The Student Room finds students are ready to revise but struggle to stay focussed

The Student Room, the world’s largest student site has carried out research to find out how students prepare for exams and revision. The research looks at student attitudes to revision, how early they begin exam preparation, how organised they are when revising, if it works and what helps them to stay alert.

The study (of 874 students) indicates that rather than fearing exams the majority (59.6%) are prepared to ‘knuckle down and get some good grades’ when they hear people talking about revision, with 32.6% saying that they ‘hate revision’. The research shows that 51.1% of students are well prepared and start revising at least a month before their exams start. However almost a fifth (19.9%) will cram revision in to the last 2 weeks right up to the day of the exam.

The study highlights that being able to focus is the biggest barrier to revision with 51.8% saying that they need help to keep focussed and 32.9% say that they are ‘Terrible at focussing and easily distracted’. Research showed that there are a number of ways that students stay alert with ‘Regular breaks and fresh air’ being the most popular (58.2%) as well as ‘A good nights sleep before exams’ (49.2%). Coffee (25%), energy drinks (22.3%), chocolate (22.7%) and caffeine tablets (11.1%) were all cited as helping students stay alert but healthy eating (24.3%) was favoured over junk food (17.4%).

Music and cups of tea were also popular ways of keeping in the revision zone with some of the more random suggestions including ‘hugs’, ‘prayer’ and ‘horse riding’.

Kailan D’Arcy, Marketing Executive, The Student Room said:

“It’s great to see that so many students are making revision a high priority and preparing well in advance for their exams. We’ve seen a spike in traffic to the revision help section of the site as students look to their peers for support and advice on how best to revise and what materials/techniques others are using. It’s a stressful time for students, particularly those who have got their heart set on starting university in September and with the added pressure of having to pay higher fees from 2012 it’s more important than ever this year for students to do well in their exams first time around and avoid resits.”

Other findings

  • 32.1% feel they are quite well organised when it comes to revising with 24.3% saying that they are un-organised
  • Only 39.7% say that their method of preparation and organisation for revising works.


The research was carried out across 3 weeks in April 2011, amongst users to The Student Room website.

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