Canadian University Students On Study Habits And Exam-Related Stress

Half Of Students Say They Have Good Study Habits, But Many Say They Don't Leave Enough Time For Studying And/Or Cram For Exams

Toronto, ON - Half (50%) of Canadian university students say they have good study habits, according to a new Ipsos-Reid survey conducted on behalf of Kumon Math and Reading Centres.

However, two-thirds (68%) of students only start studying or preparing for exams at most a week in advance. Moreover, asked whether or not they agree with the statement, "I give myself enough time to prepare for exams" less than half (43%) agrees and the same proportion (43%) agrees with the statement "I never start studying early enough for exams." Another 27% admit to staying up all night studying for exams.

Students were asked how they define "cramming," most (62%) refer to the timing of studying (e.g. last minute) while a smaller proportion (19%) think of "cramming" as the quantity of information (e.g. studying a large amount of information). Thinking of their own definition of "cramming," the students were then asked whether or not they consider themselves to be "crammers," one-third (33%) said "yes."

Most (71%) students study for exams mostly in their room. This compares to 17% who study mainly in a library (on or off campus), 8% who study elsewhere on campus, and 4% who study in a coffee shop most often.

When it comes to exams, students are experiencing a lot of stress--40% say they experience high stress, with 8% that say they "experience extreme stress." Conversely, 0% say they experience "no stress" at all. Students experience the most stress "in the final hours just before an exam" (48%) and "while studying/preparing for an exam" (32%). And, the top three factors which cause students the most exam-related stress are, having too many exams to study for (20%), the pressure to do well in school (19%), and balancing study with other responsibilities (18%).

Students are affected by exam-related stress in many ways ranging from feelings of nervousness and anxiety (29%) to difficulty sleeping (27%) to fatigue/exhaustion (15%). Some even say they develop stomach aches (13%), bad moods (11%) and get sweaty (5%). Other responses are outlined on the pages that follow.

Asked what they have done, or do, to help them cope with, relieve, or prevent exam-related stress, the top answers are study more (31%) and exercise or go to the gym (27%). And, if they could bring any one item into an exam to help relieve stress, 20% say they'd bring music.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos-Reid/Kumon poll conducted from February 9th to 23rd, 2005. For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 597 part-time and full-time university students 30 years of age or younger was interviewed online. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within 1774.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian university population according to the 2001 Census data.

Please open the attached PDFs to view the complete factum and detailed tables.



For more information on this news release, please contact:

John Wright
Senior Vice-President
Ipsos-Reid Public Affairs
(416) 324-2900


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