Our Most Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I know that RTS Success® is for me?

If you can identify with any of the following, this program is for you:

  • You excel at schoolwork and homework, but your performance fades on tests.
  • You struggle with ineffective teachers.
  • You find yourself re-reading information when material is hard.
  • You need to study longer than most to get good grades.
  • You dislike reading.
  • You enjoy reading but you dislike reading when the material is not within your knowledge base.
  • You feel that boring information is not comprehendible.
  • You see yourself as slow reader.
  • You perform poorly on standardized tests.
  • You have trouble finishing the test, even though you know the material.
  • You are anxious about tests and college entrance examinations.
  • You are a parent who fears that your child’s reading ability is not adequate for high school or college.
  • You are a college student who worries about university exams and looming graduate-school entrance exams.

2. How long will it take to complete the program?

Completion time depends on the commitment of the student. A student who puts in the prescribed amount of time will move rapidly through the program and gain knowledge quickly. Students who practice (without distractions) at least five days per week will have much greater gains than those who practice three or four times per week, often losing their weekly skills and slowing the process. Because the RTS Success® program is cognitive training, working only a few days per week but putting in a greater amount of time will not produce the same desired outcomes as working daily. Daily practice is the key to the quickest success.

RTS Success® homework practice is 20-30 minutes per day, 5-7 days per week, until the program is completed. Summer students are expected to practice a minimum of 45-60 minutes per day, 5-7 days per week. Although RTS Success® homework is required daily, RTS Success® practice time has a lifetime payoff, requiring a very short commitment (normally 6-16 months) to attain skills used for successful educational and personal endeavors.

3. What is the difference between tutors, reading specialists, and RTS?

Tutors help students break down key components of text for understanding specific core subject areas, such as English, history, science, math, etc. They reteach after the teacher, reintroducing specific areas of knowledge in a new way so that help students break down key components of text for understanding. Some tutors are trained in mnemonic strategies—memory tricks for learning key information.

Reading specialists use specific reading techniques, such as KWL, DRTA, reciprocal reading, mapping, and reflection, taught mostly at the elementary level, based on their college and continuing-education training. They may also use nationally recognized programs such as Orton Gillingham, Kumon, FAST, Wilson, Sylvan Learning, Lindamood Bell, depending on the teacher’s training and education. A reading specialist has a master’s degree in reading and is also trained to teach some mnemonic strategies for reading.

The RTS Success® Program uses cognitive therapy, a procedure that targets specific areas of cognition. RTS Success® uncovers the student’s innate reasoning skills, which are the building blocks of learning and retaining information. Utilizing specific brain-patterning techniques, the RTS Success® program trains the reader to sort incoming data that organizes information for both reading comprehension and long-term retention. RTS Success® focuses on working memory that transcends into metacognition, training the brain to self-monitor and self-correct while reading textual information. Students are trained to process information efficiently to produce strong, independent, confident readers. Strong readers are strong test takers and writers. Conceptual processing is the foundation for learning, comprehension, and is imperative for higher-level reading and superior test scores.

RTS Success® helps students to thoroughly understand all reading, regardless of content. Homework time is shortened and any frustration turns into triumph. Confidence soars and most importantly, students finally enjoy reading.

4. With school and outside activities, how can I fit in a one-hour session per week plus 20-30 minutes of RTS per day?

RTS Success® has worked with many talented students, including nationally recognized athletes. Many students are worried because coaches say that if they miss out on practice, they will not be able to play. RTS has yet to find a high school coach who hasn’t allowed a student to miss an hour of practice per week, especially when parents approach coaches and express that education comes first.  Also, RTS Success® has yet to find a committed student who doesn’t have 20 minutes per day to become an excellent well-rounded student.

5. Why do I have to practice RTS Success® daily?

Learning anything takes time a practice. The more practice, the easier a task becomes. A student can’t speak fluent Spanish by taking a year’s worth of high-school Spanish. However, if a student is immersed in a Spanish culture and uses Spanish daily with consistency, the student can speak fluent Spanish quickly.

RTS Success® uses specific skill sets that need to be embedded in the brain for easy textual processing and fluency. The common tendency we all have when learning something new is to underestimate the amount of time and effort required. Think back to a time when you first learned a new, challenging skill. You probably had a steep initial learning curve, but after a few months of consistent practice, the skills became easy. Mastering reading requires slow and consistent practice, performing the same skill over and over again, where the task is presented in different forms, until the task is performed perfectly with consistency. Thereafter, you are able to perform the task subconsciously, without thinking about it.

6. Do parents have to participate during sessions?

The RTS Success® policy is that students should attend weekly coach sessions with their parents for supporting skills. Parental engagement produces dramatically improved student results. Regardless of age, parent participation and collaboration with students provides the quickest outcomes.  If students have an immediate homework question (most students complete work independently), parents speak of “extraordinary” homework discussions and discoveries that have immensely supported students’ learning. Also, since many intricate concepts are taught during each intensive coach session, students may miss some important information. Engaged parents help to fill in those gaps. Parents also claim that the best part of learning together is that the parents learn too!

7. Can I choose one of the four components of the RTS program, such as note-taking?

RTS Success® is a complete comprehension program. Comprehension involves retention, which also includes vocabulary, retaining information from RTS Success® note-taking, and gaining top scores through RTS Success® test-taking. Comprehension and vocabulary are taught together, because if you don’t understand and retain words for long-term memory, then you can’t comprehend. Once information is understood, note-taking and test-taking are taught so that students can perform well on testing, and also retain information for both future cumulative testing (midterms and finals), and lifelong knowledge.

8. After completing RTS, do I need to practice daily?

Think about initially riding a bicycle or being a new driver. At first, the skills are raw and the rider/driver has to think about specific tasks while riding or driving. Eventually, riders and drivers find that they are performing tasks without having to think about them. The procedures become automatic and are embedded in the brain. Students who leave the RTS Success® program use their skills daily, because reading is part of everyday life. The learning is never lost.

9. What stats do you have to back up your success?

The Results

  • 92% of all RTS students scored more than two grade levels above their present grade.
  • 8% of the RTS student attained to grade level.
  • ACT Exam: 91% of the RTS students attained a score of 30 or higher.

Between September 2010- September 2015, 287 students were pre and post tested.

Assessment Tools

  • SRI-2 (for Grade 8)Assessed independent reading levels
  • Nelson Denny Reading Comprehension Test (for Grades 9-10)—Assessed grade levels
  • ACT (for Grades 10.5-12, ACT.org)—Initial and final scores were compared (1-36 points)

All students for the study fell within the range of 2-6 grade levels below their current grade.

**Students who did not comply with the prescribed work and were terminated early from the program were not included in the study.

** Pre-testing was performed upon entering the RTS program. Post-testing was 6-12 months after commencement of services.