Intelligence, as well as working memory and attention, affect the acquisition of mathematical competencies. This paper aimed to examine the influence of working memory and attention when taking different mathematical skills into account as a function of children's intellectual ability. Overall, intelligence, working memory, attention and numerical skills were assessed twice in 1868 German pre-school children (t1, t2) and again at 2nd grade (t3). We defined three intellectual ability groups based on the results of intellectual assessment at t1 and t2. Group comparisons revealed significant differences between the three intellectual ability groups. Over time, children with low intellectual ability showed the lowest achievement in domain-general and numerical and mathematical skills compared to children of average intellectual ability. The highest achievement on the aforementioned variables was found for children of high intellectual ability. Additionally, path modelling revealed that, depending on the intellectual ability, different models of varying complexity could be generated. These models differed with regard to the relevance of the predictors (t2) and the future mathematical skills (t3). Causes and conclusions of these findings are discussed.