By the same authors

From the same journal

From the same journal

The high heritability of educational achievement reflects many genetically influenced traits, not just intelligence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Published copy (DOI)


  • Eva Krapohl
  • Kaili Rimfeld
  • Nicholas G Shakeshaft
  • Maciej Trzaskowski
  • Andrew McMillan
  • Jean-Baptiste Pingault
  • Kathryn Asbury
  • Nicole Harlaar
  • Yulia Kovas
  • Philip S Dale
  • Robert Plomin


Publication details

JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
DateAccepted/In press - 10 Sep 2014
DatePublished (current) - 6 Oct 2014
Issue number42
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)15273-15278
Original languageEnglish


Differences among children in educational achievement are highly heritable from the early school years until the end of compulsory education at age 16, when UK students are assessed nationwide with standard achievement tests [General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE)]. Genetic research has shown that intelligence makes a major contribution to the heritability of educational achievement. However, we show that other broad domains of behavior such as personality and psychopathology also account for genetic influence on GCSE scores beyond that predicted by intelligence. Together with intelligence, these domains account for 75% of the heritability of GCSE scores. These results underline the importance of genetics in educational achievement and its correlates. The results also support the trend in education toward personalized learning.

    Research areas

  • Academic achievement, Twin studies, Behavioural genetics, General cognitive ability, Personalised learning

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