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Surprising Science

Scrap Standardized Tests?

“Knowledge is fleeting. Knowing how to think and behave is what endures.” The Frontal Cortex defends standardized tests as a way to measure intelligence metrics that matter.

“A 5th grade science test isn’t a test of science—it’s an indirect test of all sorts of essential mental habits, such as self-control, grit, conscientiousness, and executive attention. Furthermore, there’s an ever-growing body of evidence that these psychological traits are incredibly important for success in the real world. While society has long obsessed over raw smarts and intellect—just look at our fixation on IQ scores—it’s now becoming clear that our dispositions are often more important. A recent paper by James Heckman and Flavio Cunha, for instance, notes that dependability is the trait most valued by employers, while ‘perseverance, dependability and consistency are the most important predictors of grades in school.'”


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