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Helping Gifted Kids Study
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 08, 2017 16:02 PM

Because gifted kids are smarter than their peers, many people do not realize they still must work to learn. While they have exceptional intelligence, they do not just automatically know things - these kids must study too! Parents can assist their gifted kids in learning healthy study habits at an early age. This will help them cruise through primary school and onto higher education with the ability to be extra productive. Here are study tips to work on with your gifted kids:

Time management

Just about everyone struggles with timing - especially kids whose minds are always on the go. Gifted kids can be easily distracted, so it is especially important to help them plan out studying for a big test or working on a complex project during several months or weeks. Gifted kids may feel like they need not study or spend much time on homework because of their intellect. However, slapping together a project the night before it is due can lead to bad grades even though the student is smart. Make sure your gifted children know about crucial school assignments and tests well in advance. Have them keep planners to write this important information down. Then, work out a schedule to prepare, so it is not a last-minute undertaking to get ready or complete the project.

Talk priorities

When adequately stimulated in school, gifted kids will be overwhelmed sometimes. Just like other students, learning new things can be stressful. However, a healthy amount of worry about schoolwork is a good thing! It means your children are being challenged. While struggling to keep up, your gifted kids may become upset and even stop working because they do not know what to do next. Help them prioritize their work based on what is due soon and what requires extra attention. Understanding how to navigate multiple assignments at once is a great skill that will carry over into your kids' postsecondary studies and work lives.

Get visual

Most students have a preference for learning style. Some like hands-on activities, like learning about chemical reactions through doing science experiments in a lab. Others prefer to read about a subject and can remember necessary information. One approach that many kids appreciate is visual learning. For studying, your gifted kids may benefit from a visual medium. They can make pie charts, bar graphs and even presentations to process what they are learning and better remember it all. Making these visual aids serves as hands-on learning, and can further solidify the memory process.

Remember, gifted students are often perfectionists, and studying can be a means to earning that excellent grade. Make sure your children are preparing for future tests and projects but not with such vigor they forget to be kids. While their intelligence levels are high, they are still kids and require emotional growth and learning outside of the classroom. ... READ MORE

IQ Test Information


Can You Increase Your IQ Over Time?
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2017 08:45 AM

Intelligence is something of a mystery. It's not entirely understood why some individuals are born with high intellect and a penchant for learning while others have to work hard to retain information. When we see gifted kids, many adults are prone to wondering if they can gain smarts or if they had to be born with intelligence.

Can you improve your IQ?

For many years, scientists have wondered and argued about whether you can alter your intelligence. Slate reported that researchers have only one real conclusion: While you may not be able to alter your intelligence levels, you can adjust the scores on IQ tests. How? With a little practice. The only trouble is that while you may earn a higher score on a test, that doesn't mean you're smarter. Instead, it shows you are better able to take the specific test.
How is this helpful? This information can provide a look into the human brain and may prove useful for young students who are coming up on taking the SAT, ACT or other college entrance exams.

Gifted kids and IQs

Children who are gifted are born with high IQs. That does not automatically mean they will excel in school and move on to postsecondary education without a hitch. Nor are they guaranteed to take on a challenging profession that requires their exemplary smarts. So, what does a high IQ mean? Think of it as potential. While gifted kids have the ability to become leading members of society, they also may not use their smarts entirely.
Without the proper stimulation and challenges in early schooling years, gifted kids can become bored and act out in class. This may lead to miscommunication, reprimands for misbehavior and negative associations between the student and school. Bad experiences as a kid can lead these gifted students to not use their intellect and opt out of further schooling because they don't want to relive past academic failures.

Improving IQ test scores

While people may not be able to alter their actual IQ, they can improve their intelligence test scores. Students may want to better their test-taking abilities for State Standards assessments, for example, or the SAT or ACT. If you have gifted kids who will soon be taking standardized exams or college entrance tests, consider offering them these tips:

1. Use memory games

Because these tests only require students to remember certain information for a short period, memory games can prove beneficial. On the SAT, for instance, students may make flashcards of vocabulary words. Place the term on one side and the definition on the other. So long as the student plays the game many times, she may greatly improve understanding and memorization of the word. Humans can etch just about anything into their brains for long enough to take a test, from difficult algorithms to formulas, antonyms and scientific terms.

