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Pupils' genetic data do not predict their educational outcomes with sufficient accuracy and shouldn't be used to design a genetically personalized curriculum or tailor teaching, according to a new University of Bristol study. The findings, which compared the genetic scores of 3,500 pupils with their exam results, are published in the journal eLife today.

Despite some claims that differences in pupils' genetic data could be used to personalize their education or identify those who are likely to struggle or thrive at school, few studies have investigated how accurately genetic measures known as "polygenic scores" (which combine information from all genetic material across the entire genome) can predict future educational performance better than other measures of student aptitude.

To measure whether genetic data could predict a pupils' achievement, researchers from the Bristol Medical School and the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit took genetic and educational data from 3,500 children in Bristol's Children of the 90s study. They compared pupil's polygenic scores with their educational exam results at ages 7, 11, 14 and 16.

Their analysis showed that while the genetic scores modestly... see more