A recent study has shown that incidences of ADHD in children and teenagers increased from 7.8% to 11% – with 20% of high-school boys being diagnosed with the condition.
As Medicine applicants will be aware, increases in self-reported studies can happen for a vast array of reasons; the ADHD spike could be because of an increase in the frequency of the condition, but could also be because more people are disclosing their medical history, or because public awareness leads to more diagnoses than in the early 2000s.
A clinical psychologist and ADHD expert, Michelle Frank, argues that the increasing diagnosis could be aligned with something else that has increased over the past decade: standardized testing. Frank notes that “people with ADHD struggle with executive functions, and the more pressure to meet expectations that require a lot of executive function skills, the more you will see increases in people who can’t meet those demands.”
Biological Sciences and Psychology applicants perhaps best understand ‘executive function’ as the skills that help people to complete tasks, such as the ability to manage time, pay attention, and switch focus. The increase in standardized tests, and the increase in pressure to perform well at executive function, correlates with increased diagnoses of ADHD; as homework and testing increases, so does the reality that many people struggle to keep up with these demands.
HSPS applicants should think more broadly on how the educational system caters to the diversity of mental health in its students; Frank also argues that funding cuts from programmes such as arts and athletics – where ADHD students might flourish – have led to school welcoming a neurotypical brain at the expense of others.
- The OA School’s Magazine: Issue 1 Last year, Oxbridge Applications launched its first ever Schools’ Magazine,... Read more >
- UCAT mini mock paper & answers If you are applying for Medicine or Dentistry, many of... Read more >
- International Application Calendar Keeping on top of the various deadlines and decisions when... Read more >
- TSA Oxford mini mock & answers Thinking is very important to Oxford, so they’ve devised an... Read more >
- TSA Cambridge Example Questions and Answers If you have completed the TSA Cambridge course report and are... Read more >
- Choosing The Right A-Levels Picking subjects at A level can be a difficult decision... Read more >
- The Great Collection of Past Oxbridge Interview Questions The great thing about an Oxbridge interview is that it... Read more >
- Pooling: Fast Facts You may have heard people talk about “pooling”, or maybe... Read more >
- Are my grades good enough for Oxbridge? Grades are an area of much misunderstanding when it comes... Read more >
- HAT overview If you’re applying for History, or its joint schools, you... Read more >
- What’s the Most Important Part of Your Application? An application to Oxford or Cambridge involves various different elements,... Read more >
- TSA Cambridge mini mock & answers The Thinking Skills Assessment is required for a number of... Read more >
- Download a Medicine Personal Statement 2 “Further work experience has highlighted some of the demands and challenges... Read more >
- Classics and Arch & Anth Reading Lists If you’re applying for Classics, or for Archaeology and Anthropology,... Read more >
- Choosing a course From Arch and Anth to Veterinary Medicine, the range of... Read more >
- Funding Your Oxbridge Degree Many people are under the impression that it is more... Read more >
- Cambridge Law Test mini mock paper & answers If you are applying to do Law at Cambridge, chances... Read more >
- Information on choosing a course at Oxford or Cambridge “Perhaps it is because Oxbridge encourages more ‘traditional’ A Level... Read more >
- Sports psychology for interviews Channel your inner champion Major sports personalities use these techniques... Read more >
- Cambridge Law Test overview If you’re applying to read Law at Cambridge you will probably need... Read more >
- Medical & Biological Sciences Reading Lists Medicine and the whole range of Biological Sciences are highly... Read more >
- The Architecture of an Education: what are colleges all about? Explaining the difference between Oxford and Cambridge colleges and the... Read more >
- January’s Top News Stories Read more about some of the biggest news stories to... Read more >
- MLAT mini mock paper & answers The MLAT or Modern Languages Test is required by Oxford... Read more >