2. Try acronyms 

Remember all those silly mnemonic devices you learned in high school, like "please excuse my dear aunt Mary?" While they may seem goofy, acronyms can be seriously helpful in remembering longer bits of information. Think off the top of your head, can you name all the planets? Most people can't, especially not in order from the sun. With the help of the acronym "my very educated mother just served us nine pizzas," you can quickly run through the letters to name every planet (and poor Pluto). Encourage your kids to use acronyms when they need to recall longer phrases or pieces of info.

3. Stop stressing

Your working memory is affected by stress levels. Kids who are about to take the SAT are all amped up about doing well because they want to get into great colleges and move on to the professions of their choice. This can have a snowball effect, with students' nerves minimizing their brain function and potentially decreasing their scores. Make sure your gifted children get eight or so hours of sleep the night before a test. Share that taking deep breaths right before the exam begins can help them get oxygen to the brain and therefore encourage success.

... READ MORE
How to Increase Your IQ Over Time
MONDAY, JANUARY 16, 2017 09:21 AM

An individual's IQ is not set in stone. In fact, you can take steps to improve your IQ over time with some learning opportunities and activities. If you want to increase your IQ, here are some ways to do so:

Try new things

The phrase, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" is entirely false. In fact, acquiring new knowledge and skills is a crucial step towards upping your overall IQ. One way to do this is to take on a language you have never tried before. Start by studying vocabulary words and learning beginning phrases like, "Where is the bathroom?" and "My name is ____." You could even learn a language with your family! It is a great way for kids to improve their IQs as well as work on English skills.

Gaining a new physical skill can also bump up your IQ. While you may not think beginning to play soccer, for example, can help your smarts, the game is not just about running and kicking. Sports teach physical skills but also improve critical thinking, logical reasoning and cooperation.
Playing an instrument can also prove useful. Even if you have never looked at a music note in your life, beginning to learn now may help you improve cognitive thinking and memory. Try a woodwind instrument like the flute or saxophone, or go for a stringed one such as the guitar or ukulele. Musical knowledge and skills only improve through practice, so don't learn one chord and expect your IQ to rise. Instead, dedicate a period of time each day to learn new chords and notes and practice songs.

Read

A study at Emory University noted that reading novels can improve overall brain function and connectivity. Reading fiction can help people mentally put themselves in the place of the protagonist as the character navigates his world. The very act of understanding the English language as you read also improves IQ, especially if you read books that include words you do not yet know. That does not mean you should go out and try to read the dictionary or an encyclopedia from cover to cover. Instead, read books at your reading level, and slowly work your way up to more difficult books. Use context clues in the sentence around words you do not know to guess what they mean. Then, compare your thoughts with the actual definition. This is a great way to learn - you will be more likely to remember new words if you have first guessed their meaning as you will recall how right or totally wrong you were.

Be creative

Taking time to be creative can benefit people as artistic endeavors are connected to the more logical thinking left side of the brain. An article in Scientific American noted that creative thinking tends to involve switching from conventional and unconventional thought, or one side of the brain to the other. Let's say that you decide to use child's building toys to create a castle, for example. You are paying attention to the color schemes to keep your architecture looking uniform while also making some areas, like turrets and the mote, stand out. This is artistic. You are also using math to ensure the sides are symmetrical as you select pieces and connectors. You are gaining problem-solving skills as well as learning how to innovate, both crucial parts of higher IQs.

Get moving

Try this little experiment: Take an online IQ test at home. Write down your score. Then, partake in some high-intensity exercise like running, rowing or playing a game of soccer. Immediately after, take another IQ test. You may be surprised to learn that you earn a better score after exercising. Many studies state that post-workout brains are flooded with hormones that can improve memory and cognitive functioning. The hormones are potentially beneficial for the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls memory and learning. Regular exercise can improve neuron growth, reducing stress, depression and anxiety which can all negatively impact your IQ and test-taking practices.

Try practice tests

Professor Alan S. Kaufman told Men's Health magazine that taking practice IQ tests can raise your score by up to two full points. Why does this help? Tests are often not just about the subject matter found in the questions. Instead, the actual act of taking the exam is also assessed. Taking practice versions of IQ tests can better prepare you for future tries as you will know what to expect and prepare for.

