was focused on completing exercises rather than lots of note taking. You could possibly take a photo of the notes on you phone? Or wait till your girlfriend has written hers out and take a photo of that? But can be hard to find all your notes again at the end of topic to study from… The best bit of advise I can give you would be to make sure your teacher knows your struggles, - you could ask them to read the notes aloud, or if you can have a computer if you think typing would be easier, or if you could have printed notes to read and highlight, and some questions about the notes on the handout to help you process it rather than note taking. And if they are unwilling to help you, talk to other staff at the school. At the school I was last teaching at there was this amazing learning specialist on staff who I had so many conversations with to come up with ideas to support students who were struggling, does you school have a specialist? Or could talk with another teacher on staff you get along well with, or your year level dean? or school councillor? hope that something of this is helpful…


That’s very helpful thank you. Yeah I’ve definitely noticed that I struggle to keep words in my head, often having to check multiple times to make sure I’m right or what the sentence was.

I use an iPad and pencil combo for school because I quite like writing (and I won’t be able to use a computer in the actual exam so I need to be able to write fast so practice is good). Plus it gives me a bit more flexibility between writing or drawing which I like.

I have a meeting with my mentor (who helps me with this sort of stuff) this Friday so I think I’ll bring up all the tips you’ve given me (because I’m notoriously bad at asking for help and she can email all my teachers at once) and talk to her about them.

Thank you again! It was very helpful information!


I have not found a good solution, but can definitely confirm that working slowly is an ADHD thing. Bad memory, bad organizing, distractability…