Meet your new exam success mentors

William Wadsworth and Alix Hibble

Meet Exam Study Expert founder, William Wadsworth

I’m passionate about helping students find an easier path to exam success, by translating brain-science into highly practical strategies (that really work).

One of my biggest drivers is helping students avoid the mistakes I made!

Honestly, I didn’t really know how to study when I was at school.


I worked hard in my school days.

That’s me looking pretty serious on the right had side there.

Probably because I had so much work to do.

But I was good at working hard, and landed a pretty impressive set of exam grades at the end of it all.


A* grades at GCSE

A grades at A Level

Advanced Extension Awards

Those grades put me in the top 0.01% of all students in the country.

I landed a coveted place at Cambridge University.

But the celebrations were shortlived.

I quickly found myself at the bottom of the class.

My old high-school study techniques simply weren’t up to the job.

I was drowning. It was a desperate time.

My salvation came from my degree itself: I was studying psychology.

I overhauled everything with my new-found understanding of the brain:

  • Memorisation techniques
  • Time management
  • Strategies I used in the exam itself
  • Even the way I wrote my essays

I graduated in the top 10% with a First Class degree.

I’ve been obsessed with researching teaching this stuff ever since.

“William captured the interest of all staff. He explained, in simple terms, how the brain works with regards to memory and then gave some exceptional examples to provide evidence for his points. He was excellent and I would highly recommend him.

Alex Wallace, Deputy Headteacher

at one of the UK’s top-ranked schools, after a talk for staff

“William has taught me how to study successfully and be most effective through his deep understanding of educational psychology, and allowed me to understand how to better manage my time and study more productively. I’m pleased to say that this has been highly beneficial for my degree grade!

Alexander, student at the University of Bath

Are you ready to start studying smarter, not harder?

William Wadsworth and Alix Hibble

Alix and I now work with tens of thousands of students every year through our highly-regarded school workshops and game-changing private coaching.

We reach millions more each year via the Exam Study Expert blog and podcast.

Click the orange button to learn more about our services, resources and more to help you study smarter and ace your exams!

Meet our Head of Learning & Research, Dr Alix Hibble

Dr Alix leads much of our in-school speaking work, as well as our coaching with school-age students.

She heads up the analysis efforts on our flagship Revision Census research programme.

Prior to joining the Exam Study Expert team, Alix received a PhD in Psychology from Oxford University, where she was also Lecturer in Study Skills.

Click here to read Dr Alix's full biography

If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be teaching students how to study smarter, and not harder, I would have laughed. The truth is, throughout school and university, I had truly terrible study habits. 

Growing up I found school interesting, and information seemed to stick quite well in my brain without much effort. So what was the problem?

I never learned to study and revise.

For my GCSEs – the exams you take in the UK at age 16 – I barely revised, looking through my notes only the night before, or even on the bus on the way to the exam.

In my A level years, the stakes increased, and I knew I needed to do better.  I chose an incredibly inefficient strategy, spending my time copying out my textbooks 5, 6 or even 7 times.

This is not to say that this strategy didn’t pay off. I got A*s across the board, actually achieving 100% in each of my final year exams. But it was time consuming, repetitive and boring, resulting in months of pushing information laboriously into my brain.

Once I got to University, I revised similarly by compiling huge word documents reproducing my notes from lectures and reading. This strategy, that had worked for my A levels, no longer served me; I was achieving mid-level grades, and there were no more hours in the day.

My strategy needed to change.

I switched to retrieval practise based methods, focusing on recall rather than repetitive learning, and practising writing arguments under timed conditions – without using my notes. And this worked! My grades improved, and I achieved a First Class degree.

Having unlocked better studying practises, I went on to complete my Masters and PhD, also at the University of Oxford. During my PhD I began teaching undergraduate students part-time. I noticed that a substantial proportion of my classes were dedicated to teaching students how to study, rather than teaching the course content.

This awakened my interest in the psychology of effective learning.

I became addicted to finding the right strategies for each student, and looking for that ‘a-ha!’ moment where students would make simple changes and dramatically improve both their attainment and their enjoyment of the subject. 

I had found my passion.

 Following the completion of my PhD I became a lecturer in Study Skills at St. John’s College, Oxford, and later joined Exam Study Expert.

Through 1-to-1 coaching(link), larger workshops(link) and webinars(link), I aim to help students study smarter and not harder by translating cognitive science research into manageable and effective study and revision strategies.

You can also find me on the podcast(link) and blog(link).

Finally, I am involved our research, with the Revision Census – the largest student survey of student’s learning and revision practises. We’ve presented the 2020 and 2022 data at conferences, and are currently recruiting schools for the 2023 iteration – our most ambitious survey yet! 

Dr Alix Hibble

Meet our Blog Editor & Lead Designer, Dr Kerri Edinburgh

Dr Kerri read Music at Cambridge University, singing in Christ’s College Chapel Choir (where she and William first crossed paths!) before receiving a PhD in Music Studies from the Open University.

She is a talented freelance writer and designer, who joined the Exam Study Expert team in early 2021 to head up our blogging work.

Kerri also loves creating hand-drawn art, showcased over at her site Kiwi Kerri Illustrates. She has more recently been exercising her artistic talents on a range of design projects at Exam Study Expert.

Kerri Edinburgh

“I received the letter last night that I had passed my exam. I am so relieved. THANK YOU!!!!!! You are a miracle worker.

Laura, medical professional

“I’ve learnt several new ways of studying effectively. I felt a big difference immediately – I can now remember information much more easily.”

Jasmine, school student

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- Teacher feedback

I wish all staff development could be as useful interesting and relevant as this was!”

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For teachers raising standards at their school or college

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