Magoosh GRE

Don’t Lose Marks by leaving it to the Last Minute

| September 17, 2014

We all know the familiar feeling – your essay or exam deadlines are looming closer and you’ve barely even made a start on revision or writing. You keep putting off the work, procrastinating is your best friend as you find any excuse not to work, until you can’t possibly ignore that looming date any longer. It’s a well-rehearsed routine for many students, but is one that could be seriously damaging their overall grades new research has found.

Recent studies performed by researchers at Warwick Business School found that Students who put off working and hand in their assignments at the last minute face up to a 5% drop in their final marks.  Researchers looked at more than 700 essays submitted online and found that marks dropped significantly the closer to the deadline the essays were handed in.

David Arnott, a professor at the university’s business school, observed that late submissions corresponded to lower grades:

“Our research demonstrates that delaying submission due to poor study habits has a serious and detrimental effect on performance” he said.


The studies found that work that was handed in online ahead of schedule was far more likely to be awarded a distinction than work not handed in until much closer to the deadline.

Out of the 700 students studied, the average mark dropped by the hour until those handing in the paper at the last minute produced the worst results. Those that literally handed work in at the last minute could see as much as a five per cent drop on score, from 64 to 59 – taking them a lower grade.

The academics believe spotting ‘procrastinators’ early on and warning them of the dangers of handing in work late could help students achieve higher grades.



The research concluded that students’ study habits, particularly a tendency towards procrastination, could have a detrimental impact on their grades. There are various theories why students may procrastinate, from task aversion, to a fear of failure.

However Mr Arnott was reluctant to see this as a valid excuse:  “those that are well organised and buckle down submit early”.

Arnott added: “If [procrastination] can be eradicated in a student’s first year, it may aid the output degree classification and employability of our students.”

It’s something that’s easier said than done, but if you can focus and cut out the level of procrastination then you might be able to save yourself valuable marks in the long run!

Are you a procrastinator? If you are worried that you might be leaving it all a bit too late, head over to and let our expert writers help you write a top class essay, on time and to the highest possible quality.

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Category: Articles & Advice