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Survey Reveals Students Believe It's Better to Study Than Cram


There's no way out. You have to study.

At least that's what 103 Kirkland and Winthrop House students said in a survey conducted by two undergraduates preparing a Soc Rel tutorial paper.

Their mimeographed questionnaire asked two questions: What is the best way to get good grades? And what influences your moral decisions most? The respondents were asked to rate five possible answers in order of importance.

"Use of selective and efficient study techniques" took first place in producing good grades, and "personal interest in the subject matter" and "attending all lectures and doing all reading" tied for second. "Non-religious ethics" ranked highest on the morals questions, just ahead of "parents' attitudes."

"Cramming and psyching out an exam" were universally distasteful to the Winthrop and Kirkland men, as were "religious ethics."

A group I student commented "Callousness, to me, is the only way to approach courses and grades at Harvard." Another deprecated grades: "a liberal arts education must be considered as art for art's sake."

A third cautioned that "emotion plays the major part of many decisions, and that emotion is conditioned by one's background, love and hate feelings, and stomach disorders."

Half the responders were also asked how they thought most students would answer the question. They rated "cramming" and "psyching out an exam" higher and "conscientious study" lower than those who answered for themselves.

One hypothesis of the study was that science concentrators would be less articulate and would comment less than students in other fields. This was not borne out.

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