It’s no wonder that exams are a constant source of stress among young British people. Results can make or break a person’s opportunity for following a dream career or attending their chosen universities, and schools themselves are under pressure to get good results to protect those all-important OSFTED ratings.

So Ryman has asked 8,000 young people how they prepare for exams to find out how they plan their revision schedules, how it’s affecting them and what they do to switch off.

Ryman's Revison Survey found that 63% of young people prepare well, dedicating more than a month to revising.

However, 61% said that they were feeling stressed out about their exams, and of those, 74% said that the biggest pressure came from themselves – much more than from their school or their parents. Only 9% said they were feeling no stress about upcoming exams!

Other key findings include:

  • 6% of students don’t prepare
  • Females turned to food to help cope with the stress of exams (56%)
  • Males would rather sit in front of the TV to take their mind of exam pressure (53%)
  • 67% of students in the UK said they use their mobile to revise
  • 53% spend up to 2 hours a day on leisure activities such as going on social media, playing video games etc. whilst revising
  • 56% of Millennials turn to social media for revision help, and 63% for the Gen Z’s

When it comes to self-belief, just 11% were confident that they would get the grades they wanted; the remaining 89% suffered realistic concerns that they would fail.

While it’s perhaps reassuring that the majority of these worriers will exceed their expectations (pass rates for GCSE are around 66%; and around 35% of A-Level students achieve a grade A or A*), it’s concerning that young people seem to be overstressing themselves about exams. It appears that students themselves are the greatest source of pressure.

Nobody is logging out of social media during revision either – 97% said they keep up to date with their feeds during revision.

Just 16% of respondents relax by having sex, which might come as a surprise to some people who have formed opinions about our millennials and Gen-Xers.

About Ryman: A UK-based high street and online retailer of stationery supplies and office furniture. It was founded in London in 1893, and is now owned by Dragons’ Den’s Theo Paphitis, who also owns Robert Dyas and Boux Avenue.

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