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The Relationship between Students' Study Time and Academic Performance and its Practical Significance



Students' study time and academic performance can reflect their learning status. This study investigates the relationship between study time and academic performance by analyzing the number of selected courses, study time, and grades provided by open-source data sites. The effect of study time on academic performance was studied using linear regression. Studies have observed a positive relationship between study time and academic performance. When the study time reaches a certain standard, the grade will no longer show a significant change. This paper can assess students' learning status and help them plan their study time reasonably.
BCP Education & Psychology ESS 2022
Volume 7 (2022)
The Relationship between Students' Study Time and Academic
Performance and its Practical Significance
Mukun Liu
Queen’s University, Kingston, K7L 3N6, Canada
Abstract. Students' study time and academic performance can reflect their learning status. This
study investigates the relationship between study time and academic performance by analyzing the
number of selected courses, study time, and grades provided by open-source data sites. The effect
of study time on academic performance was studied using linear regression. Studies have observed
a positive relationship between study time and academic performance. When the study time reaches
a certain standard, the grade will no longer show a significant change. This paper can assess
students' learning status and help them plan their study time reasonably.
Keywords: Academic Performance; Study Efficiency; Time Investment.
1. Introduction
1.1 Background
Nowadays, people have been increasingly competitive since their student days due to the vast
population base when they apply for a higher-level school or better job. According to a survey of
more than 200 employers by the American Association of Colleges and Employers, 67% of
companies said they screen candidates by GPA (Davies & Hammack, 2005), which can reflect the
importance of academic success on future careers. In order to achieve success, students not only have
to use the appropriate skills, but also put in a lot of effort. Effort is central to strategy use which, in
turn, results in improved academic performance (Meltzer, 2001). The effort can be reflected by the
engagement of students in school and the levels of engagement can be estimated from the amount of
time spent on academics (Ed, 1992).
Learning takes time and curricula are designed to provide students with opportunities to learn
during classes and during time for self-study (Genesee, 2000). It is generally considered that, as more
time is spent on learning, performance will be better. At the same time, students are full of confusion
about their future career development during the student period. They may spend time on their
hobbies to find future goals which could make them balanced the time allocation between hobbies
and learning, resulting in problems such as grade decline due to unreasonable time allocation. Issues
with school performance can lead to more problems, such as family conflicts or loss of interest on
learning. The research shows that the social and emotional climate of family relationships is adversely
affected by poor school performance; at the same time, family atmosphere is a mediating, factors
problems which may result from school failure (Hurrelmann et al., 1988).
Whether the investment of study time is related to academic performance is a controversial issue.
One the one hand, the research shows that academic performance has a positive relationship with the
study time, and students with low performance especially increase their performances with increased
study time (Spitzer, 2022). In this article, based on his conclusions, analyzing the further impact as
the study time keeps increasing, trying to find the limitation of the time investment.
On the other hand, some people have an Opposite view on this conclusion. The total time students
spent working during a given week did not directly affect academic performance (Sarath, 2006). The
conclusion may be led by the method he collected samples. Distributing surveys to students may not
feel comfortable providing answers that present themselves in an unfavorable manner. Also, since
students may have different foundations in high schools, the result could be inaccurate.
All in all, this research will analyze the relationship between study time and academic performance
based on the data collected from two Portuguese secondary schools. The marginal contribution of
research lies in that school reports and questionnaires are used simultaneously to avoid some research
BCP Education & Psychology ESS 2022
Volume 7 (2022)
biases. Then, the grades of Portuguese can objectively test the students’ academic performances, since
the investment of student time will have more pronounced feedback on grades.
1.2 Literature Review
The SWQ's current field size shows that academic issues are the biggest concern for students, even
more so than finances and health (Davey et al., 2021). Does the longer you study, the better your
grades will get? This research problem may be concerned by many scholars and students.
In addition, further testing the impact of different educational methods on students' learning
efficiency can help teachers discover the suitable educational methods for their students.
For students, self-awareness about study time means self-control of study state, and can compare
their study state with others, to understand and adjust their study methods and better plan study time.
Finally, this can make them no longer be confused about learning, increase their enthusiasm for
learning and reduce their anxiety about learning. By leveling the study efficiency, it would lead to
good grades.
1.3 Main Contents
This study aims to study the relationship between study time and academic performance. This
research will be answered in following questions: (1) Whether the study time will affect the students’
academic performance? (2) If it is, how does study time affect academic performance?
2. Data and Method
2.1 Data Source
Data for this study came from a survey in two Portuguese schools. The data includes student grades,
demographic, social and school related features by using school reports and questionnaires. The
dataset received questionnaires from 651 students. 386 of them are female students and 265 of them
are male students.
2.2 Measures
The academic performance of a student can be reflected by the grades of the student which was
discussed in this research. In this case, firstly, students' performance was measured by the test in a
subject: Portuguese language (por). The grade of the test was out of 20.
Secondly, the study time was measured by 1-4 scale (1 = less than two hours of study time per
week, 2 = 2 to 5 hours of study time per week, 3 = 3 and 4 = 5 to 10 hours and more than 10 hours).
