The study of four-year and two-year students
was commissioned by the Association of American Publishers
to help publishers and educators understand students’ study
habits and better determine what impact these have on academic
achievement. “We’ve generally taken for granted
that hitting the books translates to better grades and a more
successful college experience. This research confirms that
hard work matters and quantifies the difference between those
students with a set of solid study habits and those without,” said
Eric Weil, Student Monitor managing partner.
“ The survey revealed significant differences in study habits between
men and women. For example, women are 35 percent more likely
to study daily, 21 percent more likely to study 15 or more
hours weekly, and 23 percent more likely to read their textbook thoroughly.
These differences translate into higher grades and a higher
course completion rate,” Weil added.
“ Currently, only one-half of all public four-year college and
university students are graduating in four years or less,” said
Bruce Hildebrand, executive director for higher education at
the Association of American Publishers. “The others are
increasing their debt and putting a strain on campus resources.
As a result, colleges and universities are under growing pressure
to improve student engagement and to help students graduate
more quickly. Publishers, in turn, are being called upon to
more sophisticated tools for teaching and learning."
Key Findings, Men vs. Women
· Men are more likely to skim through a textbook while women are
more likely to read their textbook thoroughly.
· Nearly half of all women study daily, compared to only a third
of all men.
· More than one in four men (26 percent) find themselves studying
late at night compared to less one in five women (19 percent).
· In comparing men to women, the study found men party 20 percent
more often than women.
Study Habits Make a Difference
· Students who study daily are 40 percent more likely to earn an “A” than
students who do not study daily. Only 41 percent of students
study every day, and 18 percent study only once or twice a
· Students who study 15 or more hours weekly are 43 percent more
likely to earn an “A” than students who study for
less than 15 hours per week.
· Students who read their textbook thoroughly rather than skimming,
study daily and study for 15 or more hours each week are far
more likely to earn an “A.”
The 42 percent of men and 41 percent of women who studied 15
or more hours a week earned an “A.” On average,
students study for 14 hours weekly, with 24 percent studying
five or fewer
hours each week and only 17 percent studying more than 20 hours
Time on task, study efficiency, and the use of supplemental
materials are other important factors, particularly for community
students. Students who attend two-year schools—who are
more likely to work full time—were found to be 36 percent
more likely to use supplemental materials and 23 percent more
likely to study efficiently.
An overlooked but important factor is the time of day student’s
study. Approximately one-half of all students study between the
hours of 6 p.m. and midnight. Those in this group, men or women,
are at least twice as likely to earn an “A” as those
students who studied primarily in the hours after midnight. Among
those who got a “C” or less, 28 percent of men
and 20 percent of women studied after midnight.