Survey Results

Survey Results

Results of our annual student survey 2015/16.

We wish to thank the students throughout Ireland who took the trouble to complete and return our questionnaire. The questionnaire was distributed to students who attended our seminars held in the school year 2015/16. When viewing the results, it must be kept in mind that the students surveyed were attending one of our courses – i.e. they were motivated enough to attend a seminar on study skills in the first place!  Just over 600 students responded to the survey.


1. Grinds

Question: Will you have a regular grind in any subject during the school year?

Percentage of students who answered in the affirmative:

1st & 2nd Yrs Junior Cert Leaving Cert
Girls 11% 58% 79%
Boys 23% 49% 61%


This year’s results showed an increase from last year’s figures. At a young age, significantly more boys than girls attend grinds. However, once students reach the “exam classes” girls tend to take on more extra tuition. (These figures are for the students who attended our Study Skills courses),

Girls in single sex schools once again took most extra classes.

As in all previous polls carried out by SES, Maths was the most popular subject for extra tuition across all the year levels. This was followed by Irish, French and English in that order.

Whilst the majority of students received extra tuition in only one or two subjects, some Leaving Cert students were receiving extra tuition in up to four subjects. The “going rate” for private one to one tuition seemed to range from approx. €65 per hour in Dublin to approx.. €45 per hour in some rural areas.


2. Homework and Study


Although figures vary greatly from school to school (and from student to student) an average figure can be obtained.  The younger students spend their time almost exclusively on homework and rarely “study”.
Some students at Leaving Cert level will spend considerably longer amounts of time, (than that indicated below), as the exams approach!

1st & 2nd Yrs Junior Cert Leaving Cert
Girls 2 hrs 2.6 hrs 3.8 hrs
Boys 1.4 hrs 2.2 hrs 3.0 hrs


3.The use of Tablets (iPads or Androids) in school:


Question One:  Do you use a tablet in your school?
Leaving Cert students:
None of the Leaving Cert students surveyed used a tablet in their school.

First to Third Year students:
19% of the students surveyed said they used a tablet in their school.

Question Two:  Would you like your school to introduce tablets?
Leaving Cert students:
A surprisingly low 27% indicated that they would like them to be used in their school.

First to Third Year students:
36% said they would like to use them in school.

Question Three:  Does the tablet interfere with your studies?
59% of students who are using iPads in school said that it did interfere with their studies.

Question Four:  Which do you think is easier to study from – a textbook or a tablet?
The vast majority of older students, (81% of Leaving Cert.), said that they would prefer to study from a textbook. Some students even said that parents bought them a textbook as well, which they kept for studying at home!

Some students’ comments: “I prefer the feel of a textbook”. “I like using an iPad but I think you study better from a textbook.”  “It’s easier to carry, but textbooks are better.” “iPads are great, but for exams, studying textbooks are better.”

One very reassuring statistic was that only 7% of students surveyed said they suffered from any form of cyber bulling.

The overwhelming advantage of iPads for students was that it relieved the burden of carrying very heavy schoolbags. The most negative comments were regarding the problem of distractions with internet access.


4. The Exam System


This year it was very interesting to note the students views about the controversial introduction of continual assessment.
The question asked was whether they would prefer continual assessment, marked by their teachers, to the current external examination system.

Surprisingly, the Leaving Cert students would prefer continual assessment whereas the Junior Cert students opted for the current system!

Percentage of students favouring a change to Continual Assessment:

Leaving Cert. students:              76%
Junior Cert students:                 52%
First & Second Yrs:                   48% (41% said don’t know)


5. School Subjects:


Question:  Which is your favourite school subject?

1st & 2nd Yrs Junior Cert Leaving Cert
Girls 1. Art
2. English.
3. Maths
1. History
2. Art
3. English
1. English
2. Biology
3. History
Boys 1. P.E.
2. Business
3. Maths
1. History
2. Maths
3. P.E.
1. English
2. Geography
3. French


6. Teachers:


Question:  What are the five most important attributes of a good teacher?

Taking students across all year levels, they rated the following attributes in order of importance:

1. have a great knowledge of their subject
2. are friendly outside class
3.  have a sense of humour
4. control class with good discipline
5. give good notes to their students.

Once again this year students showed a great appreciation of the effort their teachers put into helping them with their studies.
82% percent of respondents stated that they were “very satisfied” with the teachers they had.


Our Online Polls:

We also run POLLS on our website.  The results of these online polls are as follows: (people who visited our website voted in these polls).

1. Which is your most difficult subject? (223 visitors voted in this poll):

Irish 38%;  Maths 32%;  English 10%;  French 4%; History 4%;  Physics 4%.

2. How much time do you spend on Facebook each week? (123 visitors voted in this poll)

8-10 hrs 49%;  Don’t use Facebook  22%;  0-2 hrs  14%;  +12 hrs  6%

3. Which is your favourite subject: (146 visitors voted in this poll)

English 27%; Geography 14%;  History 10%;  Maths 9%.

4. Attributes of a good teacher? (579 visitors voted in this poll)

Good discipline 25%;  Sense of humour 16%;  Know subject 15%; Good notes 11%

5. Have you been bullied in school? (760 visitors voted in this poll)

No 65%;  Yes 35%

6. Do you attend “grinds” outside school? (333 visitors voted in this poll)

No 61%;  Yes 39%