Also be sure that you have eaten a high-fiber meal within an hour or two of taking an IQ test. This will provide energy so you are at the top of your game and ready to show your real IQ.
... READ MORE
Why that social media IQ test is inaccurate
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2014 10:41 AM

Many people are curious what their IQ scores are, so when a five-minute IQ test circulated on social media, it was no surprise that it spread quickly. These short-and-sweet quizzes seem to pop up every now and then, giving Facebook users the chance to see how smart they are. The only problem is that these quick tests are inaccurate.

IQ scoring
The most recent social media phenomenon awarded an IQ score after the test taker completed a series of 18 questions. People could then post their scores to social media, sharing their perceived intelligence with their friends. However, according to The Mary Sue, the majority of people who took the quiz scored in the 125-134 range. If you know anything about how real IQ tests are scored, you know the majority of people get around 100.

IQ testing is a form of norm-reference test. In essence, the scores are compared to a median score that most people earn. The average intelligence falls around 100. People who are smarter or less smart than average score outside of the normal range. Outlier scores are comparable to a percentage. For instance, a person who scored 124 is estimated to be as intelligent as 6 percent of people.

The quiz alludes to the comparison structure of IQ scores. The quiz tells users how their score compares to the rest of the population. However, it still awards a few too many surprising results.

Testing time
Standard IQ tests, including the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-IV), take a decent amount of time to complete: anywhere from an hour to 90 minutes. Children's IQ tests may not take quite as long (about 40-60 minutes). Each contain a long list of questions that test a person's cognitive abilities based on things like memory. Completing only a few questions won't provide strong enough evidence for how intelligent the test taker is.

While taking a short quiz to fill up a few minutes can be fun, you shouldn't use the assessments as the end all be all. You'll only get an accurate reading of your IQ score by taking exams that are certified by a qualified psychologist. 

Improving your IQ
The quiz was spread on Facebook as an advertising tool. The company says it can help people improve their IQ. While the quiz provides an inaccurate IQ score, the idea that people can improve their intelligence is actually correct. IQ is fluid, and can be exercised. Children are able to improve their IQ the most, as their minds are still developing and learning. Adults can too, just not to such a great degree. 

... READ MORE
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Kids IQ Test Information


Helping Gifted Kids Study
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 08, 2017 16:02 PM

Because gifted kids are smarter than their peers, many people do not realize they still must work to learn. While they have exceptional intelligence, they do not just automatically know things - these kids must study too! Parents can assist their gifted kids in learning healthy study habits at an early age. This will help them cruise through primary school and onto higher education with the ability to be extra productive. Here are study tips to work on with your gifted kids:

Time management

Just about everyone struggles with timing - especially kids whose minds are always on the go. Gifted kids can be easily distracted, so it is especially important to help them plan out studying for a big test or working on a complex project during several months or weeks. Gifted kids may feel like they need not study or spend much time on homework because of their intellect. However, slapping together a project the night before it is due can lead to bad grades even though the student is smart. Make sure your gifted children know about crucial school assignments and tests well in advance. Have them keep planners to write this important information down. Then, work out a schedule to prepare, so it is not a last-minute undertaking to get ready or complete the project.

Talk priorities

When adequately stimulated in school, gifted kids will be overwhelmed sometimes. Just like other students, learning new things can be stressful. However, a healthy amount of worry about schoolwork is a good thing! It means your children are being challenged. While struggling to keep up, your gifted kids may become upset and even stop working because they do not know what to do next. Help them prioritize their work based on what is due soon and what requires extra attention. Understanding how to navigate multiple assignments at once is a great skill that will carry over into your kids' postsecondary studies and work lives.

Get visual

Most students have a preference for learning style. Some like hands-on activities, like learning about chemical reactions through doing science experiments in a lab. Others prefer to read about a subject and can remember necessary information. One approach that many kids appreciate is visual learning. For studying, your gifted kids may benefit from a visual medium. They can make pie charts, bar graphs and even presentations to process what they are learning and better remember it all. Making these visual aids serves as hands-on learning, and can further solidify the memory process.

