Memory exam as good as IQ test

Posted: September 15, 2009

A recent article from the UK publication, The Sunday Times, reports that working memory tests are a better indicator of academic success than IQ tests.

Jonathan Leake discusses the increasing importance of the working memory, (the ability to manipulate and keep information online for a couple of seconds), and its role in determining how well a person will do academically and professionally.

The article refers to Tracy Alloway, director of the center for memory and learning at Stirling University, who has done research suggesting that tests of children’s working memory helped predict their grades more accurately than IQ tests. She is quoted as saying: “Critically, we find that working memory at the start of formal education is a more powerful predictor of subsequent academic success than IQ.”

Leake argues that computers and the internet are making our brain’s ability to store information less crucial since it is so easy to outsource this ability to modern technology, thus causing our brain’s ability to process and manipulate information to be more important.

But Alloway’s research on working memory had little to do with the changing landscape of modern technology and how we store data, but rather focused on the importance of working memory in allowing our brains to function effectively. She argues that working memory is “relevant to many aspects of modern lifestyles”.

Cogmed has shown that working memory can be improved by training, using our program and method, and slowly but surely the insight that working memory is key to academic performance is gaining ground. Time for new thinking in the world of education?

Click below to read the full article: