Sunday, March 4, 2012

Need to Study? Don't Stress!

A recent study of Kalamazoo College freshmen shows that a high number of study hours are not necessarily related to a higher GPA. The study suggests that good grades are more dependent on useful class materials than hitting the books.

The survey, conducted on 83 Kalamazoo College freshmen, asked questions ranging from perceived difficulty of Kalamazoo to how many hours each participant spent partying that weekend. The results showed that the average GPA of each freshman after their first quarter was a 3.36 - a solid B/B+. This isn't surprising in itself, though the factors that affect this number were somewhat surprising.

Four variables were examined to see if they affect GPA: high school GPA, perceived difficulty of Kalamazoo College, the number of study hours per weekend, and the number of books each student needed to get for class.

Some results were unsurprising. As the perceived difficulty of K increased, GPA decreased. Also, as high school GPA increased, so did their grade point average here. These statistics were both strong indicators of how a student will do here. The average freshmen considers the difficulty of K a 7.66 out of 10 and has an average high school GPA of 3.72 - significantly higher than the reported statistic of the '14 class.

Interestingly, study hours were found to not relate strongly to a higher GPA. To add to the confusion, the more books a student has, the better they do in their classes. While the average freshman studies just over seven hours a weekend, it would seem that their grades are more dependent on the quality of the course materials their professors have chosen for their courses. The average student has about five books, and most students have only three courses. This suggests that the professors that choose more useful and specialized materials have more successful students

K students might be able to get more out of their courses by just being more prepared and focusing less on the fine details. Studying is still useful, but students shouldn't sacrifice sleep for a good grade.

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