Survey Results

Survey Results

Results of our annual student survey 2016/17.

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 2016/17. 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 650 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 12% 57% 82%
Boys 21% 44% 67%

This year’s results showed a significant increase in Leaving Cert. students taking Grinds outside school hours (a rise of approx 5%).

With both Third Year and Sixth Year students, more girls take grinds than boys.  (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.

We have noticed a rise in the number of students taking grinds in more than one subject. Receiving grinds in three or more subjects was not uncommon.

2. 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:
21% of the students surveyed said they used a tablet in their school ( a rise from 19% in the previous survey).

Question Two:  Would you like your school to introduce tablets?
Leaving Cert students:
A surprisingly low 31% indicated that they would like them to be used in their school.

First to Third Year students:
39% said they would like to use them in school.

Question Three:  Does the tablet interfere with your studies?
66% of students who are using tablets in school said that it did interfere with their studies (a rise from 59% in our previous survey).

Question Four:  Which do you think is easier to study from – a textbook or a tablet?
The vast majority of older students, (over 80% of Leaving Cert.), said that they would prefer to study from a textbook.

This has become such an issue that many schools are now providing a set of textbooks to students who are using tablets in school.  The students use the tablet in school and have textbooks to study from at home!

Last year’s survey found  that only 7% of students surveyed said they suffered from any form of cyber bulling.  This year’s question asked “Have any of your friends experienced cyber bullying?” and the results were amazingly different.   Third year girls seemed to be the most affected.  41% of those responding said that their friends had suffered from cyber bullying. It is also a problem for the younger girls in First & Second Years with 32% replying in the affirmative.  Sixth Year girls seemed less prone to this form of bullying (21%).   It did not seem to be such a significant problem for boys in any age group.

The overwhelming advantage of the use of tablets in school 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.


3. 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”.
These figures can increase significantly for 3rd and 6th year students as the exams approach!

1st & 2nd Yrs Junior Cert Leaving Cert
Girls 1.9 hrs 2.8 hrs 3.9 hrs
Boys 1.2 hrs 2.2 hrs 3.1 hrs

4. 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


5. 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. control class with good discipline
3.  have a sense of humour
4. are friendly outside class
5. admit when they’re wrong.

Once again this year students showed a great appreciation of the effort their teachers put into helping them with their studies.
86% 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. Have you been bullied in school? (760 visitors voted in this poll)

No 65%;  Yes 35%

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

No 61%;  Yes 39%