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Great Minds Don’t Actually Think Alike! By Jessica Bush

Great Minds Don’t Actually Think Alike!  By Jessica Bush, Bergen County Moms

A cognitive assessment can help tutors provide instruction based on how each student learns best – empowering them to reach their full potential.

Memory comes in two different flavors. Some people have an easier time remembering information that they hear or read in the form of words. For others, it’s not words but numbers or images that are more likely to stick.

We ask our kids to remember a lot of stuff, whether it is names and dates for an upcoming history test, house keys, a phone, or even a text to mom to tell her what’s going on. Taking a verbal approach with a kid who is better with numbers or images is likely to include some frustration. Matching the approach to your student’s strengths is much more likely to yield a positive result.

We have recently come across a new tool that can tell us all about a student’s strengths, not just with memory, but also with complex reasoning skills, processing speeds, and even executive functions. This tool – called a cognitive assessment – not only tells us a lot about why some subjects in school are frustrating while others come more easily, but it also gives us invaluable insights into how to make learning easier, more efficient and more enjoyable for each individual student. It is empowering for all students, particularly once they reach middle and high school.

Understanding How Our Brains Work Best

Each of our brains understands and recalls information differently. Unlike tests of academic skill or achievement – which measure what we know – a cognitive skills assessment identifies how an individual’s brain works best. Why is this important? By providing a deeper understanding of a student’s learning profile beyond academics, a cognitive assessment enables educators to instruct each student in a way that makes sense based on how they learn.

Historically, schools have not tested cognitive skills due to the time and expense involved. But the assessment can be a valuable tool for tutors, pinpointing precisely how to address student-specific needs. It also empowers students to take an objective view of their strengths and better handle their challenges, using neuroscience to show them – rather than tell them – how they can achieve academic success.

How a Cognitive Assessment Works

At Tutor Doctor, we have been working with the MindPrint cognitive assessment. MindPrint was developed by neuroscientists at the University of Pennsylvania and is used by leading institutions around the world, including NASA. The one-hour online test can be taken in anywhere and anytime that is convenient for the student.

The assessment measures the 10 essential cognitive skills that fuel lifelong learning and academic growth. It identifies a student’s strengths and needs across four key domains:

  • Complex Reasoning: The ability to make sense of what you read, hear, or see and make connections to previous learned knowledge.

  • Memory: The ability to remember what you read or hear.

  • Executive Functions: The ability to sustain focus and follow through on multi-step tasks.

  • Efficiency: The ability to accurately and efficiently respond to and process information.

Each student receives an individualized learner profile which explains his or her competencies across the 10 skills. The skills are also mapped to academic subjects, offering a clear picture of why some subjects might come easily while others require more effort.

The learner profile is part of the student’s broader Personalized Learning Plan, which provides concrete, evidence-based recommendations and easy-to-follow instructional and study strategies to support individual growth.

“Why” it Works

A cognitive assessment moves beyond standardized test scores to provide key insights into why students are struggling in a specific academic subject. Not only does it produce objective, evidence-based insights, but it gives students and tutors practical, actionable tools that are simple to implement and work with any curriculum.

Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • By understanding student inconsistency, we can anticipate where that student will struggle and apply strategies to address the root cause.

  • By pinpointing the Executive Functions and Memory skills that are impacting a student’s performance, we can focus on helping him or her develop more effective study skills.

  • By accurately measuring the skills your student needs to succeed on the ACT and SAT, the assessment can recommend which test is a better fit for your student. This supports college planning by allowing us to create personalized prep plans that prioritize strategy and guidance on how to optimize scores by subject test.

Supporting a Holistic Approach to Education

We’ve always taken a holistic approach to education. Now, it is backed by objective data that gives us an accurate understanding of each student’s learning strengths and needs – and it is available from the first tutoring session.

Our tutors have found that they don’t have to waste valuable tutoring hours and a lot of good will trying to “figure out” each student. A comprehensive cognitive assessment verifies their own professional evaluations and offers a user-guide for each kid. Lessons become about subject matter, but they also become about teaching students about their own unique set of skills and how to use them. And I appreciate the way the assessment strikes a balance between distinguishing each student’s individual learning strengths and their challenges. Helping students focus on where they excel can help give them the positive motivation to tackle the tough stuff.


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Pay Just $99 for a MindPrint Assessment ($199 Value) and We Will Waive Your Registration Fee.

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Is your college-bound high school student ready? Are you? As schools reassess their admissions criteria, your college-bound high school student must focus on more than their GPA and standardized test scores.

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Want to set your student up for success as they move from middle school to high school?

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Meet Jessica Bush

For Jessica, “making learning personal” is not just a slogan – it’s the foundation on which she has built Tutor Doctor North Jersey and Rockland. For the past 10 years, her instinct for uncovering the unique needs and desires of students and their families – and her passion for helping them achieve their dreams – have been the hallmarks of her tutoring practice.

Jessica understands that learning is often about more than just mastering academics. Whether it’s test anxiety, executive function, or school avoidance, her expertise lies in helping families address even the most complex learning challenges holistically. Families can count on her not only to connect the right tutor with the right student, but to build a support team with a shared commitment to seeing each student succeed – in school and in life.

Tutor Doctor North Jersey, Rockland, Bergen County Moms

Connect with Jessica at (201) 492-1888 or visit

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