In the present era, the academic institutes have become highly competitive. The study is becoming tougher with each passing year.

This has placed a lot of burden and demand on students to study well, hard and achieve good grades to achieve their career goals.

Not all the students are equal in learning and cognitive capabilities. Therefore, increasing number of students is looking for something that provides them with an edge in enhancing their learning capabilities.

According to the recent survey study, it has been found that more than 30% of the students have tried out some sort of study drugs also called smart drugs.

The smart drugs referred to as Nootropics are cognitive enhancers which help the students to enhance their learning, memory and cognitive functions.

While many of the cognition-enhancing drugs are considered unsafe and illegal, the Nootropics category comprise of safe smart drugs that can be securely used by college students.

Before we proceed further with the discussion of which smart drugs are effective and good for the college students, you should understand what Nootropics are.

What are Nootropics?

The ‘Nootropics’ is a broad term that refers to a variety of synthetic as well as natural brain supplements which offer various benefits to the users.

The scientific evidence proves their safety and they can help to enhance the numerous brain functions without producing any side effects.

There is a wide array of nootropics available for accomplishing various goals.

Some of the smart nootropic drugs are meant for promoting alertness, focus, and attention while others are for inducing good sleep. Still, there are some which boost immunity to diseases and enhance physical well being.

Primarily, these nootropics speed up and regulate the neurotransmitter activity in the brain by transforming their sensitivity or increasing production of these brain elements.

What Nootropics do?

Depending on the type of nootropic you are taking and its mode of action, nootropics can perform a variety of functions.

Their actions also differ in different individuals. Generally, following effects are observed in people who use nootropics:

The competition in the educational field has become extremely fierce. Due to the rising study costs, the students have to survive through the burden of studying and doing the job at the same time. In this race, everyone wants to perform their best in all fields of life.

The most common problem that college students face is the maintenance of their grades and passing their exams.

This combined with the burden and the need of earning money often causes a decline in both fields.

Nootropics can be of great help for the college students as they stimulate the activity of brain preventing anxiety and stress while promoting enhanced memory, learning, and other cognitive functions.

They also help in increasing the motivation level among students as well as mental capabilities which enable them to get better scores at in their assessments.

How can nootropics be helpful for the students?

All kinds of nootropics work to enhance brain functions but their effects for different individuals can be different.

Following are few ways in which the nootropics can prove helpful for the college students:

  • Enhance the capability of studying

    There are nootropics which are known to enhance intelligence by improving the activity of neurotransmitters within the brain which helps in propagating brain signals.

    The newly acquired information is stored and maintained way better in the memory which helps improve intelligence.

  • Enhance memory

    The use of nootropics for college students helps them to enhance all aspects of their memory and mental performance.

    As the use of nootropics helps to speed up the learning process, students are able to prepare for their tests and exams in a better way.

    In addition to improving memory, they also improve the process of recall.

  • Help in maintaining social life

    Being a college student does not mean that you only have to study. It also involves extensive social interactions with students and teachers.

    This is necessary for achieving career goals and to develop communication skills for better employment prospects.

    Every person is not a socialite. Some have social anxiety while others have a fear of speaking in public which can be a hindrance in the way of success.

    Some nootropics help to suppress the anxious thoughts while reducing inhibitions which prevent them from facing people and interacting with others.

Top 7 Nootropics for college students

  • Oxiracetam

    OxiracetamMany of the degree programs, as well as diplomas, falls in any of these two categories:

    • Logical learning or reasoning
    • Creative thinking

    Those students who are studying economics, maths, or science subjects would fall under the logical learning category and could take advantage of Oxiracetam.

How does it work and what is the dosage of Oxiracetam?

It works by increasing the activity of left hemisphere of the brain which processes logic, reasoning, analysis, and facts to name just a few features.

It would promote the logical thinking hence helping students to understand numerical concepts in a much better way.

The dosage recommended for Oxiracetam is between 1200-2400mg on daily basis.To obtain best results, you should divide it into 3 doses, for instance, 400mg taken 3 times a day.

However, it is advisable to start with the low dose to see its effects and then gradually increase it.

  • Aniracetam

    AniracetamIf you fall into the other category of students called creative thinking then this smart drug is for you.

    It is suitable for those studying literature, arts or philosophy.

How does it work and what is the dosage of Aniracetam?

This smart drug for college students targets the right side of the brain which is responsible for creative and imaginative thinking, non-verbal expressions and feelings.