Remember, gifted students are often perfectionists, and studying can be a means to earning that excellent grade. Make sure your children are preparing for future tests and projects but not with such vigor they forget to be kids. While their intelligence levels are high, they are still kids and require emotional growth and learning outside of the classroom.
... READ MORE
After-School Snacks to Fuel your Gifted Kids
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2017 16:26 PM

Gifted kids need to eat delicious snacks to keep their brains running full speed. Digging into a bag of chips sometimes is not an issue, but junk foods can lead to obesity and other serious health problems. Instead of providing not-so-great options for after-school snacking, here are some healthy alternatives to have on hand:

Cheese and crackers

Typical snacks for kids are full of sugar and offer little nutritional value. Cheese and crackers, however, is a great way for children to enjoy protein, calcium and fiber. Whole wheat crackers, or nut crackers for those with gluten sensitivities, can provide an excellent source of long-lasting energy. Add the protein in the cheese, and your kids will have plenty of energy to play sports and finish their homework.

Fresh fruit

Fruit is a tasty alternative to fruit snacks and other super sweet treats. Fruit has natural sugar combined with fiber, which makes for better energy regulation. Fruit snacks provide a high and a crash, but regular fruit adds extra nutritional value that reduces that intense need to take a nap after snacking. Your children could even dip their favorite fruits into Greek yogurt for some extra calcium and fun.

Popcorn

Unlike chips, popcorn is not fried. You can make this great snack with olive or coconut oil to reduce bad fats. Use a little bit of salt and add some awesome extras like a drizzle of sriracha or a shake of nutritional yeast for extra flavor. You could also make a trail mix with popcorn, nuts and dried fruit to spice things up.

Smoothies

Gifted kids are often on the go and don't have time to make themselves a fancy snack. Smoothies solve this conundrum! Keep frozen fruit, orange juice and yogurt on hand so they can toss the ingredients in a blender for a healthy smoothie. Your children could add their favorite veggies also to provide more vitamins and minerals while amping up the taste. Smoothies are easy to drink while on the way to after-school sports, study sessions or club meetings. Plus, you can make them ahead of time and stash the drinks in the freezer for easy access.

Chips and dip

Tortilla chips, salsa and guac are healthy! Your kids may enjoy making their own salsa or pico de gallo with tomatoes, cilantro and onions. Then, slice up an avocado or stick it in a blender for perfect guacamole. Enjoy with tortilla chips or as full-blown nachos with grilled chicken, olives, cheese and lettuce. The bigger the nachos, the less hungry your kids will be for dinner, so remember that!

Hummus and veggies

Children love dipping just as much as adults! Hummus comes in many flavors, from garlic to spicy hot pepper, and is great with pita bread or any vegetable. Cut up some bell peppers, carrots and celery so your kids can grab some veggies and enjoy them with their favorite hummus variety.

... READ MORE
Does your gifted child need a mentor?
SUNDAY, AUGUST 27, 2017 14:08 PM

Mentors are not just for kids who need a little extra help to keep up in school. In fact, gifted children can benefit from these formative relationships. Think for a second, have you ever been stumped on how to help your gifted students improve on their schoolwork? You might not answer a question because your kids are learning at a higher level than you did in school. Mentors can offer assistance that is unmatched, especially for gifted students enrolled in age-appropriate classes and may seek outside stimulation. Here are some positives of mentoring to consider:

Mentors promote advancement toward careers

Gifted kids may not receive extra attention in class. This means while their teachers may know of specific aptitudes and interests, they are not nurtured. If a gifted kid is really into biology a mentor may be the perfect person to further related learning. Outside of the classroom, the mentor can create and assign stimulating projects, research and homework that will help the student get a sense of the subject and potentially identify a career path to work toward. It is essential that adults who interact with children in an academic setting know of their students' goals and skills so they can guide the kids in the right direction.

Addressing multiple potentials

In an essay published by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education, author S.S. Berger noted that many gifted children have "multiple potentials." This term refers to the fact that often, talented kids have impressive abilities in several fields instead of just one. While a child can be great at math that does not mean he or she is gifted. If that same kid earns incredible scores on math IQ testing and reading, he or she may be considered gifted. Since these children have multiple talents, mentoring is the perfect opportunity to help these students flesh out their abilities. 

