Executive Functioning: Why It’s So Important & How We Can Help

executive functioning

If you’ve taken a psychology course, you’ve probably heard the term executive functioning. If you’ve never heard it before – or if you have, but you’re blanking – the definition of “executive functioning,” courtesy of Merriam-Webster, is:

“the group of complex mental processes and cognitive abilities (such as working memory, impulse inhibition, and reasoning) that control the skills (such as organizing tasks, remembering details, managing time, and solving problems) required for goal-directed behavior.”

As you can imagine, when it comes to studying, taking tests, and ultimately applying for college, executive functioning is of the utmost importance. Without executive functioning, we’d be unable to do things like taking initiative, completing schoolwork, meeting deadlines, and staying organized.

That said, we’ve all got our strengths and weaknesses. There’s a large debate in psychology around the subject of executive functioning – is it a fixed trait, or something that can be improved with practice? However, what is well agreed upon is that changes in habits and learning strategies (also known as compensatory mechanisms) can be used to boost performance on tasks that require executive functioning. And that’s where The Enrichery comes in.

We all know people who are pretty impulsive, or struggle with problem solving, or are notoriously scatterbrained. Or maybe one of those applies to you! There’s no magic trick for suddenly ridding yourself of less desirable traits, but there are plenty of skills you can develop in order to compensate for them.

Do you struggle with managing your time? Our academic coaches will work with you to manage your time more effectively, follow a realistic schedule, and get organized.

Do you have a hard time using critical thinking to solve problems on the SAT, ACT, or other tests? We offer one-on-one test prep, unlimited mock tests, and plenty of strategizing so that you can improve your skills.

When it comes to executive functioning, everyone is different. Some students will need much more help staying organized, while others need assistance figuring out a study method that works. We’re well aware that one size does not fit all, and that’s why we create individualized test prep programs and coaching plans to help you improve the areas you’re weaker in.

So, the moral of the story? Whether you’re in the camp that we cannot improve the mental processes and cognitive abilities that make up our executive functioning or the camp that absolutely can, there are always skills, tips, and tricks that we can utilize to strengthen our overall executive skills. And what better time to start than the beginning of a brand new year?