Fact of the Day: Only 12% of Academic Success Stems from Good Genetics

3 years ago



Don’t trust anyone who says genes can help you excel in studying! What’s more important - genes or environment? Scientists have long been bothered with that question, and finally they seem to have discovered the answer! The Typical Student team is delivering the fresh out of print experiment results.  


Gene discovery and polygenic prediction from a genome-wide association study of educational attainment in 1.1 million individuals” by James J. Lee, Robbee Wedow and others has revealed the shocking truth about the origins of our academic potential. A total of 1.1 million people were screened for genetic variants associated with time spent in school. Here are the key findings:



  • 1,271 regions of the genome are associated with educational endurance;
  • Genetic regions account for about 12% of the differences in time spent studying;
  • About 90% of the variation in time spent studying is caused by other factors;
  • Genes located near these regions are active in the nervous system. They take part in its development, in adulthood, or both.

It has to be said that the study results may only be relevant to the European populations, since the researchers targeted people of European descent. The scientists were also looking at the African-American population. At that, testing the same genetic markers on them revealed “they were only weakly predictive of educational attainment.” It is supposed that there is a set of “social factors [that] have historically dominated their access to education.”

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