Provoking thought and leadership

Teachers in regular classrooms will try to account for the needs of gifted students, but may not have all the resources to adequately challenge them in regular academics. Mentors can serve as thought provokers - individuals that focus solely on gifted kids and can assess their personal needs and interests. Mentors must nurture critical thinking skills and encourage gifted students to look further into their texts and topics they like. These factors can help make sure such students do not become bored or even disruptive in class.

Mentors can provide gifted kids with extra assistance to keep them interested in their schooling and following personal learning endeavors. These individuals can be teachers, community leaders or even just adult friends of high intellect and can work with gifted kids to their benefit. Parents can ask their gifted children's regular teachers for advice on finding a mentor or look to local tutoring services or gifted child meet-ups to see how other parents found their kids' mentors.

... READ MORE
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Personality Test Information


Anxiety symptoms could affect depressed adolescents
TUESDAY, AUGUST 13, 2013 11:18 AM

A total of 40 million adults in the U.S. have anxiety disorders, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. With so many individuals affected by these conditions, it is essential for people to recognize the signs of anxiety disorders as early as possible.

One way to identify early symptoms among adolescents may be to have them take a personality test. If these individuals show signs of depression, they could be at risk of developing anxiety, based on the results of a recent study from Southern Methodist University.

Overall, there were three risk factors that increased adolescents' odds of developing anxiety. In addition to displaying symptoms of depression, these youths also had either a pessimistic outlook on life, low-quality family relationships or mothers with a history of anxiety. Ultimately, it is important to identify signs of anxiety among adolescents before it can harm their personal and academic development.

"Anxiety can manifest as social phobia, in which kids are afraid to interact with friends and teachers, or in school refusal, in which children try to avoid going to school," said Chrystyna D. Kouros, the psychologist who led the study. 

... READ MORE
Players of fast-paced video games may become more aggressive
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 07, 2013 11:59 AM

Earlier this year, a study was published in "Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice" that found that playing violent video games can lead to the development of aggressive and even criminal behavior. Now, new research from Iowa State University once again shows a link between playing video games and increased aggression.

That is not to say video games cannot have a positive effect on players. According to the research, violent and fast-paced video games known as first-person shooters, require individuals to think quickly if they are to advance. This enhances players' visual skills over time.

Unfortunately, players' also experience a reduction in their ability to restrain impulsive behavior. This, in turn, means that those who play these fast-paced games can become more aggressive. 

"We believe that any game that requires the same type of rapid responding as in most first-person shooters may produce similar effects on proactive executive control, regardless of violent content," said Craig Anderson, director of the Center for the Study of Violence at Iowa State University, who worked on the study.

Based on these findings, individuals who play fast-paced video games on a regular basis may want to take a personality test and see if it is time to unplug their gaming console.

... READ MORE
Personality tests could help colleges retain STEM majors
THURSDAY, JULY 25, 2013 10:20 AM

A 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Commerce shows that in the past decade, the growth of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs was three times greater than that of non-STEM jobs. This growth is expected to continue in the coming decade as well, meaning there will be a great need for Americans with a college degree in one of these subjects.

However, many college students who study STEM subjects end up switching their major before graduating. To determine why this happens, researchers from Georgia Tech and Rice universities studied 589 undergraduates at the Georgia Institute of Technology between 2000 and 2008, paying close attention to their personality traits, self-concept and motivation, Psych Central reports.

In doing so, the researchers found that female STEM students tend to switch majors because they have "lower self-concepts in math and science," while men typically have "lower levels of orientation toward mastery and organization."

Based on these results, researchers feel that colleges could better predict students' long-term success in STEM subjects if they look at their Advanced Placement exam scores and personality test results during the admissions process.

... READ MORE
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Career Test Information


Monday is the best day to apply for a job
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 06, 2013 18:51 PM

Unfortunately for job seekers, the best day of the week to apply for a position is typically not included among the results of an aptitude test. Fortunately, Bright.com, a website designed to match recruiters with those who are looking for work, recently determined that the answer to this question is Monday, according to ABC News.

The news source highlighted the findings of a Bright.com study, which showed that 30 percent of job seekers who submitted their application on a Monday continued on to the hiring process' next stage. Only 20 percent of those who applied on Tuesdays were able to accomplish the same, while 14 percent of individuals who applied on Saturdays advanced.

