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Revision week refers to a period in the UK and other Commonwealth countries preceding examinations in high schools, higher education institutions, and military colleges. Generally, this period is one week long and free of classes or assessment, permitting students to spend the period revising material, generally in preparation for final exams. It is not often allocated for mid-semester or ongoing assessment.
The term "revision week" is chiefly used in Commonwealth countries, where it is also known as swotvac. In the US this period is generally referred to as reading week or (as slang) dead week; note that in the UK and parts of Canada, "reading week" may instead refer to spring break.
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The term swotvac (swot vac, swotvac) is commonly used in Commonwealth countries, particularly Australia, to refer to this period. The term is a blend of the swot and vac (vacation), indicating the period free of classes. "Swot" (or less commonly swat) is a dialectic word (Scottish) 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.
The use of the uncommon and outmoded word 'swot' has led to the backronym Study Week Or Take VACation or Study WithOut Teaching (or Tuition) VACation. There are many other different backronyms that can be derived, and the term stuvac (STUdy VACation, STUdent VACation) is also found.
Though once popular and used by universities as the official name for the week, the term seems to have fallen from favour and replaced with study week. As of 2014, however, it is still used by at least two Group of 8 institutions on the academic calendar.
- Schoolies week, vacation week following exams