Gemm Learning vs Traditional Test Prep
How our program provides another source of point gain
There are three distinct ways that ACT and SAT scores can be improved:
- Familiarity with content, tactics and strategies.
- Building the underlying reasoning and cognitive skills being tested.
- Performing well on test day with test-taking skills, such as attention stamina and retention, honed to their very best.
Traditional SAT tutoring and any number of do-it-yourself web sites and books do a great job of covering the first category.
Gemm focuses on #2 and #3. The brain is plastic. If exercised appropriately gains in the cognitive ability and test-taking skills are not only possible, they are probable.
Not only can our SAT test prep course boost test scores, but also the gains endure — an often profound change that helps in the years following the SAT. This is in contrast to hiring an SAT tutor which all about the test. There are no lasting gains.
Traditional test prep courses leave a major source of score gain untouched. The SAT in particular is a test of fundamental reasoning and cognitive abilities, skills our program impacts.
Do not under-estimate the potential for a boost
Neuroscientists count 40+ different skills involved in the process of reading comprehension. For most children, the overall learning mechanism is functioning well, but that is not to say that pretty much every child does not have a boost available to them somewhere in those 40 skills.
There have been a number of student trials where learning intervention software, brain re-wiring software built for remedial use, has been given to above grade level students — in all cases those children have had similar types of boosts as with struggling learners.
Because there is so much inter-connectedness in learning — for instance, weakness in language impacts development of reasoning skills — small improvements can be powerful, with major ripple effects that impact all kinds of seemingly unrelated abilities.
This is what makes the relatively recent discovery of brain plasticity so exciting. The brain is malleable and able to adapt and improve. One of the reasons that nature has added this ability to the brain is because of this learning complexity — almost nobody is born with all skills firing to their potential and so every brain needs to be capable of gains. Hence the great trial results Fast ForWord has had with its gifted and talented classes.