Women outperform men in college classes and tend to graduate earlier, according to a recent study conducted by the Student Monitor, a market research group that specializes in providing information about college students.
The study found that academic superiority by women is largely due to differences in study habits.
‘We do not believe there is an inherent difference between the genders,’ said Stacy Scarazzo, assistant director for higher education of the Association of American Publishers. ‘Unfortunately, male students have the access to the tools but are not using them, while female students are more focused and pay more attention to their books and materials. … Our research has shown that learning tools such as textbooks and supplemental materials are better utilized by women.’
The study found that women outstudy men by one-third and that men party 20 percent more often than women.
‘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,’ said Eric Weil, managing partner of Student Monitor. ‘These differences in study skills and habits translate to higher grades and a higher course completion rate.’
Results of the survey support the conventional wisdom that studying hard is the best way to achieve academic success.
‘We’ve generally taken for granted that hitting the books translates to better grades and a more successful college experience,’ Weil said. ‘This research confirms that hard work matters and quantifies the difference between those students with a set of solid study habits and those without.’
The time of day a student studies is an important factor in academic success, according to the study. Students who study during the evening hours between 6:00 p.m. and midnight are twice as likely to earn A’s as students who study after midnight.
The AAP commissioned the study to address the growing problem of students spending more than four years in college. The United States Department of Education reports that almost half of college students are not graduating within four years.
Students spending more time in school can put more strain on university resources and worsen budget problems. Publishers and educators hope to better understand study habits in order to cultivate classroom success.
‘Publishers are now taking a different role on campus,’ Scarazzo said. ‘The study was conducted to find out how our materials are being used. We found that our materials improve success rates.’
Justin May, a second-year aerospace engineering major, agrees with the findings of the study that males tend to study more infrequently than females.
‘Since I do not study that much, I would tend to agree with results of the study, but hopefully this year I can change that,’ May said.
Vy-Van Tran, a second-year biological sciences major, disagrees with some points of the survey.
‘I would say that I [agree with] the survey because I study more than the average male student, but I earn grades a little above average without studying,’ Tran said.