The psychologist Carol Dweck has found that successful people tend to keep what's known as a growth mindset, as opposed to a fixed mindset. They view themselves as fluid, changing beings that can adapt and grow. They are not static. SMPY agrees with that assessment, but it also has found that the earliest signs of cognitive ability in kids can predict how well they'll do later in life, ignoring all the practice that may or may not come in between. With that kind of future on the line, it's up to parents and teachers to recognize abilities early on and nurture them as much as possible.Standardized tests, the SAT among the famous of them, can't measure everything teachers and parents need to know about a child. But SMPY's data suggest the SAT and other standardized measures of intelligence do actually hold some predictive power — while still accounting for factors like socioeconomic status and level of practice. Camilla Benbow, one of the researchers currently studying SMPY, said these test are best used to figure out what kids are good at, so teachers can focus their attention on different areas.Being smart doesn't just mean an ability to memorize facts or recall names and dates. SMPY has found over and over, throughout multiple follow-up analyses, that some of the smartest kids possess great capacity for spatial reasoning. These kids have a talent for visualizing systems, such as the human circulatory system or the anatomy of a Honda. In 2013, follow-up surveys found a strong connection between spatial-reasoning skills and the number of patents filed and peer-reviewed papers published.To help kids reach their potential, teachers and parents should consider moving a gifted child up a grade, SMPY suggests. When researchers compared a control group of gifted students who didn't skip a grade to those who did, the grade-skippers were 60% more likely to earn patents and doctorates and more than twice as likely to get a Ph.D. in a field related to science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM).The trouble is that genius kids often receive too little attention from their teachers, who may be inclined to write bright students off as having already met their potential. When SMPY researchers looked at how much attention teachers gave to these gifted children, they found the overwhelming majority of class time was spent helping low-achieving students get to the middle. SMPY suggests that teachers should avoid teaching a one-size-fits-all curriculum, and instead focus on doing the best they can to create individual lesson plans for students. SMPY (pronounced simpy) initially tested kids for intelligence using the SAT, university entrance exams, and other IQ tests,. Researchers later began looking at additional factors like college enrollment and career paths later in life. What they found is the most gifted kids went on to earn doctorates, graduate degrees, and hold patents at rates far above less-gifted children. Most sit among the top 5% of income earners. Whether we like it or not, these people really do control our society, Jonathan Wai, psychologist at the Duke University Talent Identification Program, recently told Nature.