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Cognitive Skills

What are cognitive skills, and how do they impact everyday life?

Cognitive skills are the underlying brain skills required to remember, think, reason, pay attention, read and learn.

Here are the cognitive skills that processes information and makes up your IQ:


Sustained Attention
What it does: Enables you to stay focused and on task for a sustained period of time

Selective Attention
What it does: Enables you to stay focused and on task despite distractions

Divided Attention
What it does: Enables you to remember information while doing two things at once

Long-Term Memory
What it does: Enables you to recall information stored in the past

Working Memory
What it does: Enables you to hang on to information while in the process of using it

Logic & Reasoning
What it does: Enables you to reason, form ideas, and solve problems

Auditory Processing
What it does: Enables you to analyze, blend, and segment sounds

Visual Processing
What it does: Enables you to think in visual images

Processing Speed
What it does: Enables you to perform tasks quickly and accurately, especially when under pressure

What are the symptoms of weak cognitive skills?

Is there some sort of a checklist to use?

Yes, there is - though it should be used as a general guideline only

Our first point of departure is always a comprehensive Cognitive Skills Assessment. 

Whether you're an average, good or brilliant person wanting to sharpen your brain skills even further, or someone struggling with one or more weak cognitive skills that are making life harder than it should be - a weak cognitive skill or combination of weak cognitive skills could present as one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Lots of unfinished projects
  • Jumping from task to task
  • Easily distracted
  • Difficulty multitasking
  • Battling to keep paying attention for a period of time
  • Frequent (same/similar) mistakes
  • Forgetting names
  • Difficulty retrieving information on the spot/under pressure
  • Doing poorly on tests or exams
  • Have to go through the information you need to know before a meeting or test or exam shortly before you need it - otherwise you forget
  • Forgetting things you used to know
  • Having to read directions or instructions again and again
  • Difficulty visualizing
  • Difficulty remembering or following multi-step directions
  • Forgetting what was just said in a conversation
  • Frequently asking "What do I do next?" or saying " I don't understand" or "I don't get this"
  • Struggling with math and doing word math problems
  • Feeling stuck or overwhelmed - difficult finding a starting point
  • Struggling with learning or reading, reading fluency or reading comprehension
  • Difficulty remembering what you've just read
  • Difficulty following directions, reading maps
  • Taking a long time to complete tasks (at school, university or at work), frequently being the last one in a group to finish something, the "slow" one, usually battle to finish tests, exams or time-restricted work assignments

Click here to schedule a Cognitive Skills Assessment