Higher test scores

One Silva technique boosts test scores one letter grade

In a research project conducted at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, students raised their test scores by one letter grade when they used the Silva Method's Three Fingers Technique.

3 Fingers Technique artwork"From the results of this study," Dr. Harry E. Stanton wrote in an article that was published in The Journal of the Society for Accelerative Learning and Teaching (SALT) in the fall of 1986, "it would seem reasonable to conclude that the Three Fingers Technique is able to facilitate short-term improvement in second year high school students' examination performance."

Sixty students, 34 boys and 26 girls attending a typical middle-class high school served as the subjects of the study.

These students took eight school subjects in common, and the marks that they recorded in these subjects at the Term 2 examinations were averaged. Students were paired on the basis of these marks, one member of each pair being allocated at random to an experimental group and the other serving as a control.

At the beginning of Term 3, the experimental group learned the Three Fingers Technique. They were asked to use it to help them absorb written material and the information they were given in class.

A week prior to the Term 3 examinations, they were taken through the technique again, particularly as it applied to test taking.

After completion of the Term 3 examinations, the average mark of the eight subjects taken in common by the 60 students was computed. This was compared with that derived from the Term 2 examinations.

The results looked like this:

Group Time of Testing
Term 2 Term 3
Experimental: 63% 72%
Control 64% 63%

Those who had learned the Silva Three Fingers Technique improved nine percentage points, while the control group actually dropped one point.

To put it another way, the experimental group improved their scores more than 14 percent over their previous average when they used the Three Fingers Technique.

"The technique is a very simple one which students have no trouble in learning," Dr. Stanton wrote in a report published in the Journal of the Society of Accelerative Learning and Teaching (SALT).

"Initially, their curiosity is piqued; later their interest is maintained as they find it becoming easier for them to remember the material they read and hear about in the classroom," he continued. "Success breeds success. As students use the technique with increasing confidence in its effectiveness, so they seem to cope more capably with their school work."

"This technique is one which has wide applicability to everyday life," Dr. Stanton said. "Silva suggests its use as a trigger for better mobilization of the mental faculties in virtually every situation where thinking is required."

He described the technique as "a simple conditioned trigger which we can use to focus our faculties. By doing the conditioning while in the relaxed state, our suggestions become more powerful.

"Thus, when we invoke the signal at a later date, it is likely to be more successful in achieving the result we desire. After all," he added, "that is what counts.

"Does the technique actually help us achieve what we want? The results of the study reported in this article suggest that it does, and that further testing of its effectiveness is in order."

The 3-Fingers Technique and other study and test taking techniques are covered in the Choose Success home study course and in the Speed Learning excerpt from the Choose Success Course.

Avatar photo

About Jose Silva Jr.

Joe documented his father's trailblazing research, and helped manage the Silva business. He has authored several Silva books.