BYU named one of America’s top 25 ‘brainiest’ colleges

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A BYU student plays the Lumosity game and tests brain endurance. (Aaron Fitzner)

March Madness may reveal the best athleticism in America, but Lumosity revealed today’s “brainiest” colleges around the United States, ranking BYU no. 22 in the nation.

Lumosity claims to be a brain training company. According to its blog, Lumosity has ranked 461 colleges across the nation based on an analysis of its database of human cognitive performance.

According to Lumosity Vice President of Research Bob Schafer, the database examined results from over 75,000 college students who played brain games as part of the Lumosity Fit Test, a test offered to all Lumosity users.

Schafer said he found the performance of these brain games to be strongly correlated with standardized test scores.

“Other college rankings, like the ones in U.S. News & World Report, are based on factors ranging from academic performance to alumni giving and financial resources,” Schafer said. “The student bodies of these (Lumosity tested) schools have memory, speed, attention and flexibility skills that make them stand out.”

BYU has ranked in some of these national reports that are based on classic admission factors such as ACT score, average GPA and test scores.

“I think that over the past few years the standard for admissions at BYU has risen to a higher level,” said BYU senior Samantha Rich, who said she has played Lumosity games before. “The average ACT score and participation in extracurriculars has all gone up.”

According to U.S. News’ 2019 rankings, BYU ranks No. 66 overall in the national universities category and No. 11 in the best value schools category, which takes into account the school’s academic quality and cost.

On top of that, the average BYU alumni starting salary is $55,800, which is $11,000 above the national average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The study breaks down the college rankings by game, each of which targets a particular cognitive area, according to Lumosity, which the company says attests to its commitment to research in advancing their understanding of human cognition.

“I think that BYU is generally a challenging school, so the students that do get in are already at a higher level and perform higher academically,” Rich said.

Rich says she has played numerous Lumosity games before and feels they have greatly improved her memory.

“Some of the students that do play brain games like Lumosity’s are clearly using games to keep their brain active, so you’re getting another level of intelligence,” Rich said.

Rich said she thinks Lumosity games are a good way to encourage student development as opposed to just doing school work and writing papers.

“It goes with anything though,” Rich said. “If you exercise your body, you’ll get fit. Same goes with your brain: exercise it, and its performance will increase.”

According to Lumosity, the games correlate with testing scores.

“It turns out that performance on these games is strongly correlated with standardized test scores, and many schools at the top of the list won’t surprise you,” Schafer said.

According to Lumosity, the games that Lumosity provides on the app are free to anyone and will match an individual’s score with their University if the student uses a “.edu” email to register or connects with an IP address correlated to a college or university.

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