Thursday, March 26, 2009


Swotvac, or sometimes Stuvac[1] refers to a period preceding examinations in high schools, higher education institutions and military colleges, chiefly in Commonwealth countries. Generally this period is one week long and free of classes or assessment. It permits students to spend the period revising material, generally in preparation for final exams. It is not often allocated for mid-semester or ongoing assessment. Though once popular and used by universities as the official name for the week, it seems to have fallen from favour and substituted for Revision week. Regardless, the term swotvac remains popular amongst students and academic staff.

The term Swotvac derives from the Scottish word swot (or less commonly swat) originally meaning to sweat, which found use as a slang word describing a student paying careful attention to his work. Swot as a verb suggests acting like a swot, studying for one's exams. Vac is generally considered to be a shortened form of vacation, indicating the period free of classes. The use of the uncommon and outmoded word 'swot' has led to the backronym Study Without Teaching Vacation. There are many other different backronyms that can be derived.

A similar week may also be known as Reading Week in US institutions of higher learning.

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