Category: Reading

Reading Struggles? Here’s 4 Tips for Improving Standardized Reading Achievement Test Scores

Just because your child is smart doesn’t mean they’re going to ace the ACTs or SATs. There are lots of factors that contribute to test performance results. Here are four of the most important with tips on how to help.

Poor nutrition

To keep cognitive function at its peak, the brain needs “good” fuel. Add the wrong kind of fuel (like processed sugars) or not enough fuel and it’s not going to perform well. Children’s brains burn through energy very, very rapidly and needs consistent fuel. Feed them meals balanced with a portion of healthy carbohydrates, protein and fat. Look for ways to incorporate healthy “brain foods” into your family’s diet on a regular basis. Beans, olive oil, walnuts, blueberries and omega-3-rich fish like wild salmon, mackerel and tuna.


Whether genetic or situational, extreme worry can cause physical responses in the body that hinder a child from performing well on a test. Teach your child relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing or visualization (where they picture themselves doing well on a test). You can also go over material with a child the night before a test to help them feel prepared.

Lack of sleep

Sleep deprivation is known to decrease everything from attentiveness and response time to short-term memory and performance. The Nemours Foundation recommends 10 hours of sleep for kids 6 to 9; 9 hours for 10- to 12-year-olds; and 8 to 9.5 for teens. Here’s a handy chart to help you determine what time your child should go to bed.

Work to create relaxing routines (warm bath, time to unwind, reading) and try to stick to a schedule. Encourage your child or teen to go to bed at the same time each night and avoid foods that contain sugar, food dyes or caffeine.

Weak cognitive skills

Standardized tests don’t just quiz kids on what information they know; they also require them to have strong cognitive skills.

While knowledge is the information you acquire and memorize—such as math formulas—cognitive skills are the tools you need to learn, understand and apply to those math formulas. They include auditory and visual processing, comprehension, logic and reasoning, processing speed, memory and attention. When taking timed tests, one of the most important cognitive skills is processing speed.

reading-achievement-graphA study of LearningRx’s ( ReadRx personal brain training program results found that after training, the group of students made statistically significant gains on tests of World Attack, Spelling Sounds, Sound Awareness and Passage Comprehension. Additionally, 91% of students who completed the ReadRx program showed improvement on state reading achievement tests. The results have been published in LearningRx’s 48-page 2016 edition of “Client Outcomes and Research Results,” which can be downloaded here: 

 Enroll your child in a one-on-one cognitive skills training program to target the fundamental learning tools needed to excel on all types of timed tests. Visit to learn more.


About LearningRx
LearningRx, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is the largest one-on-one brain training organization in the world. With 80 Centers in the U.S., and locations in 40 countries around the globe, LearningRx has helped more than 95,000 individuals and families sharpen their cognitive skills to help them think faster, learn easier, and perform better. Their on-site programs partner every client with a personal brain trainer to keep clients engaged, accountable, and on-task—a key advantage over online-only brain exercises. Their pioneering methods have been used in clinical settings for 35 years and have been verified as beneficial in peer-reviewed research papers and journals. To learn more about LearningRx research results, programs, and their 9.6 out of 10 client satisfaction rating visit To read testimonials from real clients visit



We read for meaning. But for some kids (and even adults), reading comprehension is a struggle.

For some, decoding the words on the page takes so much energy that fully comprehending the meaning of the words takes a back seat. For others, the meaning is grasped but not retained. In fact, research by the National Assessment of Educational Progress shows that one out of four eighth grade students, when asked to read age-appropriate material, can’t understand what they just read.

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What Would Dr. Seuss Say?

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It’s Read Across America Day – a day set aside to encourage every person in America to read or be read to for fun. This annual nationwide observance coincides with the birthday of Dr. Seuss, the American writer best known for creating children’s books and inspiring the love of reading in four generations of kids.

The beloved Doc died in 1991, six years before the first Read Across America Day, and while he would most likely have been tickled with the event, the state of reading in America may have him rolling over in his grave.

A 2007 report by the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA), shows reading literacy has dropped since Seuss was alive. To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence gathered statistics from more than 40 studies on the reading skills and habits of Americans of all ages. The report unveiled trends that Americans are reading less, reading less well, and graduating from school less prepared.

According to the official website of Dr. Seuss, a few weeks before his death, when asked if there was anything he might have left unsaid, Seuss replied, “Any message or slogan? Whenever things go a bit sour in a job I’m doing, I always tell myself, ‘You can do better than this.’ The best slogan I can think of to leave with the kids of the U.S.A. would be ‘We can…and we’ve got to…do better than this.”

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4 Steps to Becoming a Better Reader

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Young GirlHow do we learn to read? It isn’t as simple as you might think. In a recent article, Sabra Gelfond, Speech-Language Pathologist and Executive Director of the National Speech / Language Therapy Center, compared the way we learn to read to the way a house is built. There are four major steps to both, she points out, and in both home-building and brain-building, laying a strong foundation is critical.

Learn to Read: Building Readers, Step by Step

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