Survey reveals A-level students suffering confidence drop in impending exam results
Just 72 per cent feel sure they’ll achieve their predicted grades this year, down from 84 per cent last year. Males (67 per cent) are more assured than their female counterparts (51 per cent) in their forthcoming exam success.
North East and Scotland are the most positive regions (67 per cent are confident they will perform well), while Yorkshire folk are more cautious with only half believing they will reach the mark.
The survey, commissioned by Leeds Beckett University in the run up to A-level results day, also revealed that anxiety levels will peak the night before, with half of students (48 per cent) saying they will be unable to sleep because of nerves.
Commenting on the results of the survey, Jay Malpass-Clark, President of the Students’ Union at Leeds Beckett University, noted: “Students across the UK will be playing around in their minds all the possible outcomes of their upcoming results day. These results are used by universities to identify students that would fit best into their higher education programme. Naturally students will be anxious prior to receiving their results, but it is important that they don’t panic as there are plenty of options open to them. If students were to find themselves in a situation where they hadn’t quite met the required grades for their place at a chosen university or simply had a change of heart, it’s important to be prepared and make use of all the support available to them to choose what to do next. Telling people how we feel can help us to clear our own minds so we make better decisions, while others can see options we don’t consider on our own.”
Speaking about the results, Dr Caroline Bligh, an expert in Education Studies at Leeds Beckett said: “The survey certainly revealed interesting results, however, we need to remember that it is normal to feel anxious prior to receiving results of important examinations - in fact it would have been more surprising if the survey had revealed that students were overly confident. Raised anxiety is therefore not unexpected at this time but we would hope that once the results have been released and decisions are made that anxiety levels will resolve as the students look forward to the prospect of a secure and happy future.”
In what might be an indicator of the increased anxiety levels, 82 per cent admitted to being distracted whilst revising for their exams, with social media the top interruption (79 per cent), closely followed by surfing the internet (77 per cent).
Neil Kelley, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Leeds Beckett explained: “There’s growing research into social media and its potential negative effects, including areas such as efficiency, wellbeing and concentration. Whilst social media can provide a seemingly welcome distraction from boring and mundane tasks (such as revising), the distraction then makes it much harder for us to return our focus to the previous task. Ironically, this multitasking behaviour (what is referred to as ‘chronic multi-tasking’) has been found to make us more prone to error and less able to recall information – so we’re unable to successfully multitask!”
When young people were asked what they are most worried about when it comes to university, budgeting and managing money tops the list (33 per cent), followed by making friends (27 per cent) and not being able to cope with the course (25 per cent). Shy students in the East Midlands are most worried about making new friends.
However, many are looking forward to the prospect of university, and while it may be time to enjoy a thriving new social life, it seems young Brits are a studious bunch, with 29 per cent saying the thing they’re most looking forward to is studying and a further 18 per cent excited about progressing their career.
It will also come as promising news for students that almost two thirds of adults (65 per cent) who left university at least 10 years ago still rate it as the best time of their lives so far; 16 per cent will meet their future spouse at university and over half will meet their best friend for life while studying.
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 tend to go to their teachers for advice more 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
- Students will be offered a national average of £100 incentive per A* or A grade and £50 for B/C grades.
To find out more about courses offered by Leeds Beckett University in Clearing visit www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/clearing