Raisins: They're not just for making inferior cookies anymore. Researchers claim they can predict how well an 8-year-old will do in school using nothing but a raisin and cup when the child is a toddler, according to a press release from the University of Warwick. The Telegraph says the method "could be the simplest test of childhood aptitude ever invented." Researchers tested hundreds of 20-month-old children by placing a raisin under a cup and telling them to wait until they were told to eat the raisin. The Telegraph reports the test seems simple enough but can be "excruciating" for a young child and many will fail. In the end, researchers found that toddlers who successfully waited to eat the raisin had an IQ seven points higher when they were 8.
“The raisin game is an easy and effective tool that is good at assessing inhibitory control in young children ... and can be used in clinical practice to identify children at risk of attention and learning problems," researcher Dieter Wolke tells the Telegraph. Researchers published their findings Thursday in the Journal of Pediatrics. They were especially interested in looking at how toddlers who were premature babies did on the test. Not well, it turns out. "The lower a child's gestational age, the lower the inhibitory control and the more likely that the child had poor attention regulation and low academic achievement," the study states. Researchers hope to use their findings to get children likely to underperform academically help earlier in life. (A 66-year-old raisin program was declared unconstitutional.)