The relationship of number of hours of studying to students Grade Point Average.

Table of Content

Assignment 1

Topic:  The relationship of number of hours of studying to students Grade Point Average.

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Importance of the Problem:

            It is an accepted fact that the amount of time spent studying is directly related to one’s academic performance in class. Most parents and teachers advocate that student spend enough time studying in order to do well on their courses and master their lessons (Rau & Durand, 2000) It is also a reality that students nowadays debate on how much time should be spent on studying for maximum learning. Students often feel that spending too much time studying takes the fun out of school and leaves them with little time for their social life. Likewise, they also agree that spending very little time studying would be detrimental to their studies. Unfortunately, experts do not agree on how much time students should spend studying to optimize their learning and study period. Another issue to consider is the quality of the method used by the student to study his or her lessons, some students read, some take notes or make outlines and others discuss their lessons with other students (Schuman, Walsh, Olson & Etheridge, 1985). Each student has his or her own learning style and the way a student studies is dictated by his or her learning style. Considering that the act of studying necessitates some form of cognitive processing for efficient retention and recall, it is assumed that hours spent studying is associated with the student’s academic performance as indicated by his or her grade point average (GPA).

            This study would determine how many hours a student should spend studying for maximum learning that would translate to higher grade point average. The importance of the study lies on its practical use for students so that they would be able to know what study schedule is the most effective and they could design their own studying program taking into account the number of hours they should devote to studying.

Descriptive Research Question:

What is the relationship between the number of hours spent studying and student’s grade point average?


The independent variable of this study would be the student’s grade point average while the dependent variable is the number of hours spent studying.

Research Hypothesis:

Ho: There is no relationship between the number of hours spent studying by a student to his/her grade point average.

Ha: There is a relationship between the number of hours spent studying by a student to his/her grade point average.

Assignment 2

RQ: What is the relationship between the number of hours spent studying and student’s grade point average?

Stinebrickner, T. & Stinebrickner, R. (2007). The causal effect of studying on academic performance. National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper,  No. 13341.

Anand, V. (2007). A study of time management: The correlation between video game usage and academic performance markers . CyberPsychology & Behavior, 10(4): 552-559.

The lack of academic research on the effect of studying on academic performance had been reported by Stinebrickner and Stinebrickner (2007). Accordingly, the lack of studies that test causality between the time spent studying and academic performance is due to the inability of previous researchers to include the variable in their studies and that it was considered to be biased by too many factors such as ability, memory and personal circumstances that studying it would be methodologically limited. Theoretically, time spent studying has been viewed as a human capital production that students begin to expend when they start college and not before it. As such, it should be studied as an important resource that can be harnessed to increase and improve student performance. The study by Stinebrickner and Stinebrickner (2007) had found that students who increase their study time by an hour a day translates into an increase in grade point average by as much as 1.76 points. Thus, they concluded that studying have positive effects on a student’s overall academic performance. This is the first study that tried to establish the causality of the amount of time spent on studying to academic performance, thus it provided a useful background for the present study establishing that time spent studying directly influences academic performance. The methodology used by Stinebrickner and Stinebrickner (2007) is complex; it involves establishing the exogeneity of the factors that might affect the causal relationship of studying to academic average and was unique to the study since the research setting had a more controlled and rigid atmosphere than most colleges that made the experiment possible. Prior to the study, the researchers had gathered longitudinal data about student’s academic and personal life in the campus and used the said data to build a model of the typical college student’s habits and behavior.

Anand (2007) used the correlational method to find out how playing video games affected the SAT scores and GPA of students, although the study mainly focused on playing video games, the time spent on video games diminished the time spent on studying, thus the longer a student played video games the less time he/she has time for studying and vice versa. Anand (2007) found evidence that playing video games were detrimental to a student’s academic performance and SAT scores, on the other hand, she claimed that cause and effect is difficult to establish since the values suggests dependency only. However, when she tested whether time spent studying was related to SAT scores and GPA, the results indicated no significant relationship, indicating that time spent studying has a weak relationship to academic performance. The study used a survey in determining the hours spent by the students playing video games while their SAT and GPA was gathered from their school records. Theoretically, Anand (2007) presumed that playing video games was addictive and like any other addiction can take the attention away from normal functioning such as studying and going to school.

In the present study, time spent studying is theoretically defined as a human capital that students tap into in support of their learning and school work. This would mean that students cannot possibly exist or survive their college life without some form of studying. Thus, it is directly related to the academic performance of students, but since it is very difficult to replicate the study by Stinebrickner and Stinebrickner (2007) due to the issues of confounding variables, this study will adopt the methodology used by Anand (2007). Since it has been established by Stinebrickner and Stinebrickner (2007) that time spent studying can cause an increase in GPA, then some form of relationship do exist. In this study, the objective is to find out how many hours should a student spend studying before an increase in GPA is manifested.

Assignment 3

RQ: What is the relationship between the number of hours spent studying and student’s grade point average?

Conceptual definition of dependent variable (time spent studying)

Students devote their time and effort studying their lessons, conceptually the intent and effort directed to studying is also studying, however, the attention and effort cannot be expended without considering the time that the student uses for studying. Thus studying is a complex activity that requires time, attention and effort (Hill, 1991).

