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Survey reveals A-level students to be rewarded up to £17,000 for exam success


A survey commissioned by Leeds Beckett University has revealed the top incentives offered by parents to A-level students for exam success.

Money, holidays, cars and laptops are amongst the top incentives being offered by parents to students awaiting exam results – with amounts ranging widely from £5 to a substantial £17,000. 

But in what may come as bad news for some hopeful youngsters, the number of students being offered incentives this year has in fact halved since 2014 (32 per cent of males and 30 per cent of females have been incentivised this year, whilst 66 per cent of males / 58 per cent of females were offered rewards last year). 

Commenting on the survey, Professor Paul Smith, Deputy Vice Chancellor at Leeds Beckett University, noted:  “Intentionally tying incentives to specific outcomes, like higher exam grades, can be a tricky business.  On the one hand, while parents will want to acknowledge the success of their children, it is important that incentives don’t detract from developing a real interest in the subject.  Sadly, the evidence is that incentives often have the exact opposite effect and can undermine the intrinsic reason for wanting to study hard in the first place.

“Whatever situation they find themselves in after getting their A-level results, students are facing important decisions on their future and it is important that they don’t panic as there are plenty of options open to them. If students find themselves in a situation where they haven’t met the required grades for their chosen university place, it’s important to be prepared and make use of all the support available to choose what to do next.”



The survey, commissioned by Leeds Beckett in the run up to A-level results day, reveals that A*- B grades are most likely to be incentivised, with £100 per A grade and £50 per B/C the national average.



Girls are being offered an average of £132 more than boys this year – a change from last year where males benefitted by £60 more than their female counterparts for performing well. Those from London are the most likely to be offered incentives for exam success (46 per cent), while Yorkshire lands at the bottom of the table at only 19 per cent.


The top five incentives offered this year are:

  1. Money (21.4 per cent)
  2. Meal (5.8 per cent)
  3. Laptop (5.4 per cent)
  4. Holiday (5 per cent)
  5. Car (4 per cent)

Other survey findings revealed:

  • Over half (53 per cent) of A-level students will tell their mum about their results first – with only six per cent going to their dads
  • However, dads in the South are thought to be the most valuable when it comes to advising their sons or daughters on what to do next
  • Students will tend to go to their teachers for advice rather than their mums when it comes to the next step in their education journey (24 per cent v’s 16 per cent)
  • Yorkshire and London students got the most valuable advice from teachers
  • However, 33 per cent said they hadn’t received any advice at all when it came to career options following college or sixth form
  • Half of students (53 per cent) said they would be unable to sleep the night before getting their results because of nerves
  • Males (67 per cent) are more confident in their impending A-level results than females (53 per cent), but both are less positive than they were last year (72 per cent cited that they were confident this year versus 84 per cent in 2014) – perhaps because nearly 80 per cent of students admit to being distracted by social media during revising for their exams this year
  • North East and Scotland are the most positive regions, while Yorkshire folk are a bit more cautious
  • Scottish people are most likely to party the night away to celebrate their A-level results, while those in Wales and Yorkshire prefer a more sedate affair with family.

To find out more about courses offered by Leeds Beckett University in Clearing visit www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/clearing


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