With the holiday season about to begin, some individuals may not think the day of the week matters all that much in their job search. After all, many people believe that companies are more concerned with taking time off during late November and December than looking for new hires.

"Don't assume everyone has closed up shop for the holidays," Bob Corlett, founder and president of Staffing Advisors, wrote in a guest column in the Baltimore Business Journal. "Lots of employers are actively interviewing right now, and most are hoping you can start work in December or early January."

... READ MORE
Report highlights disconnect between job seekers and hiring managers
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2013 15:01 PM

After taking an aptitude test, job seekers may have a good sense of what skills they possess. However, these individuals need to be careful not to become overconfident in terms of what they have to offer. Based on the findings contained in a recent Career Advisory Board report, companies may not be as confident in job candidates' abilities.

Differences of opinion
The new report, which was created using survey responses from 507 job seekers and 500 hiring managers, shows that members of these two groups are out of sync. For example, 56 percent of job seekers said they are confident they know what companies are looking for in potential employees, while 72 percent of them are confident in their ability to share their skills and experience with employers.

However, hiring managers are not as confident in job seekers' abilities, and only 15 percent of these company officials said job seekers have the skills they desire. This disconnect is problematic, as people's overconfidence could be standing between them and the positions they desire.

Growing pessimism
The disconnect between job seekers and hiring managers could also affect individuals' outlook on the nation's economy. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the unemployment rate currently sits at 7.2 percent - the lowest it has been since 2008 - many people seeking employment are becoming pessimistic.

According to the report, 37 percent of job seekers said they have no confidence in the job market's ability to improve next year. This figure is a 7 percent increase over last year's total.

"We're seeing an increasing number of job seekers who are losing hope, but the economy isn't fully to blame," said Alexandra Levit, business and workplace consultant and Career Advisory Board member, in a statement. "Opportunities do exist for job seekers who are able to effectively demonstrate to hiring managers that they have specific in-demand skills."

Economic confidence high among hiring managers
While many job seekers are pessimistic, hiring managers are more hopeful. The report reveals that 86 percent of these professionals are somewhat confident the job market will improve next year.

In fact, 67 percent of hiring managers are so confident in the economy that they do not feel as though they need to settle for job candidates who are not perfect for open positions.

... READ MORE
Students don't have to attend top colleges to get a job
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2013 07:35 AM

As graduation approaches, college students may take an aptitude test to gain a better sense of what type of career is right for them. However, individuals who do not attend one of the nation's top schools may think they face an uphill battle in an already very competitive job market.

If students believe employers will hold their college's reputation against them, they may be worrying for nothing. According to CBS MoneyWatch, officials at many companies understand that not everybody has the opportunity to attend a top institution. Not having a degree from a big-name college is OK.

"It's better to hire a graduate from a B-level college who had an exceptional academic record, as compared to hiring a graduate from an A-level college who had a mediocre or poor academic record," Ford Myers, author of "Get The Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring," told the news source.

New college graduates may be in luck when it comes to their job search, as the National Association of Colleges and Employers recently announced that employers plan to hire 7.8 percent more new degree holders during the 2013-2014 academic year than they did last year.

... READ MORE
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Other Test Information


Playing video games could increase IQ scores
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2014 14:41 PM

Many parents believe that playing video games wastes time and does not benefit their children at all. However, recent studies show that certain games actually increase brain function and develop cognitive flexibility, strategy forming and even increase brain matter in young children. While playing video games might not adhere to traditional methods of increasing IQ scores, practicing critical thinking and problem-solving skills remains one of the most important components of greater intelligence. Here are some ways your child can benefit from playing video games:

Effect of specially designed games on children
Dr. Tracy Alloway of the University of Stirling conducted a study that included more than 600 children from different parts of the world ages 6 to 16. Alloway provided the game Junglememory, which involves 30 progressively challenging levels and targets the memory centers of the brain. Participants tried to remember numbers and patterns that flashed on a screen. Alloway's game then required the children to use the numbers in a separate task. 

The subjects of the study played the game four times a week for eight weeks. Each session lasted approximately 15 minutes.

