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GBN Alum Invents Digital Watch for Standardized Testing

Jordan Liss is 20 and taking business classes at the University of Michigan while running a company he founded to sell digital watches.

Jordan Liss, 20, is a Glenbrook North alum who now studies business at the University of Michigan. For the last two years, he's been running a company called Testing Timers, which sells digital watches with special timers designed to aid in standardized testing.

"The idea came from a problem that I was having when I was taking the ACT," he said. "There was a discrepancy between the scores I was getting on the practice tests and the scores I was getting on actual tests."

Liss wrote the watch's functionality, then found a manufacturer to write the watch's programming and produce the device. It's now on sale for around $45. 

The Testing Timers watch breaks down sections of the ACT and SAT into preset timing units, which activate when the section begins, giving students specific markers representing the key points in each test and an easy-to-read total time remaining countdown that leaves students with no doubt about how much time they have left. 

"Over 30 different tutoring centers are implementing the watches in their curriculum," Liss said. The watches are implemented in standardized test tutoring facilities in more than 10 states. 

"The real success that Testing Timers has had is that the students who are using the watches are increasing their score on the ACT," Liss said. "The watch doesn't have answers to questions, just wearing the watch isn't going to make you score better."

"The overall goal of Testing Timers is to even the playing field in the test room," he added. "What makes up a poor test taker is not so much the knowledge, but more like anxiety and time management."

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