Reading Struggles? Here are 4 Tips to Improve Standardized Reading Achievement Test Scores

istock_20213284_xlarge-300x200Just because your child is smart does not mean they are 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 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 the brain is not going to perform well. Children’s brains burn through energy very rapidly and needs a consistent supply of fuel. Feed your kids meals that are 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 are great options.


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

Lack of sleep

Sleep deprivation is known to decrease everything from attentiveness & response time to short-term memory & 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 that will 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 eachand every night & avoid foods that contain sugar, food dyes or caffeine.

Weak cognitive skills

Standardized tests do not just quiz kids on what information they know; these tests require them to also 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 & visual processing, comprehension, logic & 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 the students who completed a 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 and train 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