What are Cognitive Skills?

Cognitive skills are the core skills your brain uses to think, read, learn, remember, reason, and pay attention.

Working together, they take incoming information and move it into the bank of knowledge you use every day at school, at work, and in life.

Each of your cognitive skills plays an important part in processing new information.

That means if even one of these skills is weak, no matter what kind of information is coming your way, grasping, retaining, or using that information is impacted.

In fact, most learning struggles are caused by one or more weak cognitive skills.

Enables you to stay focused on a task for a sustained period of time. 

If this skill is weak there will be lots of unfinished projects, jumping from task to task before completion.

Enables you to stay focused on a task despite distractions. 

If this skill is weak you are easily distracted.

Enables you to remember information while doing two things at once. 

If this skill is weak you find difficulty multi-tasking, frequent mistakes occur.

Enables you to recall information stored in the past. 

If this skill is weak you tend to forget names, do poorly on tests, forget things you used to know.

Enables you to hang on to information while in the process of using it. 

If this skill is weak you have to read the directions again in the middle of a project, difficulty following multi-step directions, forgetting what was just said in a conversation.

Enables you to reason, form ideas, and solve problems. 

If this skill is weak you find yourself frequently asking, “What do I do next?” or saying, “I don’t get this,” struggling with math, feeling stuck or overwhelmed.

Enables you to analyze, blend, and segment sounds. 

If this skill is weak you struggle with learning to read, reading fluency, or reading comprehension.

Enables you to think in visual images. 

If this skill is weak you face difficulties understanding what you’ve just read, remembering what you’ve read, following directions, reading maps, doing word math problems.

Enables you to perform tasks quickly and accurately. 

If this skill is weak you find most tasks are more difficult, take a long time to complete tasks for school or work, frequently being the last one in a group to finish something.