Math Skills Genetic

Are Math Skills Genetic?

While it may not come as a surprise to everyone, a recent study on Primary school maths tuition has shown that mathematical skills might actually be inherited by a child depending on the hereditary factors and the culture he grows in.

What’s in the Numbers?

Mathematics is a subject that is not a piece of cake for everyone. While some child prodigies can do long calculations on the tip of their fingers, some might be taking several maths tuition just to get that one concept clear in the mensuration chapter.

While maths may not be the most loved subject by far, it definitely is one that helps a child lay his foundations to learn several other important concepts in further studies. So, whether you like it or not, you will have to make sure you get your basic mathematics right in order to progress in any field.

What’s the New Revelation?

Challenging all the norms laid by the secondary mathematics teacher, the Johns Hopkins University has come up with a new study that signals that your maths abilities might be directly related to your forefather’s ability to do the calculation!

With the help of the influential Time Magazine, the university was able to publish the findings of the experiment in a magazine, which goes by the name “Developmental Science.” The study was as follows:

The Pre-Requisites

A team of researchers at the Johns Hopkins University came up with a term known as “number sense.” Number sense was defined as the ability of a person to figure out numerical patterns in the environment around them.

For instance, a child who does not have to have any previous knowledge of mathematical functions in order to have a numbers sense. Numbers sense is something more observatory while math abilities are the practical or theoretical application of those terms.

The Experiment

There was a group of 200 four-year-old kids selected for this experiment. They were given simple tests such as:

  • Figuring out which pattern has more dots
  • Verbal tests about numbers
  • Mathematical tests about natural objects

The aim of this test was to check if toddlers who had a better number sense were better at mathematical functions as well, and the results were quite shocking!

The Result

Contrary to what was believed, these tests proved that kids with a better number sense were, in fact, much proficient in math skills compared to those with poor number sense. So a kid who is going to maths tuition seven days a week can blame his forefathers for not developing a keen sense of numbers.

While the result itself might be shocking, it raises many more questions as well. With the world getting more competitive, the kids with poor number sense might have a hereditary disadvantage in comparison with their competitors. This might come as a relief or grief to people.


Developing mathematical skills at the right age is a crucial part of growing up and learning advanced things. You should not feel discouraged to take maths tuition in case you have problems in learning a subject. It’s the effort that makes it worthwhile after all.

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