10 Best Nootropics for Studying, Exams & Tests in 2024 for Students (Faster Learning)

Updated on March 5, 2024
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)
Exploring the impact of nootropics on student learning, studying, and exam preparation.

Nootropics are powerful supplements that may help improve brain health and brain function.

“Smart drugs” are cognitive enhancers that boost mental performance and maintain healthy cognition.

As societies have become more competitive, schools have also allowed for fierce competition to foster.

As studying requires cognitive function, many students have become more reliant on nootropics or smart drugs to improve their academic performance.

With the vast array of nootropic supplements offered in the market due to their increasing popularity, students should consider the most effective nootropics to help their studying. This nootropics review includes the best research-backed nootropics for studying.

Nootropic stacks maximize and boost nootropics’ effects of cognitive enhancement by combining two or more nootropic compounds. A nootropic stack may also resolve multiple cognition functions in one supplement. The right stack can be as effective as synthetic nootropic supplements. You may refer below to choose the best nootropic stack for studying.

Best Nootropics for Studying

  • Mind Lab Pro — Best for boosting focus and memory for faster learning
  • Qualia Mind — Best for enhancing mental clarity and energy for exams
  • Gorilla Mind Rush — Great for increasing focus and concentration when studying
  • Modafinil — Great for improving wakefulness and alertness during tests
  • Armodafinil — Best for promoting alertness and reducing fatigue
  • Adrafinil — Great for relieving anxiety and stress
  • Bacopa Monnieri — Great for memory enhancement
  • Citicoline — Best for increasing brain energy and cognition
  • Panax Ginseng — Best for enhancing concentration
  • L-Theanine — Great for modulating neurotransmitters

How to Choose the Best Nootropics for Studying?

Selecting the right nootropics for studying involves considering several factors to ensure they align with your cognitive needs and study goals.

FactorDescriptionWhy It’s Important
Ingredient ProfileThe specific nootropics included in a supplement.Different ingredients target various aspects of cognitive function and studying needs.
DosageThe amount of each nootropic ingredient in a serving.Proper dosing is crucial for effectiveness and to avoid potential side effects.
SynergyHow different ingredients work together in a stack.Complementary ingredients can enhance overall cognitive benefits.
Purity & QualityThe quality of the nootropic compounds and manufacturing standards.High purity reduces the risk of contaminants and ensures you’re getting what you pay for.
User Reviews & FeedbackExperiences and ratings from actual users.Real-world outcomes can provide insight into a product’s effectiveness and reliability.
  • Ingredient Profile: It’s essential to examine the specific nootropics included in a product. Each ingredient should have evidence supporting its efficacy in enhancing cognitive functions relevant to studying, such as memory, focus, or mood stabilization.
  • Dosage: Ensuring the nootropics are dosed at effective levels that align with the scientific literature is crucial for their intended benefits to manifest. Overdosing can lead to adverse effects, whereas underdosing might result in negligible effects.
  • Synergy: Nootropics can work in synergy, meaning the combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects. A well-formulated nootropic stack can provide more comprehensive cognitive support compared to single ingredients.
  • Purity & Quality: The best nootropics for studying should be sourced from reputable suppliers and manufactured under stringent quality controls. Purity guarantees you’re getting a safe and effective dose of the active ingredients.
  • User Reviews & Feedback: While scientific evidence is critical, user reviews can provide additional context on how a nootropic performs in everyday scenarios, such as during intense study sessions or exams.

The Best Nootropics for Studying of 2024

According scientific evidence and customer reviews, the 10 best nootropics for studying and students are:

1. Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro is a universal supplement with 11 high-end cognitive enhancing ingredients like n acetyl l tyrosine that support six different cognition pathways. The 11 ingredients complement each other in the stack and collectively improve cognitive performance. These affect all kinds of people like athletes, office workers, and students.

Mind Lab Pro may increase focus, motivation, and memory. It is also known to help in long-term studying sessions, regulate energy levels, and enhance mood. Included in this preformulated nootropic stack are B vitamins that increase absorbability.

2. Qualia Mind

Qualia has the most advanced fully-loaded formula that includes 28 nootropic ingredients intended to enhance focus, attention, and memory formation abilities. The advanced formula of Qualia Mind also contains B-vitamins, vitamins C, and D3 that help in the optimization and synthesis of neurotransmitters.

This stack also contains caffeine for that needed energy boost for long-term studying. Non-caffeinated versions are available too.

3. Gorilla Mind Rush

This Gorilla vitamin is a stack that helps increase focus and memory retention. Besides its effective cognition-enhancing ingredients, this nootropic is also the only nootropic stack to not provide hang-over-like effects.

