She stresses however that “the key is organisation and self discipline which in turn proves to be an essential skill when it comes to revision” and that “training is time away from the academic pressures of the library, and it also provides a great outlet for stress.”Music is the second most popular extracurricular, as 20% of the students surveyed indicated it as their main non-academic activity.Of the rest of those surveyed, 14% indicated that they just study. 10% said they do theatre, followed by another 8% involved in student politics. Journalism came last with only 4%. However, many students said it required more than 12 hours of commitment per week.Henry Clarke Price, former Cherwell editor, comments that “If some tutors had their way, we’d be working nine-to-five every day in the library. And clearly, editing a student newspaper and its website wasn’t great for my degree at the time.”But Clarke Price says that it was thanks to this commitment that he was able to get his job as a trainee journalist at the BBC in Paris on his year abroad. He also claims that “the extra-curricular stuff definitely forced me to be more efficient with my workload, which has been really useful in the run-up to exams.”“I’d hate the idea of going through university only doing academic work, although I guess Finals will be the litmus test,” he said.From the replies to the survey, students who read Mathematics and PPE are more heavily involved in sport than those doing other subjects.For drama, perhaps unsurprisingly, most involvement came from those who study Modern Languages, History and English Literature.Drama appears to be the most time-consuming extracurricular commitment, with students spending on average 16.8 hours a week on rehearsals, and indicating a wide range of time commitment, from 4 to 40 hours a week.This is potentially a motivating factor for thesps to be more focused on their academic work, explains Jack Blackburn, second-year Philosophy and Theology student at Regent’s Park. “The one thing that people who do drama fear is being told that we can’t act anymore by our tutors. So, there is an incentive to work for everyone, though some don’t worry about it as much as others.” The results from Cherwell’s survey on extracurricular activities show that having a commitment outside of academic studies is unlikely to have a negative impact on your degree – and could even be helpful.Almost half of those who are involved with one extra-curricular activity said they had received a first in a University-wide or college examination. Around 40 percent of those who take part in two extra-curricular areas achieved a first. But of the students who said they ‘just studied’, only a third had got the top grade.Students from a selection of colleges completed the survey, which asked 146 students to indicate which extracurricular commitment they were involved in (sport, drama, music, journalism, student politics, or just study), and whether they had at some point in their academic career been awarded a first in either collections, mods or prelims. The survey also asked for the students’ subject and the amount of time they spent on each extracurricular activity.Sport is the extracurricular of choice, with 44% of those surveyed indicating it as their main commitment. While some said they only did 2 to 4 hours of sport a week, others doing sport at a Blues level have indicated over 20 hours of training and practice time.Sonia Bracegirdle, President of the Oxford University Women’s Boat Club says that the club “trains about 11 times a week, totalling about 22 hrs of actual training, with probably about another 2 – 5 hrs of travelling time on top of that.”However she also says that “rowing did help me to organise my time better – because I knew I only had a certain amount of time between sessions each day, it meant that I had to be very efficient.”Alice Gardner, President of the Taekwon-do Club as well as Atalanta’s, the elite sportswomen society says, “I sometimes have to remind myself that I am here to do a degree as well.”She said that “training for any Blues sport is tiring, especially Varsity term, and my tutors have unfortunately picked up on this. The amount you are expected to train can interfere with work, but it is possible to do.” Maximus Marenbon, Cherwell Stage Editor, thinks it is “ultimately a question of focus. Students with the potential to get a first might choose to focus on drama instead and put up with a 2.1. But in some subjects, tutors actively encourage drama for academic benefit: the English tutor of a friend of mine goes to see all her plays.”Almost as time-consuming as theatre is student politics, with those surveyed indicating an average of 13.7 hours spent on JCR, OUSU or student political party commitments. Barry Wright, ex-JCR President of St Hughs says that a taking on a commitment of the sort involves “largely unpredictable aspects.”“I found it best to just do my work as soon as it was set, to avoid any potential stress later if something big came up. Even so, the time I had to spend on work was reduced, and sometimes the quality suffered – in part due to fatigue.“I don’t feel that it adversely affected my results, but I know some other people went the other way, and found themselves working late nights and sometimes struggling to stay on top of work,” he said.The results of the survey also show that students who have achieved a first at some point in their degree and those who achieve lower marks, spend the same amount of time on their extracurriculars.The replies collected from the survey also show that most students spend between 2 to 10 hours a week on their extracurricular activities. 24% of the people surveyed indicated that they spend 2 to 6 hours a week on non-academic commitments and 22% said that they spend between 7 and 10. Another 21% estimated that they spend between 11 and 19 hours on extracurriculars.Most of the students indicated that they have one extracurricular activity, followed by a quarter of those surveyed doing two. 14% said that they do not have any non-academic commitments, and only 5% said that they have three or more.Out of the students that only take on one extracurricular commitment, 45.6% said they got a first at some point in their academic career in college or university-wide examinations. A close 42.3% of students doing two extracurriculars also said they had been awarded a first, however only a third of the students with only academic commitments said they had been awarded a First.