A new study correlates traits of high achieving fifth graders with those of 54-month-old children. The study found important traits in preschoolers which can help predict fifth grade achievement levels.
The most important trait was social competence. Children with high social competence at four-and-a-half years old tended to be high achievers in fifth grade. Social competence is an umbrella term meaning that a child possesses the social, emotional, and intellectual skills and behaviors needed to succeed.
Working memory is another essential trait. Working memory means the ability of children to pay attention, remember important information and keep track their progress as they work on a given task.
Complete results of the research are available in the July/August issue of Child Development, an academic journal.