For each set, 20 students were chosen (10 boys and 10 girls) which are used to control variables, and
to facilitate and find patterns.
2.3 Method
The primary method of the study is called linear regression. By plotting the study time of each
student and its corresponding grades. The linear regression model aims to find the best fit line of the
plot diagram. The best fit line is relating to the formula y= mx +c. For this study, the variable X
represents the students’ study time and Y represents the Portuguese grades. m and c are the gradient
and constant values defining the straight line. To compute the linear regression, the approach
introduced is called the least-square method which minimizes the squared difference between the
actual data points and a straight line. In this case, the values of m and c seeked is to minimize the
squared difference SD.
BCP Education & Psychology ESS 2022
Volume 7 (2022)
2.4 Result and Discussion
Figure 1. The Portuguese Grades of Student in Each Time Period
Slope SE
6.2 0.485422 12.77239 8.33E-21
X variable 1.87 0.177251 10.55001 1.12E-16
Figure 2. Result of Time Investment on Study
3. Result
From the Figure 1, it can be seen that there's a positive linear relationship between the time
investment on study and students’ grades which can indicate the more study time, the better academic
performance. However, there's a limitation which can be seen from the Figure 1. When the study time
reaches 3 (5-10 hours), the student's grade has no significant change compared with 4 (over time
hours). As we see from Table 2, the coefficient of variable X is 1.87 which also indicates the positive
relation between X and Y.
4. Discussion
Study time was recognized as an important factor for students’ grade. Students need different
levels of effort based on their knowledge difficulty, learning ability, and career goals. Firstly, students
should invest the necessary study time if they want to get better grade. Secondly, academic
performance does not need to make further requirements on the amount of study time, and the main
point is to improve the learning skills. For example, they can make good use of the time and find
suitable learning methods. Otherwise, it will not make much difference no matter the time invested
more or less. Students should not blindly pursue the length of learning time, but should focus on the
learning quality in each hour. Reasonable improvement of study efficiency can not only save learning
time, but also allow students to have extra time to explore extracurricular interests. All in all, it is
essential to spend enough time, but it is even more critical to get learning benefits during this period.
BCP Education & Psychology ESS 2022
Volume 7 (2022)
[1] Davies, S., & Hammack, F. M. (2005). The channeling of student competition in Higher Education:
Comparing Canada and the U.S. The Journal of Higher Education, 76(1), 89–106. https://
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Academic Performance: Student and Teacher Perceptions. Learning Disability Quarterly, 24(2), 85–98.
[3] Ed, N. F. M. (1992). Student engagement and achievement in American Secondary Schools. Teachers
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[4] Spitzer, M.W.H. Just do it! Study time increases mathematical achievement scores for grade 4-10 students
in a large longitudinal cross-country study. Eur J Psychol Educ 37, 39–53 (2022). https://
[5] Sarath A. Nonis & Gail I. Hudson (2006) Academic Performance of College Students: Influence of Time
Spent Studying and Working, Journal of Education for Business, 81:3, 151-159, DOI: 10.3200/ JOEB.
81.3. 151-159.
[6] Hurrelmann, K., Engel, U., Holler, B., & Nordlohne, E. (1988). Failure in school, family conflicts, and
psychosomatic disorders in adolescence. Journal of Adolescence, 11(3), 237–249. https://doi. org/ 10.
1016/ s0140-1971(88)80007-1.
[7] Davey, G. C., Meeten, F., & Field, A. P. (2021). What’s worrying our students? increasing worry levels
over two decades and a new measure of student worry frequency and domains. Cognitive Therapy and
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[8] Samuelsson, J. (2008). The impact of different teaching methods on students’ arithmetic and self‐
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... Studying beyond 3 hours does not add to their learning productivity. Research has indicated a favourable correlation between study duration and scholastic achievement [16]. A specific amount of study time will be reached before the grade no longer demonstrates a discernible shift. ...
... Students have more time to study and review study material in online learning environment (Amir et al., 2020). Previous studies have shown that study time is positively associated with good academic performance (Ralph and Stinebrickner, 2008;Liu, 2022). Educators need to develop strategies for teaching students about the need to avoid online gaming while doing their E-learning courses. ...
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Introduction Understanding the factors that affected academic performance of students during the COVID-19 pandemic will help design effective interventions for improving students’ academic performance during emergency situations as well as during regular academic environment. This cross-sectional study aimed to identify the factors that explain academic performance of students in China during the pandemic. Methods Data on college students from the 2020 China Family Panel Studies were used, and the final sample consisted of 728 students. Ordered probit regression models were estimated to explain students’ relative performance in the semester when the in-person classes were suspended by using various student and household-related variables and characteristics. To compute missing values in selected variables, a multiple imputation technique was applied. Results The odds of poor academic performance declined with higher Internet use for academic purposes, but Internet use for entertainment increased the probability of being in the poor academic performance. College students who spent more time studying on college work were less likely to have poor academic performance. Discussion This study identified the factors (Internet use and study time) associated with academic performance among Chinese college students during the COVID-19 pandemic. These results can be used to design policies to improve educational outcomes and to address educational inequalities.