4. Modafinil

Modafinil, with the brand name Provigil, is a prescription drug used as a narcolepsy treatment. As this drug decreases the risk of a condition that causes uncontrollable drowsiness, its stimulating effects are comparable to cocaine or amphetamines’ outcomes.

However, animal studies have indicated that, unlike cocaine and amphetamines, this nootropic drug offers a lower risk of dependence. Modafinil also helps sleep-deprived adults in reducing fatigue and increases memory retention.

Although not as addictive as other drugs, high dosages of these prescription medications increase dependency. Hence, monitoring of modafinil intake is advisable.

5. Armodafinil

Armodafinil reduces the risk of extreme drowsiness attributed to narcolepsy and other sleeping disorders. These nootropic sleep-preventing supplements aid students to stay awake during long hours of studying.

Although armodafinil is known to help sleep-deprived people feel awake, this pill does not replace the value of rest and hours of sleep. Armodafinil does not directly correlate to a sleep disorder cure.

6. Adrafinil

It is no surprise that students often stay up late, cramming or catching up on school works. So that your brain can keep up with the midnight grinds, adrafinil is a good nootropic. Initially, this nootropic was an anti-narcoleptic drug. Eventually, militaries have adapted the intake of adrafinil to help them in their lengthy operations. This experience can be correlated to study sessions.

Also a replacement to Adderall, this effective nootropic works through the stimulation of dopamine receptors. Although it does not reach the degree of Adderall, this stimulation can give students an increase in focus and motivation while they study for long periods. Unlike Adderall, Adrafinil does not contain as many negative results.

7. Bacopa Monnieri

As hectic studying schedules require fast absorption of newly acquired information, you will need to boost your cognitive function: memory. Bacopa monnieri is an ancient herb and natural nootropic used in Ayurvedic medicine that has established a firm reputation in students as the best nootropics for memory.

Studies have indicated that bacopa monnieri nootropics are memory-enhancing drugs that help decrease short-term memory incidences. Not only does Bacopa Monnieri improve memory, but a study has also concluded that Bacopa Monnieri herbs are nootropics that improve visual information processing. Bacopa supplements are also known to reduce anxiety levels.

8. Citicoline

Intense study grinds and studying marathons will need mental energy sustenance. Citicoline or CDP Choline may boost the energy levels of your brain. Besides maintaining steady energy throughout the midnight study sessions, CDP Choline nootropics may also improve focus and attention. It may also branch into two compounds.

Choline resolves memory, learning, and cognitive functions. Meanwhile, Cytidine promotes neuronal membrane growth. Other nootropic cholines, such as Alpha-GPC, may replace choline. But, cytidine remains unparalleled.

9. Panax Ginseng

The Panax ginseng root is an ancient medicinal plant known to help the enhancement of neuronal functions. Studies have suggested that an intake of one 200 to 400 mg dose of Panax ginseng improves the brain’s mental processing operations. Panax ginseng can aid in studying, especially in math problems, and reduction of fatigue instances.

However, the process of how Panax ginseng affects the brain is still obscure. However, experts have theorized that the root’s anti-inflammatory effects protect the brain from oxidative stress and enhance brain performance.

10. L-Theanine

L-theanine may help in the promotion of a proper studying mindset. It is because it enhances relaxation and improves attention span. The sole reason why green tea increases relaxation and calmness is the presence of L-theanine. L-theanine is a psychoactive amino acid that can regulate stress levels and maintain alertness.

However, given the variations of L-theanine concentrations in leaves, drinking green tea is not an efficient method to consume this nootropic. Students often resort to isolated doses of L-theanine to maximize its efficiency.

Caffeine is another psychoactive amino acid that is in green tea. You may choose to opt for tea, as it has higher caffeine levels than coffee. Effects of caffeine include increased attention and decreased accuracy.

The complementary addition of caffeine and l-theanine fills in the gaps of both nootropics. The alert-but-calming inducing L-theanine and energized-but-jittery enhancers of caffeine combination result in increased concentration without the strains. You can choose to follow an l-theanine dose after your desired caffeine type intake.

What to Consider Before Buying Nootropics for Studying?

Before you invest in nootropics for studying, it’s important to weigh several considerations to ensure you make an informed decision that aligns with your academic needs and personal health.

1. Potential Interactions with Other Medications

Before adding a nootropic to your regimen, consider any medications or supplements you’re currently taking. Some nootropics can interact with other drugs, altering their effects or leading to unintended side effects.

2. Short-Term vs. Long-Term Benefits

Some nootropics offer immediate cognitive enhancement, while others may require consistent use over time to achieve the desired results. Determine your study goals and choose a nootropic that aligns with your timeline.

