Using BrainWare SAFARI Cognitive Skills Development Software Raises Test Scores

A group of third-grade students in Fillmore, California, had a leg up as they sat down to take the California State Test (CST) in 2013. These students were part of a district pilot of BrainWare SAFARI, a software program that develops students’ cognitive processing skills, such as attention and processing speed, and executive functions such as planning and working memory. Results from the district’s pilot implementation during the 2012-2013 school year showed consistent improvements across the board on state test scores, in both English Language Arts (ELA) and Math compared to students who did not use the program.

The students who used BrainWare SAFARI performed better than a control group of students, looking at the difference in test scores from second grade in 2012 to third grade in 2013. The change in English Language Arts was 17 scaled score units better for the BrainWare students, who also narrowed the gap between their scores and the median state score. Similar improvements were found for English Language Learners as well as for fluent English-speaking students. In Math, the improvement for the BrainWare SAFARI students (19 scaled score increase) also exceeded the state-wide growth, while the control groups’ scores declined. While the trend was consistent for English Language Learners and fluent English-speaking students in Math, the difference for the English Language Learners was highly significant.

The most dramatic improvements were observed for certain students with special needs. Previously research published in Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal has shown that students with specific learning disabilities who used BrainWare SAFARI were able to raise their cognitive processing to the level of normally developing students and thereafter made dramatic gains in reading and math. Two Fillmore students receiving special education services who used BrainWare SAFARI raised their scores on a cognitive skills test by 22 and 14 percentile points respectively. The former student’s California State ELA score rose from the Far Below Basic Level in 2nd Grade to the Advanced Level in 3rd Grade, with their math score moving from Below Basic to Proficient. The latter student’s California State ELA score rose from Below Basic to Basic, while their math score improved from Basic to Advanced.

Based on the results of the pilot, the district decided to expand its use of BrainWare SAFARI to a broader base of students for the 2014-2015 school year, with some students having started on the program prior to the end of school in June.

“BrainWare SAFARI is going to be the great equalizer. It is the next frontier on how we should educate our students,” said Dr. Alan Nishino, Superintendent of the Fillmore Unified School District who retired at the end of June 2014.

About BrainWare® SAFARI
BrainWare SAFARI develops 41 cognitive skills in a comprehensive, integrated and engaging way, based on over 40 years of clinical collaboration. The areas of skill development are grouped into six areas: Attention, Memory, Visual Processing, Auditory Processing, Thinking, and Sensory Integration. BrainWare SAFARI was named one of the Top 100 Products of 2011 by District Administration Magazine, and has earned an impressive array of awards including the Software and Information Industry CODiE Award as Best Education Game or Simulation; a Parents’ Choice Award, a Teachers’ Choice for the Family Award; the Academics’ Choice Mindspring Award; a Mom’s Choice Award; a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of Educational Publishers and the Parent Tested Parent Approved Seal of Approval. For further information, visit or call 877-BRAIN-10 (877-272-4610).

About the Author:

Andrea Jones

Andrea Jones is a technology specialist in Virginia. A former French teacher, she currently supports technology integration in a middle school.