Sitting front-and-center helps students stay alert.
By Shawntell Johnson
With finals quickly approaching, students may want to take it as an opportunity to form new study and learning habits to earn a higher grade. Deciding where to sit in the classroom may seem minor, but students who sit front-and-center make higher grades, according to a survey of 100 students at Dixie State College in St. George, Utah. Conducted in 2012, the survey revealed students who sit up close had the highest GPA, and students who preferred the back had the lowest.
“Proximity is key,” counselor Lisa Black said.
Black said the best classroom seats are front and center, referring to this as the triangle effect. “There’s less distraction, and students are less likely to take out their phone,” she said.
Black is a former professor in the student development department, where she coached new students on effective learning habits. Black said students who sit up front show more interest, pay close attention and can hear and see better. She did an exercise with her freshman students, asking them to stand up and sit where they were most comfortable. The majority merged to the back and to the side.
Pre-nursing sophomore Sasha Rios said she prefers to sit in the front of the classroom because “it feels more personal when the professor is lecturing. When I am in the back, I lose focus easier because I get distracted by other things going on in the classroom,” Rios said.
Black emphasized the importance of seating for a favorable outcome. “Sitting close to the instructor takes courage, and students gain a rapport with the instructor,” she said. “This is vital for success.”