Half of students admit to revising on Christmas Day, as pressure mounts in the lead up to exams

Monday, December 18, 2023

With deadlines looming and exam pressures mounting, half (47%) of students in the UK admit to revising or completing coursework on Christmas Day, taking only a few breaks in between the festivities to spend time with their families. 

  • esearch predicts that British students will spend an average of 23 hours revising this festive period, as exam pressure ramps up ahead of the new year
  • This figure marks an increase of 24% from last year, where students collectively spent an average of 18 hours studying 
  • Seven in ten (68%) students are now worried about failing exams in the New Year
  • To encourage students to switch off, Quizlet will be reminding users to properly unwind this festive period 

This festive season, students across Britain will be spending an average of 23 hours revising instead of enjoying a well-deserved break, new research finds. This figure marks an increase of 24% from last year, where students collectively spent an average of 18 hours studying over the festive period, suggesting that exam pressures have ramped up even further.

The research, commissioned by Quizlet, the world's leading AI-enhanced learning platform, reveals that increasing pressures on students in the UK today mean that over two thirds (68%) are worried about failing their coursework and exams when they return in the new year. This has resulted in over two in five (42%) feeling as though they can't take part in traditional festivities, as revision takes priority. From skipping playing games (35%) and missing out on watching films (31%) with the family, looming exams have left almost a quarter (23%) of students feeling like they can't enjoy the festivities at all. 1 in 10 have even skipped Christmas dinner all together.

External pressures play a large role, with over half (54%) of students suggesting that pressure from teachers makes them feel obligated to revise over the festive period, while four in ten (43%) suggest it is due to pressure from parents. As a result, more than half plan a revision schedule to help prioritise my revision over the festive period. 

The study also found that almost a quarter (23%) of students revise 4-6 times a week over their festive break in preparation for exams, with nearly two thirds (65%) of students admitting to feeling anxious about upcoming exams. Meanwhile, nearly half (42%) feel they can't take part in festive celebrations because their revision takes priority, which comes as 6 in 10 fear they'll forget the key things I've learnt if they don't revise this December.

Last year, almost half a million users accessed the Quizlet app during the festive period, a figure which research suggests is set to rise again this year, as two thirds (66%) say they online revision tools helpful for revising at home.. 

Rachel Wisuri, Senior Manager, International Marketing at Quizlet, said: "December marks the end of the autumn term, a time when students, especially those in the first year of GCSE, A Levels or university, are preparing for exams or completing coursework. Those in school or college also face the prospect of mock exams early in the New Year, followed by a ramping-up of their studies as they move towards the summer time.

With the build up of so much pressure, it's easy for students to fall into the trap of thinking that sacrificing personal time over the festive break in exchange for more time spent studying is a fair trade. The academic year, however, is a marathon, not a sprint, and it's vital that students take time for themselves to properly unwind, especially ahead of the new calendar year as academic work kicks into a higher gear."

Traditionally, quizzes are a popular way to pass the time during the inevitable family get-togethers or long drives over the festive holidays. In a bid to encourage students to make the most of their time off this festive break and utilise Quizlet in a non-academic way, Quizlet is upping its communication with users over the festive period, sending reminders to encourage students to switch off, relax and spend quality time with their family. 

To aid students, Quizlet will also make available a series of fun and intentionally-for-entertainment quizzes to play with the family so students can take a proper step back from revising.