Monday, November 13, 2000

Raising grades takes lot of time

By Ben L. Kaufman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A new time management study suggests why college students find it so hard to raise their grades.

        Working with 143 Ohio State undergraduates, Carl R. Zulauf concluded that it takes an additional 40 hours of study a week to raise their grade point average one full letter.

        Well-intentioned students, on the other hand, put in an average of 4.6 hours a week in that effort, he wrote in a recent Journal of College Student Development.

        “That's a number I commonly hear when students say, "I studied harder,'” Dr. Zulauf, an OSU economist, added in a recent interview.

        The futility was underlined by another finding in his study: one hour a week would raise grades only 0.025 points on a scale where an A equals 4.0.

        “This finding explains why students are often frustrated when they seek to improve their grades,” Dr. Zulauf said. “A substantial change in GPA requires a substantial change in the use of time and thus, probably, a student's priorities.”

        Further, he said, the study “shows how hard you have to work to get good grades, and it raises questions about the relationship between effort and reward. ... In short, either a culture shift or a reality check needs to occur.”


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