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Earlier classes might mean better grades

It’s never too late to become a morning person. Studies show it could improve your GPA. The witching hour is soon approaching.

A study released by St. Lawrence University in 2011 reported students with earlier classes have a higher GPA on average.

Co-author of the study, Pamela Thacher, was quoted in The New York Times, saying, “For every hour of class that you have later, you get about a .02 difference, so three hours of difference between class start times will result in a .06 difference in grades.”

Maybe 8 a.m. classes aren’t so bad.

According to WebMD article “Early Birds Get Better Grades,” a University of North Texas study showed those who took earlier classes averaged a full point higher GPA (3.5) on average than students who stayed up late (2.5). The study used 824 respondents to determine the results.

Daniel J. Taylor, an assistant professor of psychology at UNT, stated in the article that it’s easier to get to classes on time and study if you get up earlier. Also, going to bed earlier will take away some of the temptation to drink or do other activities that can take a toll on students’ performance in school.

“You may be able to improve your grades by making yourself more of a morning person,” Taylor said.

According to the article, immediately going from a night owl to an early bird is not a wise move. Making gradual adjustments, like getting up half an hour earlier, is recommended. Students can keep making gradual adjustments until the sleep schedule is changed.

Nicole Chanchiarulo, a senior health studies major at Boise State, prefers morning classes. She said they allow her more time during the rest of the day to finish up homework.

“I’m a morning person,” she said, “Waking up and getting stuff done and being done for the day is better for me. I always fall asleep at night classes.”

The odds are stacked against to students who are unable take day classes; those who are used to taking night classes like Erin Burbank see no difference. A senior human resources major at Boise State, Burbank can hardly remember the last early class she’s taken.

“I work in the morning and early afternoon,” Burbank said. “Basically, I have to take (later classes).”

For students in her same situation, it can sometimes be a convenience to take classes at night.

“It’s easy because I’ve already gotten the rest of my day out of the way,” Burbank said.

The deadline to add or drop a class is Sept. 8. Don’t hesitate to get an edge in the grade book this semester by signing up for some earlier classes.