Purpose: Controversy exists regarding the relation between visual memory and academic achievement.
Methods: A masked investigation of the relation between visual memory and academics was performed in 155 second-through fourth-grade children (mean age = 8.83 years). Visual memory ability was assessed with the Test of Visual Perceptual Skills visual memory subtest. The school administered the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test and Stanford Achievement Test. Age and verbal ability were controlled in all regression analyses
Results: Visual memory score was significantly predictive of below-average word decoding (p = 0.027), total math score (p = 0.031), and Stanford complete battery score (p = 0.018). Visual memory score showed a positive trend in predicting reading comprehension (p = 0.093).
Conclusions: Poor visual memory ability (as measured by the Test of Visual Perceptual Skills) is significantly related to below-average reading decoding, math, and overall academic achievement (as measured by the Stanford Achievement Test) in second- through fourth-grade children, while controlling for age and verbal ability.