DNA plays powerful role in how students do on exams

Pupils sit a guardian
Image via Guardian. Credit: Alamy

Differences in children’s exam results at secondary school owe more to genetics than teachers, schools or the family environment, according to a new study.

The research drew on the exam scores of more than 11,000 16-year-olds who sat GCSEs at the end of their secondary school education. In the compulsory core subjects of English, maths and science, genetics accounted for on average 58% of the differences in scores that children achieved.

The findings do not mean that children’s performance at school is determined by their genes, or that schools and the child’s environment have no influence. The overall effect of a child’s environment – including their home and school life – accounted for 36% of the variation seen in students’ exam scores across all subjects, the study found.

Read the full, original story: Genetics accounts for more than half of variation in exam results

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