Cognitive Training for Better Academic Performance

Cognitive Training for Better Academic Performance

Nov/Dec 2017 – Published in POPCLUB Education Guide

By Ric Chong MBPsS, Assoc MAPS, MEd PsyEd (Manchester), MSc (Keele), BA (Hons) (Wolverhampton)

For over a decade in my teaching and cognitive training career, I have worked with many students aged 4-17 years to develop their cognitive abilities for achieving better academic performance.

In general, good working memory and IQ are fundamental to attaining better academic results. The food news is that, both working memory and fluid intelligence (IQ) can be increased drastically through evidence-based cognitive training. With the improvement of working memory and IQ, students will proceed to learn how to engage the cognitive approach when completing work related to their school subjects, thereby improving their academic performance accordingly.

Over the years, I’ve encountered innumerable cases involving highly intelligent children who, despite channeling laborious efforts into their academic studies, were not performing well in school. Memory-related problems emerged as the primary issue that the majority of these children faced.

Cognitive training can be used to improve working memory extensively. At the same time, it is interesting to note that there is a transfer effect from cognitive training to measures of IQ, even though the cognitive task is completely different from the IQ test itself.

Innovation and Psychological Science

Based on my research work in university, I have integrated measures of intelligence with cognitive training since 2013, with the hypothesis that the cognitive approach helps students aged 4-17 to enhance their IQ

A study of a sample group from 2013 to 2016 suggests that cognitive training helps in improving the students’ IQ tremendously. Their scores on standardized measures of fluid intelligence improved significantly within 12 months. This finding replicated similar research studies conducted by several universities.


Figure 1

In Figure 1, the evidence of transfer from cognitive training to the measure of IQ, of a Primary 3 (age: 9) girl is presented. She stated cognitive training since K1 (age: 5). Since then standardised IQ tests and drawing tests have been administered to evaluate her IQ and intellectual development regularly for evidence of transfer from cognitive training. After 4 years of cognitive training, her IQ score is not above 140, equivalent to the 95 percentile rank of students aged 16.5 years old. This implies that her intellectual ability is as high as the top 5% of students aged 16.5 years old.

Thinking and Remembering

Based on the data collected such as IQ scores and drawing tests as shown in Figure 1, the improvement in a child’s IQ is dependent on the duration of cognitive training the child receives. Results seem to indicate that, the longer the duration of cognitive training, the greater the increase in the IQ of the child, which may in turn, translate into better academic performance.

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Ace Your Exams with the Cognitive Approach
Using Imagery to Enhance Memory and IQ
Assessing Your Child’s Intelligence

Articles published with permission from POPULAR Book Co (Pte) Ltd