First of all, studying in the beginning of the 20th century was harder, because of lack of information sources. There were no computers or internet. Students were studying only from books, documents and other scripts. Teachers were given only the part of the information to students. Therefore, they had to go to libraries and search for the information on their own, not like present day students. 21st century students mostly search for the information on the internet. It is much faster and easier to receive the right information.
Second aspect is the quality of the studies. The 20th century students were thinking much seriously about the studies than present day students. Writing works were much better than nowadays, because students were doing less mistakes and it was because they were more attentive than nowaday students.It is because students point of view has changed a lot. Present day students think that they do not have to put much effort in they works. However, this kind of point of view makes studies quality to decrease.
Another aspect is that 21st century students have more free time and entertainment activities. The 21st century students point of view is that the biggest part of your free time must be spent on relaxing and entertaining yourself. You must do your home work tasks, but the quality of the work is not so important. The 20th century students were thinking that the studies should be in the first place and then all the other activities. Present day students do not have enough motivation to study.