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Background The frequency and severity of mental health problems in student populations have been a growing cause for concern worldwide, and studies have identified measures of a number of mental health symptoms that have been steadily increasing in frequency and intensity over the past 20–25 years. Methods In two studies we investigate the levels and domains of pathological worrying in university student participants. Study 1 is a retrospective study of Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ) data collected between 2001 and 2019. Study 2 describes the development of the Student Worry Questionnaire, a short and easily delivered measure of student worrying that identifies both frequency of worry as well as the student-relevant domains across which worrying occurs. Results Study 1 revealed a steady increase in student worry scores of around 20% between 2001 and 2019, with a significant positive correlation between year of data collection and mean PSWQ score. The domain scores in Study 2 indicated that academic work was a significantly higher worry than any of the other domains, and worries about intimate relationships and ‘what people think of me’ were also worries that scored higher than either financial or health worries. Conclusions The present studies indicate that pathological worrying can be added to the list of anxiety- and stress-related symptoms that have been shown to be on the increase in student populations in recent decades, and we discuss whether these increases represent a greater willingness to report symptoms or a genuine increase in experienced symptoms over time.
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Decades of research produced inconsistent findings on whether study time can lead to achievement gains in mathematics. Data generated by more than six thousand students from three different countries who solved more than 1.1 million problem sets using a dedicated mathematics software are analyzed regarding the effect of study time on students' achievements in mathematics. Results showed that more study time led to higher performance scores in mathematics. Further analyses revealed that low-performing students in the first school year (2017-2018) who increased their study time in the following year (2018-2019) revealed greatest gains in performance in the same school year (2018-2019) and even in the year after (2019-2020). Finally, results replicated previous observations of robust performance scores within students over the three school years, with performance scores in 2017-2018 predicting those of 2018-2019 which predicted those of 2019-2020. These results support the idea that students, in particular low-performing students, can boost their academic abilities to upper levels when increasing their study time.
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Today's college students are less prepared for college-level work than their predecessors. Once they get to college, they tend to spend fewer hours studying while spending more hours working, some even full time (D. T. Smart, C. A. Kelley, & J. S. Conant, 1999). In this study, the authors examined the effect of both time spent studying and time spent working on academic performance. The authors further evaluated the interaction of motivation and ability with study time and its effect on academic performance. The results suggested that nonability variables like motivation and study time significantly interact with ability to influence academic performance. Contrary to popular belief, the amount of time spent studying or at work had no direct influence on academic performance. The authors also addressed implications and direction for future research.
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This study was designed to examine academic selfperceptions in adolescents with learning disabilities as part of a two-year intervention project. The major objective was to compare students' perceptions with their teachers' judgments of their level of effort, strategy use, and academic performance in reading, writing, spelling, and math. The sample consisted of 308 students with learning disabilities, 355 average achievers, and their 57 teachers. Findings indicated that the students with learning disabilities viewed themselves as motivated, hard-working, appropriately strategic, and academically competent, thus reflecting positive academic self-concepts. Teachers' judgments were significantly more negative and they rated the overall group of students with learning disabilities as below average in their strategy use, academic performance, and organization. The most interesting finding occurred when the results were analyzed for students whose overall academic achievement was in the high-average range. Teachers rated the effort and strategy use of students with and without learning disabilities as above average, indicating that their perceptions were influenced by students' academic success and were not negatively impacted by the existence of a learning disability. In contrast, teachers judged low-achieving students with learning disabilities more negatively than their low-achieving peers without learning disabilities. Thus, teachers' perceptions of students' effort and strategy use were influenced by students' academic success and their learning disabilities did not interfere negatively with this perception. Lastly, findings indicated that hard work, in combination with efficient strategy use, can lead to success in the classroom.
The present study examines the effect of three different structured methods, traditional, independent and problem‐solving, of teaching children arithmetic in the beginning of 7th grade in Sweden, age 13 years. The progress made by these students is presented by measures of their arithmetic ability, calculation and quantitative concept, as well as their self‐regulated learning skills in mathematics, characterised as internal and instrumental motivation, self‐concept and anxiety. The results will be discussed with reference to a socio‐cultural perspective. This study has a split‐plot factorial design with time as within‐subject and type of intervention as a between‐subject factor. The results show that there are no significant differences between teaching methods when assessing arithmetic in total and calculation. Students’ progress in quantitative concepts is significantly better if teachers teach traditionally or with a problem‐based curriculum. In order to develop aspects of self‐regulating learning skills, the results show that pupils would benefit in a traditional or problem‐solving curriculum. Problem‐solving seems to be more effective than traditional and independent work for students’ internal motivation. Traditional work and problem‐solving are more effective than independent work for students’ self‐concept.
Failure in school, family conflicts, and psychosomatic disorders in adolescence
  • K Hurrelmann
  • U Engel
  • B Holler
  • E Nordlohne
Hurrelmann, K., Engel, U., Holler, B., & Nordlohne, E. (1988). Failure in school, family conflicts, and psychosomatic disorders in adolescence. Journal of Adolescence, 11(3), 237-249. https://doi. org/ 10. 1016/ s0140-1971(88)80007-1.