The differential effects of goal specificity on maze learning among 40 young adults and 40 old adults were investigated. Participants had to navigate through a computerized training-maze task. The finish point of the maze could be presented either as a specific location or in more general terms. After solving the maze problem, participants were required to solve the same problem again, either by moving from start to finish or backward from finish to start. The hypotheses that the presence or absence of a specific goal would disproportionately compromise or enhance, respectively, elderly people's performance were confirmed. Although young adults outperformed old participants in all conditions, these differences were much smaller in the nonspecific goal conditions. These results suggest that instruction based on cognitive load theory (J, Sweller, J.J.G, Van Merrienboer, & F. Paas, 1998) can compensate for age-related cognitive declines.