Executive Function Strategies Blog

How Non-Cognitive Variables Can Help in the College Admissions Process

Editor’s note: This week, we feature guest blogger Karen Spencer, Director of Educational Counseling for Bright Horizons College Coach. Please read more about Karen below.

Ask any high school junior going through the college search process about the one thing that scares them most and you’ll usually hear them say “standardized tests.” The SAT and ACT tests have been around for a long time (the SAT will be 100 years old in 2026!), and so have students’ fear and loathing of them. While I don’t know any students that love standardized tests, they tend to be more problematic for some students than others. The bright side is that many, many schools read holistically in their admissions process, which is to say that they look at many factors outside of just the numbers—the “non-cognitive” aspects of an application—and this focus can be very helpful for a student who struggles with standardized testing. 



The Anxious College Student: An Executive Function Connection

College students have plenty of fuel for anxiety. They’re in a social and academic environment that’s significantly different than any that they’re used to. They’re often trying to balance course work with a job - in addition to social and family obligations. And they’re doing all this while also trying to chart out a plan for their entire future (and trying not to think too hard about all the student loans they’ll need to repay upon graduation). While that is a lot to handle, some of that anxiety can be mitigated with upgrades to the way that they manage their demands, or their Executive Functioning. The two students you’ll be reading about show the connection between anxiety and Executive Function - and how learning more effective self-management techniques can help to lighten the emotional load.



How to Navigate Student Supports in College

Editor's note: This week, we feature guest blogger Janet Price, Director of Admissions and Outreach at College Living Experience in Rockville, MD. Please read more about Janet below.

Support in college for students with learning disabilities includes accommodations ranging from extra time on exams to a note-taker or copies of the professor’s notes. However, obtaining and accessing those accommodations requires you to be on top of your game when it comes to Executive Functioning skills.



How Can High School Students Have a Productive (and Fun!) Summer?

Editor's note: This week, we feature guest blogger Steven Cruz, , M.A., President and Founder of Omega Educational Consulting, Inc. Please read more about Steven below.