According to Alloway, 9 out of 10 students who participated in the study showed substantial improvement in their ability to solve mathematical and verbal problems. Some students also scored almost 10 points higher on IQ tests.

Alloway believes that games like these develop the brain's ability to not only recall facts, but use newly acquired information in novel ways. In relation to IQ tests, this means students can increase their ability to retrieve vocabulary and math equations much easier.

Video games increase brain volume
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charite University Medicine took measurements of the study's participants' brain volume before and after playing Super Mario 64. The subjects played the game for at least half an hour every day for two months. The study showed a significant increase in gray matter compared to the control study group that did not play games.

According to the research, the areas of the brain that control spatial navigation, strategic planning and working memory experienced the largest increase in growth.

Strategic games improve cognitive agility
Scientists from the Queen Mary University of London and the University College of London conducted a study that focused on participants' cognitive flexibility. The researchers asked 72 volunteers to play the game StarCraft, a real-time military strategy game, and The Sims, which simulates real-life situations but doesn't require memory or tactics. Those who played StarCraft responded to questions that tested cognitive flexibility faster and more accurately than those who played The Sims. The results suggest that not all video games are created equal. Parents should do research and identify games that strengthen strategic planning and problem solving.  

... READ MORE
Prodigy Profile: Santiago Gonzalez
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 05, 2014 16:43 PM

While some teenage boys are just starting to think about relationships, parties and other types of high school drama, Santiago Gonzalez wonders about efficient computer programming and dreams of solving bugs in a set of code. The Littleton, Colo., native is a child computer prodigy and can write in more than a dozen programming languages. Santiago's aptitude test scores at an early age revealed an incredible mind. Barely a teen, Santiago has developed more than 15 iOS applications and hopes to achieve much in the future.

Early life
As a child, Santiago showed signs of a very high IQ. He understood adult conversations and was consumed with the desire to learn as much as he could. His parents noticed Santiago's love for geology, and by the time he was in first grade, he was reading college texts and adult-level books on rocks and minerals. When Santiago was first given an aptitude test, he scored in the 99.9 percentile.

Santiago's intelligence was a bit of a burden in elementary school. His teachers could not meet his needs and classroom lectures seemed endless and boring because he was not challenged at all. Other students had trouble accepting Santiago's above average intelligence and excluded him from social activities. By sixth grade, Santiago's parents saw that their son needed more than what elementary school could offer, so they brought him to the Colorado School of Mines, a reputable and nationally recognized engineering school. He was tested and accepted into their computer science program. Santiago is expected to graduate college by the age of 16 and complete his master's degree by 17.

Daily routine
Santiago's daily routine is simple, but far from easy. He wakes up at 5:30 a.m. and immediately writes code for one of his applications. After breakfast, he goes to school where he attends classes that he actually finds challenging and interesting, like Elements of Computing Systems and other general education courses. Santiago spends most of his time with faculty. He works as a research assistant for Professor William Hoff, whose focus is on energy efficiency in computer networks. Santiago helped Hoff develop sensor systems now used by the university.

Future of the programming prodigy
Early aptitude tests revealed to Santiago's parents that he needed more than what elementary, middle or high school academics could offer. Mr. and Mrs. Gonzalez knew that their child was gifted, and with the help of the aptitude tests, Santiago was given a chance to excel in school, love learning and work toward his dream of becoming an Apple software developer.

... READ MORE
For managers, there are several approaches to leadership
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 05, 2012 15:28 PM
Every boss has his own unique approach to managing employees. According to CareerBuilder, great bosses tend to be trustworthy and compassionate providers of constructive feedback. At the same time, AOL Jobs states that bad bosses are feared by their workers, controlled by stress and known to micromanage.

However, in some cases, the type of boss an individual becomes may have more to do with their characteristics than the decisions they choose to make at the office. For this reason, those who plan on assuming leadership roles may want to take a business management aptitude test to see what type of manager they might become.

If they pursue this option, they may find that they possess one of the leadership styles Government Executive recently highlighted, such as the democratic leader, who creates a flexible working environment and lets employees have a say in decisions.

On the other end of the spectrum is the coercive leader, who expects immediate compliance from his employees and, as a result, may create a less flexible work environment. If managers want to develop a personal bond with their employees and boost morale in the process, they may have an affiliative leadership style.
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