What is study leave?

Karis Nash & Ben Maples  · Feb 12th 2024  · 4 min

Nothing beats being able to set your own schedule, so why should revision be any different? Study leave allows you to revise for your exams from the warmth of your home.


Summer term marks the final academic push before a well-deserved break. At both GCSE and A Level your school or college may offer you study days. This time off school is a great opportunity to revise and prepare for your exams.

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What is study leave?

Probably the two best words in a student’s vocabulary!Study leave is a period of time your school may give you off to study at home. It normally occurs when you have upcoming exams, be it your GCSEs or A Levels. During study leave, you will only have to come to school for your exams or if you’d like to attend any extra revision sessions.

Each school or college is different, so the length of your study leave will differ. Some schools or colleges won’t give students any time off, while others may offer a few weeks.

When can I actually take study leave?

Commonly, study leave is taken before your upcoming exams. For GCSEs and A Levels, this is usually about two or so weeks before your first exam. Some may be longer or shorter, but it’ll depend on your school or college.

Some colleges or sixth forms may also offer study leave for AS Level exams. This is likely to be a similar set-up as your GCSE study leave; however, it could be longer.

But… why is study leave so important?

As exam season gets closer, you’ll want to spend more of your time revising. Once you have learned all there is to the exam syllabus, there isn't much to gain from sitting in a classroom.

That doesn’t mean you can't still go in, though! Study leave allows you to study in the best way for you, and if you find that you work better by going into school and sitting with a teacher, then go ahead and do it!

Who can take study leave?

Study leave is usually reserved for those studying major exams. This means those in year 11, those studying A Levels and those who are sitting some college courses.

Of course, some schools may allow younger students to take study leave, but it's rare. Year 10s may also be offered study leave in some instances, but these tend to be shorter than those afforded to older students.

How can I make the most out of study leave?

Getting started with a task is often the hardest part. If you’ve just finished school, you probably just want to chill out on TikTok with a nice cup of tea. But when it comes to exams, you typically have to revise quite a lot in a very short time frame.

Study leave policy

Start revision early

To avoid a last-minute study cram, start revising early. This way, you won’t find revision as stressful, and you’ll be able to revise everything you need to with a breeze. To get started, why not make a revision timetable? This will add structure to your study leave and help you stay motivated.

Be realistic

Be ambitious with your revision, but remember to also be realistic. Avoid cramming the whole syllabus in one day. Instead, spread your revision out and give yourself regular breaks. Your main focus will be revising, but study leave is also an ideal time to get yourself mentally prepared for your exams. So, don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

Don’t be afraid to use your resources!

Your school or college will likely offer a variety of study resources. For example, they may offer revision sessions or -learning material. If you’re struggling to understand something or feel stuck on what to revise next, then these will be great for you. Also, remember you can reach out to your teachers for any help during your study leave. Past papers can be an excellent resource too.

Exam periods can be an unsettling time. Staying positive during your study leave is essential. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or are finding a particular topic tough, take a step back and reflect on the positives. Talk to your friends and encourage them too, they may also be finding the process difficult. Constantly remind yourself of the progress you are making and try not to fret about the small hiccups along the way.You’ve got this!

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