Pupils sitting exams have been warned not to score an “own goal” by staying up into the early hours to watch World Cup matches the night before they sit GCSEs and A-levels.
England’s World Cup campaign begins on Saturday with a match against Italy that kicks off at 11pm, and other major games involving teams such as Argentina and Portugal do not finish until 12.45am on exam nights.
George Turnbull, of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors, who is often referred to as the “exams doctor”, warned students it is more important to “win” their exams than fall into the trap of watching too much live football.
He said: “Staying up late the night before an exam is simply scoring an own goal I’m afraid.
“Now is the time to be disciplined, and there’s no reason students can’t record matches to watch later when they have some relaxation time in their schedule.
“What they shouldn’t do is mix their study time with their relaxation time, which I know is easier said than done.”
On Thursday, June 19 England play Uruguay in an 8pm kick-off, the night before A-level exams in biology and GCSE papers in Maths, Latin and Greek.
Other tempting late-night matches include Argentina v Bosnia and Herzegovina at 11pm on June 15, the night before GCSEs in maths, geography, biology, chemistry and history and A-levels in maths and geography.
Portugal, with star player Cristiano Ronaldo, play USA at 11pm on June 22, the night before maths A-level and science GCSE papers.
But the good news is that almost all GCSE and A-level exams finish on or before June 24, meaning most students will be home in time to watch England’s final group game, against Costa Rica, which kicks off at 5pm that day.
It also means that if England qualify for the knockout stages of the tournament, teenagers will be free to watch as much football as they want without having to worry about exams.
Mr Turnbull said: “The fact is that there will be another World Cup in four years’ time, and many current A-level students will have finished their university degree by then, so they will be able to watch the next one without any exams getting in the way.
“Exams are really more important than watching football, and they are not going to gain anything from watching the World Cup apart from a couple of hours of pleasure.”
Although the timing of World Cup games is awkward for exam candidates, the time difference between the UK and Brazil does at least mean that all of the games are evening kick-offs, which will be welcome news for employers.
During the last World Cup, in South Africa in 2010, productivity was hit by the large number of afternoon kick-offs, including England’s crucial final group game against Slovenia, which started at 3pm on a Wednesday.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/world-cup/10887125/World-Cup-2014-Pupils-told-to-put-exams-before-football.html