Adam Grant, a well-known Organizational Psychologist and Psychology Professor at the Warton School of Business, recently wrote an excellent opinion piece in the NY Times titled: The SATs Will Be Different Next Year, and That Could Be a Game-Changer (NY Times, Sept. 20, 2023).
Please read this article by Adam Grant and his take on timed tests.
Here is my response:
“Thank you, thank you, thank you for highlighting the negative impact of timed tests!
As an ADHD Specialist, I have been preaching to teachers and parents that Speed does NOT equal Intelligence for over a decade. Starting in Kindergarten, if you ask most children how they know who the “smartest” kids in the class are, they will often respond that they are the ones who raise their hands the quickest and turn in their tests the fastest. As a result, bright, ambitious children who struggle with slower processing speed, anxiety, and poor time perception get the negative message that they are not “smart.”
“Processing Speed,” the fluency with which the brain receives, understands, and responds to information, is an Executive Function Skill that varies significantly in individuals and has NOTHING to do with intelligence. Children and adolescents with ADHD often have deficits in Processing Speed. Also, individuals with ADHD have difficulty perceiving the passage of time – their internal clock is not as accurate.
As Adam Grant highlighted, anxiety also impacts performance. When we add pressure to a situation, we decrease one’s ability to perform. Roughly 33% of individuals with ADHD struggle with anxiety, so adding time pressure further exacerbates their challenges.
Teachers and curriculum developers need more training in understanding the impact ADHD and Executive Function challenges have on learning.
We know better – let’s do better!”
Here is a related article “How Fast is Smart?”