A new report says promising children money to pass exams does not help exam grades. The report says parents could be wasting their money by using cash to get their kids to study more. However, the promise of a trip somewhere nice could encourage students to try harder and do better at school. Researchers from the University of Bristol (in England) and the University of Chicago (in the USA) looked at how promises of cash and tickets to events affected students' studying and learning. Over 10,000 pupils took part in the research throughout the year 2012. There was an improvement in classwork and homework, but this did not result in better test scores.
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Lead researcher Dr Simon Burgess suggested the research looked at the wrong areas. He said it had not looked at the things that really got students to increase their effort. He added that: "Clearly, some pupils have a lot of [goals] and believe that education is a way of getting what they want out of life, but there are kids who think that working hard doesn't make a difference." He said these children think exam success is "all in your genes" because of their family background. Education expert Dr Kevan Collins said good teachers were better than promises of rewards to get children to study, especially for children from low-income families. He wrote: "What really makes the difference is how students are taught."