Does where you sit in class determine your grade?
A study done by Penn State Altoona has revealed that students who sit in the front and middle of the classroom are achieving higher grades. Students sitting in the front of the class scored an average of 80% on an exam, the middle students scored a 71.6% on the exam, and back row students scored a 68.1% respectively. The difference between sitting in the front and back of the classroom is an astounding 11.9%, just solely based on your geographic location. This seems too good to be true, and I think there are some important third variables that have yet to be ruled out. I think it’s common knowledge that smarter people tend to sit in the front of the classroom, and slackers who don’t really care much sit in the back. IQ is an important third variable to consider, what if we switched the front and back row students? Would their geographic location in the classroom make their exam grades go up even though they tend to “slack” more? Or would the back row students this time around score higher, because their branded to be smarter? I think that study would have interesting results, and would help rule out that third variable, or even prove that this study is having skewed results, because smarter people tend to sit in the front of the classroom anyways, and that this experiment produced a false positive, saying something is going on with geographic location in the classroom, when in reality we have a number of third variables, such as IQ, motivation, and overall attentiveness to blame for the higher exam grades. Reverse causation in this study would say that getting higher scores on an exam causes students to sit in the front, which also could be true, but also could be false. If a student receives a good score on an exam, they may be motivated to keep up the good work and continue on achieving a good grade in the class. On the other hand, if a student receives a bad score on an exam, this may set off an alarm in their head saying I need to do better, and maybe if I sit towards the front of the classroom, my grade in the class will get better. I still have a lot of questions about this study, but I think it was an interesting subject to look at.
Here is a link to the study I found published by PSU Altoona.
Here is the link to the photo I used above