Operational Definition of time spent studying

In this study, time spent studying will be measured in terms of the hours that the student uses to study his or her lessons. Time is spatial, it can be accurately measured from none to an hour to 6 hours, and moreover, it can easily be quantified depending on what time the student starts studying and when he/she finishes for a particular day.

Levels of Measurement

This study will ask students to make a study journal, wherein they will record the time they started studying a certain subject and when they finished studying. The study journal will be for a period of 15 days which will provide the necessary data to identify the studying period of student participants. The number of hours spent studying for the whole period will then be averaged for each student providing a more stable value of their time spent studying than if the students were simply asked in a survey to indicate the amount of time they studied for the past week (Stinebrickner & Stinebrickner, 2004).  Since number of hours can have an absolute zero, the number of hours is a ratio and can be analyzed using parametric tests of significance (Babbie, 2004).

Conceptual definition of independent variable (academic performance)

Academic performance is the totality of the student’s effort and learning that is given to the student after a specified period of time and based on his/her performance on required tasks and learning assignments. Academic performance however is far from being a simple concept; it is complex and subjective at best since standards of performance differ from each person, teacher or institution (Rivkin, Hanushek & Kain, 2005). When a student fails in a subject, academic performance is low, and when a student has high grades in all his courses, academic performance is high. Academic performance as a conceptual construct is assigned values that will indicate whether there is high, low or no learning at all. However, it is difficult to definitely say that no learning has occurred since measurement and assessment of learning varies and are also laden with validity and reliability issues (Hill, 1991).

Operational definition of academic performance

In this study academic performance will be measured using the grade point average of students at the end of the semester. Grade point average refers to the value derived after computing the arithmetic mean of course grades of the students at the end of the semester.

Levels of Measurement

In this study the GPA will be computed as follows: if students take 5 courses, the course grades will be multiplied into the number of units the course is credited for, the resulting value will then be summed and divided into the number of units earned for the 5 courses. The resulting value is then the grade point average. Grade point average is an interval measure since its values are arranged according to a definite scale with a meaningful difference say between 80 and 70 (Babbie, 2004). Most GPA’s are in letter form but for this study, the GPA will be in number form. The course grades for each student participant will be gathered from their school records with the permission of the student and the school.

Assignment 4

My research aims to measure the relationship of number of hours spent studying to the grade point average of students.

Questionnaire (To be distributed to a class of college freshmen)

Cover Letter (To be printed in the first page of the questionnaire)

Dear Students,

            In order to determine the relationship of time spent studying to your academic performance, I would like to solicit your participation to provide me with the needed data that would help me test my research hypothesis. Please complete the following time diary for a period of 15 days and indicate your activities for a given hour. After 15 days, I will be retrieving the time diaries. No personally identifiable data will be asked of you except for the number of courses you are taking now, the number of units to be earned and your course major. All information will be kept confidential. If you do not wish to participate in this study, please return the form immediately.

Please indicate your course major. (This is an open question, the scale is nominal/categorical as the answer is a specific course that will be used to categorize students according to their course majors, no problem of isomorphism since the question and answer imply the same information-course major)
How many courses are you taking this semester? (This is an open question, the scale is ratio, no problem of isomorphism as the response will indicate the number of courses the students are currently taking.)
Please complete the time diary below. Indicate for each hour your activities; you may use brackets to indicate prolonged activity. Be as detailed as possible in describing your activities. (This is an instruction that will guide students in how to complete the time diary, the objective is to determine how many hours students study in a day, the number of hours is ratio, no problem with isomorphism as only the number of hours spent studying will be used in the study).

Example of Time Diary

Time Period
What were you doing?
6:00 AM

7:00 AM

8:00 AM

9:00 AM

10:00 AM

11:00 AM

12:00 Noon

1:00 PM

2:00 PM

3:00 PM

4:00 PM

5:00 PM

6:00 PM

7:00 PM

8:00 PM

9:00 PM

10:00 PM

11:00 PM

12:00 MN

1:00 AM

2:00 AM

3:00 AM

4:00 AM

5:00 AM


Anand, V. (2007). A study of time management: The correlation between video game usage and academic performance markers . CyberPsychology & Behavior, 10(4): 552-559.

Babbie, E. (2004). The Practice of Social Research, 10th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, Thomson Learning Inc.

Hill, L. (1991). Effort and Reward in College: A Replication of Some Puzzling Findings.” In James W. Neuliep (ed), Replication Research in the Social Science. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, pp. 139-56.

Rau, W. & Durand, A. (2000). The academic ethic and college grades: Does hard work help students to ‘make the grade’? Sociology of Education, 73:19-38.

Rivkin, S., Hanushek, E. & Kain, J. (2005). Teachers, school, and academic achievement. Econometrica, 73(2), 417-458.

Schuman, H., Walsh, E., Olson, C. & Etheridge, B. (1985). Effort and reward: The assumption that college grades are affected by the quantity of study. Social Forces, 63:945-66.

Stinebrickner, T. & Stinebrickner, R. (2004). Time-use and college outcomes.  Journal of Econometrics, 121(1-2), 243-269.

Stinebrickner, T. & Stinebrickner, R. (2007). The causal effect of studying on academic performance. National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper,  No. 13341.


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