“I failed my maths GCSE 10 times. After taking the Cognassist assessment, I passed and developed learning retention strategies for life.”
Meet Stephanie Davies, Customer Success Manager at Cognassist.
Stephanie took our cognitive assessment after struggling to pass her Maths GCSE during her apprenticeship. The assessment insights helped her pass her exams and develop vital learning strategies for the future.
Now, she works at Cognassist and passionately believes that every individual deserves the chance to understand and unlock the potential of their own cognition.
What Stephanie had to say…
Q1: Before being introduced to Cognassist, what was your experience of learning? What challenges were you facing?
I’ve always struggled with learning.
I was diagnosed with dyslexia at age seven, so I knew I had learning needs from a young age. This became more obvious throughout my education journey, especially when I reached high school and began studying for my GCSEs.
I received additional tutoring for maths and English, and while I passed my English, I failed my maths multiple times. This was an extremely frustrating experience for me, and unfortunately, I left college without attaining my maths GCSE.
It was only through my apprenticeship and from the insights based on my Cognassist assessment that I finally not only passed my maths GCSE but also found out the sole reason why I was struggling.
My tutors would use the usual strategy for dyslexia – yellow overlay – to try and make things a bit clearer for me, but it did not help me retain information. That was the bit I was struggling with.
I would sit with my tutors, do a question with them and could understand and answer it fine with assistance. The problem was I couldn’t keep that information retained for the long term. Unfortunately, when it came to the exams, without the right strategies and reasonable adjustments, I kept getting the same result time and time again.
Q2: Can you tell me more about your assessment experience and how the results impacted your learning?
I identified on the assessment in verbal memory. This means that I struggle to retain and recall verbal information.
I have never hated learning, its more I just associated it with being very difficult for me.
Once I learned what made learning so difficult for me, it was honestly transformative. It was a light-bulb moment for sure – everything about my learning experience just started to make sense. It was so much easier to learn once I had that knowledge.
That it’s not just dyslexia, that actually I also struggle with verbal retention of information.
What was good about Cognassist was that it didn’t just identify the cognitive domain that I struggle with but also highlighted my cognitive strengths such as visual perception.
So with this insight, my tutor introduced strategies such as using colour recognition to help me recall and retain information. We had colour on everything! This made the biggest difference, and then a month later, I passed my maths GCSE – much to the delight of my apprenticeship provider and myself.
Q3: How have the results of your assessment helped you post-education? For example, in your place of work?
Failing exams multiple times despite trying repeatedly can wreak havoc on anyone’s self-esteem and confidence.
So for me, the Cognassist assessment and its insights brought clarity and hope.
It wasn’t that I just couldn’t do maths, it was that my brain just needed to be taught a different way. It needed slight tweaks in learning methods for it to perform optimally. Something as simple as having time to process verbal information through recordings or using colour recognition systems for information recall made all the difference.
There is something about understanding yourself, your uniqueness that brings out a different side to you.
Well, that is the point, isn’t it?
I didn’t initially understand it as uniqueness, as cognitive diversity. Now I do. I understand what makes me tick and what makes me perform at my best. And that brings a new level of confidence and drive.
It didn’t end with just passing my maths exam. The insights I got from my assessment with Cognassist enabled me to develop learning and daily performance strategies for life.
For example, I colour code my calendar at work and I record every important meeting so that I have time to process verbal information at my own pace.
Another vital component in all of this is the need to remove the stigma. There is a stigma attached to having a learning need and I am very grateful to be at a company where this is being addressed.
There is a cultural shift that a lot of businesses need to go through.
This isn’t about tolerance, it’s about acceptance and understanding that your team should be diverse. The more brains that think differently, the better for your business. You’ll get more input and more innovation. Having different perspectives in a company is a gift and should be nurtured.
I would like all businesses to be open-minded and embrace the need for diversity of thought. It first starts by understanding that we are all different. We all have superpowers and some of us struggle in some areas more than others. With acceptance and flexibility, we can draw on strengths and accommodate areas of weakness so that everyone has the chance to thrive.
Here’s to no employee being left behind
Stephanie’s story is just one of thousands.
Thousands of individuals who are failed from a ‘one size fits all approach.’
Thousands whose confidence is shattered and who are left frustrated and confused as they work harder but for the same result.
Stephanie proves the power of understanding your own cognition. Once her tutor understood her needs in verbal memory, it was much easier to introduce tailored, effective but simple strategies that helped her to achieve her best.
And the results and Stephanie’s success speak for themselves.
If you want to learn more about how our cognitive assessment could help your learners or employees, please get in touch.