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What the GED Can Teach CEOs

Do computers help people think better? Based on data from the GED, the high school equivalency degree, it sure seems that way: On paper, 72% of students passed. On computers, 88% did. (Starting in January, the test goes all-digital.)

[Illustration by Alan Lewis]

Lesson for education:

Students think better when they pace themselves.

"They were able to focus better because the computer delivers one question at a time, and they weren't overwhelmed by all of the questions and the bubble sheets," says CT Turner, director of public affairs for GED Testing Service.

Lesson for business:

Employees train better when they pace themselves.

"The use of technology in the workplace is moving to 24/7 availability, allowing people to spend less time away from working, to essentially a model in which they are learning all of the time," says David Metnick, managing director at Accenture.

A version of this article appeared in the December 2013 / January 2014 issue of Fast Company magazine.

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