Entries in Grades (3)


Cramming May Be Damning for Your Grades

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- High school students who choose to sacrifice their sleep to get extra studying time in may fare worse academically the next day compared with their well-rested peers, new research suggests.

In a study released Tuesday in the journal Child Development, UCLA researchers studied 535 students as they progressed through ninth, 10th and 12th grade to see how lack of sleep affected their academic performance.  Using a diary that they kept for 14 days straight, the students answered the following questions:

  • Did you do homework or study today while not in school?  If yes, for how long?
  • How many hours and minutes did you sleep last night?
  • Did you have problems understanding something taught in class today or do poorly on a test, quiz, or homework?

What researchers found was that as the students advanced through high school, the downsides of sacrificing sleep time for study time became more apparent.  Ninth grade students who spent extra time studying on a particular night did not have worse academic performance the next day.  By 12th grade, however, students who made the same tradeoff reported deficits the next day in understanding class material or on test performance.

In practical terms, this study argues that studying at the expense of sleep may not be a wise decision.

"Although studying is essential, sleep is important for learning," says Dr. Phyllis C. Zee, professor of neurology and director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Northwestern University.  "Even one night of sleep loss can negatively affect performance."

"This should make not only high school students but also college students and even professionals rethink the common practice of 'cramming' for exams, work projects, et cetera, at the expense of sleep loss," Zee continued.

Dr. Andrew Fuligni, professor of psychiatry at UCLA and senior author on the study, emphasizes that it is not problematic to spend more time studying overall -- as long as it is not at the expense of sleep.  Previous studies have confirmed that the same amount of study time spread evenly over several days leads to better academic performance than trying to study all at once.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Study: Kids with Healthy Hearts and Lungs Get Better Grades?

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- It's August already and as summer vacation winds down toward the new school term, a new study reveals the link between good grades and good health. Students with healthy hearts and lungs fare better in math and reading, according to research presented at the American Psychological Association's annual convention.
Researchers studied some 1,200 students from five Texas middle schools whose average age was 12. The participants were evaluated for cardio-vascular fitness, academic performance, self-esteem and social support.
The study authors found that the only consistent factor that had a positive effect on their grades was cardio-vascular fitness.   

“Cardiorespiratory fitness was the only factor that we consistently found to have an impact on both boys’ and girls’ grades on reading and math tests,” study co-author Trent A. Petrie, PhD, professor of psychology and director of the Center for Sport Psychology at the University of North Texas said in a statement. “This provides more evidence that schools need to re-examine any policies that have limited students’ involvement in physical education classes.”
The study also showed that students perform better in reading when family and friends provide reliable social support to help in problem solving and dealing with emotions.  The results were not the same for math, however, where cardiorespiratory fitness was the only factor related to positive performance.

Though the study does not show a clear causal relationship between fitness and academics (students who are motivated to be physically fit could actually just be students who possess academic motivation as well), the authors conclude that the relationship of physical fitness and academic performance is one that is independent of other factors, and schools should work to develop better fitness programs.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Moms Prefer Manners over Grades

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new survey of moms reveals that good manners are still important to them, with 77 percent saying they prefer to have kids with good manners over good grades.

In America, where the U.S. Census Bureau says just 4 percent of today’s families fall into its definition of “traditional” by having a working father and a stay-at-home mom with kids under 18, a new study by Women at NBCU finds 49 percent of moms say “traditional” is the parenting style they aspire to have.

In another sign of the desire to embrace that traditional lifestyle, 66 percent of moms would prefer to be stay-at-home moms and 77 percent prefer to have kids with good manners over good grades.

Additional findings from the Women at NBCU survey:

  • 36 percent of dads would prefer to be a stay-at-home parent than a working parent.
  • 61 percent of dads say they split the household chores and childcare equally with their partners, but only 27 percent of moms feel the household work is evenly split.
  • Moms reported drug abuse and the “breakdown of the traditional family” as the top two most serious issues facing children today.
  • 31 percent of moms admit to lingering longer in the shower, while running errands and during a commute to get a bit more “alone time” during the day.

Women at NBCU is an initiative that connects to women via multiple platforms at NBCUnversial, including Oxygen, Style, Bravo and the Today show.  The survey involved 3,224 moms and 403 dads.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio