It seems that you’re always making choices in your education that will affect your future – from what classes to take, to what schools to apply for, and even where you sit in class, it seems! Although you might choose your seat based on a whole host of factors, from where your friends sit, to your proximity to the board, to how early you get to class on the first day, after reading this, you might think a little more about where you want to sit next semester.
One study noticed that the students who sat closer to the front were less likely to have poor attendance between the first and second half of the semester. Perhaps this is because the students nearer the front feel a little more seen by the teacher and therefore think that they will be noticed if they are missing, whereas students at the back of the class may feel as though they can skip a class or two without being noticed. Of course, there is presumably a direct correlation between attendance and attainment – after all, if you aren’t there, and don’t learn the material, how are you going to pass the exams?
For those of us who are a little short-sighted, or struggle a bit with hearing, sitting at the front can help with concentration. Sometimes when you’re sat at the back of the class, you can get distracted by watching the people in front of you or find that you can’t see or hear as clearly as you would have liked. This can affect your focus and concentration and, therefore, your grade. That said, even if you’re sat at the very front, you can find your mind drifting, and it can feel a little awkward being sat so close to the teacher, and that can affect things too! If you are someone who finds their mind can wander when the material isn’t engaging enough, you should avoid sitting anywhere where you can see out of the window or into the hall – you’re just asking to be distracted by other students walking past, or a particularly interesting tree!
Another reason that you may choose to sit in a particular spot is to be by your friends. Interestingly, research shows that people who sit together tend to get similar grades, however it hasn’t yet been demonstrated whether they get similar grades because they sit together, or whether they sit together because they get similar grades.
Sometimes just sitting in the middle seems like the best approach. You’ll be able to see and hear better than those at the back, but you won’t have the stress or expectations that come from sitting at the very front. You won’t have to be the last to leave when people file out, but you’ll also be close enough to focus. Sitting right in the middle of the middle might seem like the perfect spot, but you’ll be surrounded by classmates, and that can feel quite claustrophobic.
So although where you sit in class does impact your grade, you can’t just assume that if you sit in the sweet spot, it will be enough to get you As all semester. It’s not just about where you sit, but what you do when you sit there too. You actually have to study and work hard too!