Many of us parents always want to know how our children are doing in every possible way!
Are they hitting the milestones?
Are they intelligent?
Are they healthy?
Will they have trouble in school?
And the list goes on and on…
Ever want to know how intelligent your toddler is?
Now there is a very simple test that you can do at home to help you predict the future of your child’s school achievement and intelligence. Have I gotten your attention yet?
It could be the simplest test of childhood aptitude ever invented.
It’s a basic test that you can do at home.
It’s called the “The Raisin Test.” Ever heard of it… probably not.
I’ll give you a brief overview so that you can try it out at home if you’d like.
The Raisin Test
All you need is a cup, a raisin, and your 18-20 month old child (of course).
Place a raisin in a cup and tell your toddler not to eat it until told to do so.
Wait 1 minute and then you can tell them to eat it.
This simple little test can apparently predict the achievement and IQ of children at the age of eight.
I know, I didn’t believe it at first either.
Although dealing with the lure of this dried fruit might seem a simple enough feat, in reality most kiddos will quickly realize the job an unbearable test involving self-control. Many will crash.
“Better inhibitory control at age 20 months predicted better attention regulation and academic achievement at age 8 years”
Professor Dieter Wolke, University of Warwick
Toddlers who show plenty of self-discipline waiting for a whole minute tend to be destined for academic greatness. By the age of eight the youngsters who resist temptation, on average, have an IQ of 7 points more than those who eat the raisin before the minute is up.
Researchers say the experience tests attention span as well as learning capability and could also be done with chocolate, marshmallows, or any other tasty snacks.
How did the Raisin Test Come About?
Originally, the team at the University of Warwick researched this to better assess if premature babies are more likely to have learning difficulties… and based on this research SPOILER ALERT, they did.
During the study it was found that those who were born very prematurely were more likely to take the raisin before the allotted time. In a follow-up study the academics found that those who couldn’t inhibit their behavior as toddlers weren’t performing as well in school as their full-term peers seven years later.
The test is related to the well-known Stanford Marshmallow Test which was developed in the 1960s to measure delayed gratification. Children had been offered the choice between an immediate treat or two treats if they waited for 15 minutes.
Follow up studies confirmed those young children who anxiously waited later did better in school.
Raisin Test Results
In this Bavarian Longitudinal Study, 558 young children, who were 20 months old, were assessed for self-control in 1985 ( the study is still going on to this day).
In a follow-up study, researchers found that kiddos who couldn’t manage their actions as toddlers weren’t performing at the same level in school as his or her peers seven years later.
Around eight years old, the children were evaluated by a team moms, pediatricians, research scientists, and psychologists. Academic achievement-including math concepts, reading as well as spelling/writing-was assessed by standardized tests.
Researchers found the worse your child scored on the raisin test, the more probable they were to possess poor attention skills and low school achievement in 3rd grade.
What does the Raisin Test mean for your child’s intelligence?
Look… at the end of the day, you know your child the best and what they are capable of. You are going to know what is best for them, but my thought is, this simple test can’t hurt them, so why not?
I do believe that this is an interesting study that is also scientifically validated. It gives you a good sense of how well your child 1) listens to instructions, 2) can sit patiently, 3) to concentrate on the task at hand, and 4) can self-control him or herself.
My advice would be to start this test early on. Don’t do this when your child is 20 months, but try this around 18 months. That way, if your child doesn’t pass, you don’t feel like a failure as a parent. Just kidding =).
On a more serious note, if by chance your child does not pass the test you can use this information to casually practice self control tests with breakfast/ dinner/ milk/ snack time for the next month. Then try the test again.
Good luck and let me know how it goes!