Neuroscientist says PSAT score related to simple arithmetic skills


    Do I have this right? It sounds like the people who didn't do so well on the PSAT, who used their right brain, "overthought" the simple arithmetic problems, by using the (subjective?) quantity-related part of their brain. the students who did better used the fact-retrieval department.
  2. jcsd
  3. Pretty interesting. I have never taken a PSAT. Is it more about plugging and chugging equations or conceptually hard problems?
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  4. Basically the same as the SAT. There will be some word problems that involve basic algebra, some basic geometry, etc.
  5. I've never taken a SAT either. I'm guessing it has to do with the fact that people who use the quantity part of their brain are looking for numbers to plug into equations while people using the fact-driven part of their brain are trying to solve the problem.
  6. I think it's the opposite. The people who accessed the left hemisphere area he mentioned were simply recalling the previously learned fact that 7-3=4, while those who accessed the right brain area that processes matters of quantity were the ones who were actually trying to figure out the difference between the two quantities, 7 and 3 from scratch. The latter is much more time and energy consuming.

    It sounds to me like the moral is: the people who do better on the PSAT would be those who don't have to re-invent the wheel each time a wheel is called for. They just pull one off the shelf.
  7. I assume the SAT is something like an IQ test? I always found that I went really slowly with a lot of them because I was trying out lots of possible ways of solving it, but I assume that being able to know automatically which way is right way is related to IQ. I mean IQ is the thing that an IQ test measures... If the PSAT is something completely different then disregard this, obviously!
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