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UK parents pledge £610 on exam rewards

05 August 2014
  • 59% said the incentive helped their child to achieve the grades they wanted or better
  • London parents offer nearly £1,000 to encourage extra revision

UK parents pledge on average a whopping £610.00 in incentives and rewards to encourage their children to do well in their exams.

New research from Gocompare.com, has found that 61% of parents with 16 to 19 year old children have incentivised them with cash, clothes, holidays, driving lessons and even cars and the survey reveals which region's parents promise the most for achieving good grades.

The 10 most popular exam incentives are:

  • Cash - 51%
  • New clothes - 25%
  • A holiday - 22%
  • Driving lessons - 21%
  • A new smartphone - 16%
  • A new laptop or desktop computer - 13%
  • A car - 13%
  • A new tablet computer - 10%
  • A party - 8%
  • A motorbike or moped - 6%

On average, across the UK parents estimated the value of the reward they'd offered to their child was worth around £610.00 although 16% of parents estimated the value to be over £1,000.

However, the value of exam rewards offered by parents varies greatly from region to region. In London for instance the average reward promised is just shy of £1,000 at £982.00 whilst students in the East Midlands have on average been promised the lowest reward of £363.00 for putting in the extra work.

Most generous parents by UK region



Average value of exam reward offered





North West



Yorkshire & Humber



Northern Ireland



East Anglia



North East



South East






South West






West Midlands



East Midlands



UK Average


59% of the parents who took part in the research, and whose children had already received their exam results, believed that offering an incentive or reward encouraged their children to revise and helped them to achieve the grades they wanted or attain even better ones. 16% said that although they felt their child did revise more they still failed to get their grades.

73% of parents honoured their deal and provided the reward as agreed but 9% said that although their child had achieved the results they wanted they didn't give them the incentive they'd promised. A further 9% gave their child the reward even though they didn't do well in their exams.

Claire Peate, customer insight manager at Gocompare.com, said: "Although most teenagers would agree that it's important to do well in their exams, when it comes to revision and exam preparation there's always something better to do. However, our research has found that adding an extra potential reward can encourage some to put a bit more effort into their exam preparations and the good news for parents is that for the majority the incentive seems to pay off.

"The picture across the country however shows that parents from some regions are substantially more generous than others, or that students from some regions simply demand a higher reward for putting the extra hours in. Students from the East Midlands, or those whose parents won't incentivise them at all, shouldn't be discouraged though. Although it's very nice to have an immediate pay back for your extra hard work whether in cash, a holiday or getting some new clothes for example, the true reward for doing well in your exams can actually last a lifetime."


Notes to editors:

Between the 6th and the 11th of June 2014, OnePoll surveyed 1,000 randomly selected UK parents of 16 to 19 year old children.