Students perform better in math classes held in the morning than they do in the afternoon, according to a study published last month in the Review of Economics and Statistics.
Study author Nolan Pope, a graduate student in economics at the University of Chicago, found that students who took math in the first or second period of the day scored an average of 309.8 on the math portion of the California Standards Test, while those who took it in the last two periods scored an average of 304.5. Students with early morning math classes had a 2.02 grade point average in math, compared to 1.91 for those with classes late in the day.
The study involved nearly 2 million students in 6th through 11th grades in the Los Angeles school district from 2003 to 2009.
Pope also found that students who took English early in the day had higher grades in that subjectbut not higher standardized test scoresthan those who took it in the afternoon.
A version of this article appeared in the April 27, 2016 edition of Education Week as Time and Learning