It helps to reduce stress, anxiety while boosting your mood. It allows free flow of ideas which enhance the ability of abstract thinking.

The recommended aniracetam dosage is between 750-1500mg on daily basis. However, it is recommended to start with the low dose and observe its effects then increase it gradually if required.

  • L-theanine

    L-theanineL-theanine is useful for those who have trouble in staying focused or need to boost their motivation to study.

How does it work and what is the dosage of L-theanine?

It is an amino acid which improves energy levels while reducing the negative impact of stress.

The studies have proved that it is an effective drug for increasing focus and provide support to brain’s health.

The recommended dose of this smart drug for college students is 200mg daily however you will commonly find this supplement brands offering 250 mg dosage.

How does it work and what is the dosage of Noopept?

Due to the psychostimulant effect of noopept, you can study with precise and laser focus.

It effects are nearly similar to that of piracetam but it is actually a synthetic molecule that is not a member of racetam family.

It crosses the blood-brain barrier and inhibits the breakdown of glutamate which enhances cognitive functions. The increased oxygen supply to the brain helps to boost focus and elevates mood.

The recommended dosage for noopept is 10-30mg on daily basis. You can either take it once daily or can divide the dose to take 3 times daily for cramming sessions however the dose should not exceed the 40mg mark during 24 hours.

Take it no longer than 56 days continually at a time. Many users achieve best results with the use of 1-3 weeks and then taking a month off.

  • Pramiracetam

    PramiracetamWhen you are preparing for exams or for some test, it is vital to have a capability to retain and memorize information.

    It is one of the most commonly used smart drugs for improving the capacity of memory and learning, maximizing brain functionality and improving the capability to focus.

    It can also be combined with other smart drugs to further enhance its effects.

How does it work and what is the dosage of Pramiracetam?

It is a fat-soluble compound that targets certain neurotransmitters indirectly causing acetylcholine release by increasing the uptake of high-affinity choline. This helps to improve the learning speed, long-term memory, and concentration.

The recommended dosage of this smart drug is 300-600mg on daily basis. You can take it once in a day or can divide it into two doses daily.

It normally starts working within 30 minutes of ingestion. It has a relatively longer half-life (4-5 hours) so if you decide to divide the dose, take one in the early morning and second in the early afternoon.

How does it work and what is the dosage of Alpha GPC?

It is naturally found in our body but at lower levels. It is commercially produced with higher concentrated doses for enhancing memory and reducing the aging effects on the brain.

It is a water-soluble compound so acts quickly and the users can feel its effects within an hour of taking the dose.

It is recommended to take 300-600mg of Alpha GPC on daily basis. However, generally, adults can tolerate it well so the dose range can be increased depending on individual requirements.

It can also be split into 2 doses of 600-1200mg and has been found to be effective and safe.

If you have not tried it before, it is recommended that you start with a lower dose and increase it with the passage of time as required.

You can also stack it with other nootropics specifically with those of racetam family which makes its use even more beneficial for studying.

  • Adrafinil

    AdrafinilIf you are not getting the kick you need for a morning start for your study sessions then try Adrafinil. It is also referred to as Olmifon.

    This nootropic compound is particularly useful for its eugeroic effects. In simple words, you can say that it is a supplement that promotes wakefulness.

How does it work and what is the dosage of Adrafinil?

This smart drug for college students copies a similar response that you experience during the ‘fight or flight’ state of your body.

It raises the hypocretin, dopamine, norepinephrine and histamine levels in your body which affects your state of alertness.

It is recommended to take 150-300mg of Adrafinil on daily basis. As it is one of the most powerful nootropics so it is advisable to start with a low dose.

This will give a time to your body to adjust to its effects and then you can increase it slowly.

It is also recommended that you cycle this drug. This means that take it for 2 weeks then take 1 week off then again take for 2 weeks and take 2 weeks off.


Remember that it is not recommended for anyone has liver problems because it has been found to raise the level of certain enzymes within liver which cause damage.

Bottom line

Motivation, focus, attention, and retention have become difficult for the students due to demanding and challenging study programs.

The use of these helpful and legal smart drugs for students will give them a boost and enhance their learning, motivation and focus so that they could achieve their study and career goals with success. This will help them to become productive citizens of the society.

Jennifer Kurtz studied medicine at the New Jersey School of Medicine (Rutgers). She is passionate about developing her knowledge of Cannabis, Nootropics, Kratom, and nutritional supplements. In addition to attending medical webinars and conferences, she loves to write research-based articles for magazines, healthcare professionals, and medical agencies.