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Characteristics of Hyperactive Students

by Ron Kurtus (updated 28 February 2022)

Some students have difficulty paying attention in class, act restless and seem impulsive. They exhibit various characteristics that can be bothersome to teachers, other students and even themselves. In extreme cases, this type of behavior is called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD.

You may have some of these behavior traits or perhaps you know of others who have them.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.

Short attention span

If you have problems paying attention is easily distracted in class, you may have a short attention span. This is not uncommon among those who watch television a lot. Also, a short attention span may be related a lack of interest in the subject matter.

It is possible to have your lack of attention go to an extreme. In such a case, you may often look about the classroom instead of at the teacher or chalkboard. You may not read directions or follow instructions and then make silly mistakes. Some students with this problem are often forgetful and often lose things necessary for doing tasks. Others are very disorganized.

Also, when in a conversation, you may not pay attention to what the other person is saying and seem rude or uncaring. It takes a lot of self-discipline for you to be able to maintain attention.


Some students are impulsive, blurting out answers before questions have been completed.

You may even have difficulty waiting for your turn and often interrupt or intrude upon others. You also may try to dominate activities, interfere in what others are doing, or quit a game or activity before it's done. You also may often be disorganized and fail to plan ahead.

If this is the case, you need to learn to control your impulsive nature and make it useful to you.


To add to the problem of having a short attention span and being impulsive, some students are also hyperactive. These students often get restless sitting in class and may fidget with their hands or feet or squirm in their seats. They may also talk excessively.

If you have difficulty engaging in activities quietly and even act as if you are driven by a motor, you may have this problem. This is called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. People are not sure what exactly causes the problem—whether it is medical, genetic or behavioral—but it seems that boys have the disorder more than girls.

If you have this type of excess energy, it can be managed and harnessed into something productive.


Some students have a short attention span to an extreme, where they even have problems paying attention in a conversation. Other students may also be impulsive. If they also are hyperactive, they may have a condition called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD.

If you may have some of these behavior traits or perhaps you know of others who have them, it is good to try to harness that energy and creativity to become a champion in school and in life.

Be at your best

Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials


Good Grades Resources


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Top-rated books on Hyperactivity

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