Facebook Usage Causes 20 Per Cent Drop In Exam Results Says Research

Using social networking site Facebook can apparently have an impact on how students perform during exams according to a survey carried out in the United States by Professor Paul Kirschner of the Open University in Netherlands.

The study, which will be published in the Journal Computers in Human Behaviour, looked at the a sample of 219 students aged between 19 and 54, and how they performed in tests while using Facebook.

The research found out that on average, switching between Facebook and learning decreased grades by 20 per cent, from a GPA (Grade Point Average) of 3.82 to 3.06, on a scale of 0 to 4.

Three quarters of those who used Facebook did not blame usage the multitasking for their poorer academic performance while those who actually performed better said that they were able to focus and concentrate more.

Not surprisingly, spending less time on Facebook means more time available to study. The non-Facebook team spent nearly twice as much time studying outside the classroom, compared to the Facebookers.

Kirschener commented that "While people may think constant task-switching allows them to get more done in less time, the reality is it extends the amount of time needed to carry out tasks and leads to more mistakes".

It is very likely that the same study would have yielded the same results had Facebook been swapped for television, Twitter or email.