Ensure the nootropics you’re considering are legal in your region and align with any ethical guidelines, particularly if you’re in a competitive academic or professional environment.

4. Your Baseline Cognitive State

Understand your current cognitive strengths and weaknesses. Choose a nootropic that targets areas you want to improve, rather than opting for a one-size-fits-all solution.

5. Research and Evidence

Look for nootropics backed by clinical research and studies that demonstrate their efficacy. Trustworthy brands will typically provide references to scientific studies on their website or product packaging.

How We Picked the Top Nootropics for Studying

We employed a comprehensive review process to identify the best nootropics for studying. Among the factors considered were effectiveness, ingredients, brand reputation, transparency, production quality, user feedback, price, and value. By examining each of these aspects, we have compiled a reliable and well-rounded list of the top studying nootropics.


We evaluated clinical trials and user experiences to measure enhancements in focus, learning capabilities, and information retention, which are critical for effective studying.


We carefully inspected each formula, emphasizing proven, natural, and high-quality ingredients that boost cognitive function during study sessions.

Scientific Evidence

We consulted peer-reviewed research and meta-analyses to confirm the effectiveness of the essential ingredients in promoting studying efficiency.


We evaluated the ideal dosages and ingredient ratios of each nootropic, ensuring they conform to research-based recommendations for maximum benefit.


We corroborated the safety of individual ingredients, taking into account potential side effects, interactions and compliance with regulatory guidelines. FDA-approved ingredients were given priority.

Brand Reputation

We assessed the credibility and trustworthiness of the brands through customer reviews, expert endorsements, and company history.

Product Transparency

We appreciated products with complete disclosure of ingredients, including their sources and concentrations, empowering consumers to make educated decisions.

Manufacturing Process

We took into consideration manufacturing standards, giving priority to products made in certified facilities and adhering to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

User Reviews

We scrutinized real customer feedback, paying special attention to testimonials highlighting enhanced focus, learning capabilities, and overall cognitive improvements during study sessions.


We compared product prices to ensure they were competitive and reflected the quality and effectiveness of the studying nootropic.


We gauged overall value by considering the balance between price, quality, and effectiveness, ensuring that the product offers an optimal return on investment.

Do Nootropics Work for Studying?

With nootropics’ brain-enhancing promises and growing popularity, it can be difficult to differentiate whether these claims are only a part of a marketing ploy or not. One source may tell you that focus pills promote increased concentration. One source may tell you otherwise.

Some small studies have inferred that these vitamins have fulfilled their claims as brain boosters, especially with the Bacopa Monnieri herb. However, large and controlled research papers have concluded the opposite. These papers have highlighted research gaps. These gaps hamper the identification of the efficiency of these vitamins in enhancing brain functions.

The lack of evidence has led authorities to advise safety precautions before buying the advertised medicine.

Side Effects of Nootropics for Learning & Studying

Like with any medical prescription, negative side effects are always at risk in taking medications. Study drugs are no exception. Especially with prescription medicines, doctor consultations are a must before nootropic intake.

You should always remember to put the safety of our well-being on top of our priority list. Hence, you should consider taking these safe vitamins.

The three aforementioned premade nootropic piles are the safest cognitive boosters to take. They contain the least negative aftereffects as they include well-researched and natural ingredients. These are ideal for students that have tight schedules with no room for discomfort.

The only ingredient of these pre-made medications is the inclusion of caffeine. However, Qualia Mind offers a non-caffeinated version of its product.

Meanwhile, the three mentioned synthetic nootropics, known to increase alert levels through histamine stimulation, contain a series of corollaries. Consequences include uncontrollable shaking, increase in blood pressure, and palpitations. These synthetic vitamins are also known to increase the risk of medication dependency of humans. It is because of their dopamine stimulation.

Nootropics for Studying in Summary

The highly competitive society has also compelled education institutions to up their competitions as well. All-nighters and intense grinds are at the standards of normality in pupils. To keep up with the fast-paced and lengthy academic flow schools require, neuro boosters and maintenance are essential.

Whether you are cramming to study a month-long lecture in one night or just aiming to challenge your academic game, these nootropics for studying can help you. These smart pills can make you feel unbeatable in times of academic pressures and stress.

Nootropics are known to supplement the cerebrum. But, with heavily advertised medications, it is still important to be wary before purchasing a nootropic. Although they promise engaging claims such as to reduce the risk of attention-deficit with increasing concentration, a doctor’s prescription is still advisable. Safety should always be the top priority.

Hopefully, the advised nootropics for studying mentioned above can aid you in your purchase decision process in embarking on the nootropic journey.