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What test takers can learn from athletes about a 24% GPA boost and 13% increase in confidence
November 21, 2018
“the GPA of [the] “brain training group” had increased by 24%… [and] a 13% increase in self reported confidence”
Still, one brain workout has been largely ignored until recently…
Thousands of cutting edge scientific studies are finding the value of mindfulness-based brain training exercises for academic achievement. Just as an athlete works on cardio to improve endurance, a student should use a mindfulness-based practice to build up attention span. When an athlete lifts weights to get stronger, a student might use mindfulness to strengthen memory. The parallels between physical fitness and brain fitness are endless.
Mindfulness powered brain training literally increases the density of “grey matter” in our brain.
If your team’s coach thought you needed to strengthen your biceps, you would do concentration curls. On the flip side, if you had a hard time focusing on tests, your tutor should recommend the appropriate brain training exercises.
So what is an easy way to get started with some “brain pull-ups”? Below is an easy ten step guide to begin practicing. If you have specific questions set up a meeting with a Granite Prep educator to discuss your goals and needs.
Find a comfortable seat and sit upright
Close your eyes
Take a couple deep breaths
Notice any sounds or scents in the room
Notice the ground beneath your feet
Notice what your breath is doing (don’t change it – just notice)
Begin counting your breath 1 on the in breath 2 on the out breath (again we aren’t trying to control or influence our breath just gently count)
Once you reach a count of 6 start back at 1
If you notice your mind wanders just bring it back to whatever number you last remember being on. No need to feel frustrated with yourself, simply bring your attention back to your breath; you are building the “focus muscle” of your brain.
Every time you get distracted and focus back on your breath you have done a “brain pull-up”
After 10 mins is complete open your eyes and go about your day!
Source: “Students with Test Anxiety Score 8-Points Higher (out of 100) After 3 Week Mindfulness Course”
…after the training, however, the GPA of the “brain training group” had increased by 24% for the semester whereas the “no brain training group” didn’t see any change in GPA.
GPAs of the students were recorded and then compared to GPAs at ten weeks later. Before the training, the two groups had very similar GPA’s, after the training, however, the GPA of the “brain training group” had increased by 24% for the semester whereas the “no brain training group” didn’t see any change in GPA. The students who received the mindfulness training also saw an increase in academic confidence. These students enjoyed a 13% increase in self reported confidence. Once again, the group who did not receive any brain training did not see any change in confidence. The results from the study are shown in the table below (to read the full study click here).
Just like with any exercise, you won’t start noticing the results right away. Just like it takes time to build muscle, it takes time to build our brain.
At Granite Prep we feel it is critical to maintain the highest integrity with our statistics, so we publish t-statistics and confidence intervals for all our figures. The t-statistic for the difference in academic achievement between our groups’ pretreatment was 0.846 (not statistically significant ). This is a good indication that the groups were infact randomly assigned. The pretreatment difference in confidence was 0.858 (not statistically significant), again speaking to the randomly assigned nature of the groups. The t-statistic of the difference between treatment and control groups after the ten weeks was: 3.62 (p<0.001) and 4.86 (p<0.001) for GPA and confidence respectively.
If you don’t know what these numbers mean, but you are interested check out this great course on research statistics!
Grantly Neely is a certified KORU mindfulness teacher, founder of Granite Test Prep and Nashville native. For more about Grantly and his amazing team of educators CLICK HERE
Franco C., Mañas I., Cangas A.J., Gallego J. (2010) The Applications of Mindfulness with Students of Secondary School: Results on the Academic Performance, Self-concept and Anxiety. In: Lytras M.D., Ordonez De Pablos P., Ziderman A., Roulstone A., Maurer H., Imber J.B. (eds) Knowledge Management, Information Systems, E-Learning, and Sustainability Research. WSKS 2010. Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol 111. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg