Is success written in the stars? Birth month linked to better future prospects - study

Although Virgos are meant to be analytical and intelligent and Leos are meant to symbolise power and leadership, not many parents plan their child's future based on their month of birth. However, there is some bonafide evidence suggesting that success could be written in the stars.

"We were very surprised by the results," Asaad Ali, a co-author of a recent study by the University of Otago, told The Project.

Ali's award-winning academic research has found a correlation between better NCEA test scores and those born in the latter half of the year.

"Because they spend more time in school, compared to children born in the first half of the year, they seem to do better at NCEA," Ali said.

Unlike most countries, children in New Zealand start school when they turn five. If a child's birthday is in June, they will be in year 0 for six months before moving up to year 1.

If a child arrives a month earlier, they will be put straight into year 1 without the six-month head-start.

"One additional month of schooling raises the probability of achieving NCEA Level 1 by two percent," says Ali.

"NCEA Level 2 is raised by four percent, and NCEA Level 3 by 6 percent."

However, if a baby is born in the first six months of the year, never fear; a child's chances of future success can be increased.

"Play, play, play and more play. Play is where you learn about the world, test theories and come up with new ideas and new possibilities about the way things work," says early childhood educator Harriet O'Sullivan.

Research into the correlation between birth month, characteristics and future prospects have some prospective parents planning their procreation.

Some people think changing the schooling system could be beneficial, as the research suggests children born in the first six months of the year are going into Year Two quicker than those born in the latter half. 

As year 2 is the start of more formalised education, the study suggests some kids are being faced with formal learning too early.

"We should not be starting school at five at all," says O'Sullivan.

"We should be starting school much, much later on. Our brains aren't ready for formal learning until later. The brains of kids who are staying in the lower years, and not getting to formal learning as quickly, [are more likely] to be developed and shaped to [take on learning].

"Children who are chucked in at the deep end, straight into year 2 effectively, are more like, 'Whoa, I'm not ready'."

However, it is worth remembering that high academic achievement is not the be-all-and-end-all, and test scores alone are not solely indicative of future success.


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