William Wadsworth

by William Wadsworth

The Cambridge-educated memory psychologist & study coach on a mission to help YOU ace your exams. Helping half a million students in 175+ countries every year to study smarter, not harder. Supercharge your studies today with our time-saving, grade-boosting “genius” study tips sheet.

Every student wants to pass their exams, and while at it, get excellent grades. And every parent wants this for their children.

However, in the quest to pass their exams, get good grades, join the honors list and achieve other academic goals, students often struggle with memory loss, overwhelm, time management, and stress.

These academic challenges are often accompanied by helplessness.  You see, some problems have straightforward answers – if your tap is broken, you hire a plumber; if your eyesight is bad, you get glasses.

But if your study strategy is bad, most students don’t know someone who’s used a coach like me. They try to figure it out on their own, and in the process waste a ton of time trying, with no tangible success.

What if I told you that there is another way other than figuring it on your own?  And what if I told you that you can hugely improve your studying strategy with measurable results? This is where my services as an academic coach come in.

What is Academic Coaching?

As a student or parent to school-going children, you are probably reading this as you are curious but unsure about academic coaching, and the benefits it would reap for you.

In this post, I will break down what academic coaching is, its difference from tutoring, who can or can’t get helped by coaches, an overview of my coaching sessions, and an overview of my coaching strategies.

I will also let you in on my story and how I became an academic coach!

academic coach

Academic Coaching vs Academic Tutoring

Academic coaching is also often confused with tutoring.

While both can be helpful in a student’s life, they are fundamentally different. I will explain the difference two main differences between academic coaching and academic tutoring.

1. Academic coaching focuses on all-round performance while tutoring is subject-specific

Coaching includes working with students to improve skills that increase chances of academic success, but that are not subject-specific.

These skills include:

  • Organization
  • Effective study habits
  • Staying motivated
  • Completing assignments
  • Living up to one’s full potential

Academic coaching, therefore, supplements tutoring because mastering these academic skills is incredibly important for the consumption and retention of subject-specific knowledge.

It's hard to study well

2. Academic coaching is student-led while tutoring is tutor-led

Therefore, academic coaches work with students to set individualistically meaningful goals.

Coaches help students create plans and learning strategies that will get them to their individual academic goals.

Yes, the goals are mainly academic-focused, but you will often find them pouring over into other realms of student life that indirectly impact their performance in school. These could be sports, part-time gigs, relationships, and even family issues.

The biggest advantage that students gain over time after academic coaching sessions is that they learn more about themselves. They become better at independent thinking and adopt new ways to meet their goals.

Moreover, students become better and more efficient learners irrespective of the course. They can carry these skills throughout their lives, making academic coaching an incredibly rewarding long-term investment for both parents and coaches.

Who Do I Target with My Academic Coaching Services?

Almost every student can benefit from having an academic coach.

There are however two major occasions where students might need an academic coach. These occasions are:

1. When a Student needs to Improve Performance

This group is formed of students who are underperforming and most likely need additional support. Such students may be:

  • Lacking in motivation
  • Having chronically low grades
  • Struggling to perform in more than just one subject
  • Procrastinating on assignments until the last minute
  • Lacking inconsistency. They have “highs” and “lows” frequently throughout the semester
  • Dealing with executive functions challenges, mild to moderate ADHD, and other learning differences
  • Getting easily distracted and having difficulty staying on track with tasks.

Often, parents attribute their children’s shortcomings and low performance to a lack of motivation.

The reality is that most parents are lost to the fact that there are other difficulties a student might be experiencing. When these other challenges are addressed, the motivation issue decreases or disappears altogether.

2. When a Student Needs to Enhance their Academic Experience

Another set of student needs that are often overlooked but are equally important is those who have good grades but have other academic-related struggles, or they might be feeling under-challenged.

They may be:

  • High-performing students but constantly under stress
  • Feeling and looking disorganized
  • Dealing with perfectionism and need tools to manage the mindset
  • Overwhelmed by the high school or college processes and required to get help from a neutral third party
  • Having learning challenges brought about by a disability
  • Feeling ‘bored’ by school but not know how to engage elsewhere
  • Wanting to do more beyond their comfort zones

How A Does a Typical Academic Coaching Session with Me Look Like?

First of all, we don’t just dive head straight into coaching sessions!

To assess if we can work together, you can book a free 1:1 session that allows you to experience the services I offer risk-free, with no strings attached, and with nothing to lose.

In this free session, we will confirm if we are a great fit for each other, discuss a custom coaching plan depending on your needs, and you will leave with some quick win tips and tricks that will help you improve your academic life.

academic coaching

If the free 1:1 session goes well, you can opt for one of the following session packages:

Package 1: A Problem-Solver Session

This is a one-off targeted troubleshooting session that puts you on a better path in your academics. This session is helpful if you have one or two specific problems that you want to tune up.

This session costs £95 and would work as a “Pay as You Go”.

Package 2: The Scholarship Package

This is a package offering three sessions to reboot and overhaul all major aspects of your study strategy. After this, your will study routine will be brazen, your memory revamped, your energy amped up, and can expect to score one whole grade higher.

Costing £75/session, you will save a significant £20 as opposed to when you are doing the ‘pay as you go’ sessions.

Package 3: The “VIP” Fellowship Package

Unlock your full potential with my signature weekly coaching program that costs just £68/session.

This program runs for a minimum of 6 weeks and it is targeted at students who truly want to maximize their potential, while staying cool and in control.

Sign up for this package if you are aiming at top grades as we will not leave any stone unturned in your study and exam strategy.

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    Academic Strategies I Will Help You With

    As the lead coach at Exam Study Expert, I help students level up their study strategy, so they can make faster progress in less time. That unlocks top grades, without the long desk hours. They also enjoy the whole process more as they are less stressed and more in control.

    No matter the coaching package you go for, there are five categories of academic strategies I can help you with, depending on your individual needs:

    1. Study Motivation and Mindset

    As an exam study psychologist from Cambridge, I will help you overcome mental barriers and beliefs so that you stay motivated, have limitless energy, manage stress and anxiety, and overcome perfectionism.

    2. Smarter Study Habits

    The reason we struggle to grasp concepts faster during study sessions is due to poor study habits.

    I will help you improve your focus and productivity, including time management techniques, avoiding distraction, and overcoming procrastination. And I will help you discover the art and science of getting productive, so you can get through your work in record time!

    One of the tried and tested most powerful productivity techniques I will help you get comfortable with is the Pomodoro technique .

    3. Memorization and Faster Learning Strategies

    Learning faster and remembering more is at the core of what I do. I will help you grasp learning and memorization strategies such as chunking, spaced learning, and the pegword method.

    4. Test-taking Strategies for Maximum Marks during exams

    Many students are leaving marks on the table.

    Make sure you don’t! Leave nothing to chance on test day.

    I will teach you strategies such as using marginal gains, the power of surprise, and going the extra mile.

    We will also go through some of the best exam strategies in my book on exam strategies such as:

    • The Winners Mindset
    • How to make your written answers earn you high scores
    • Creating a successful master exam-taking plan
    • High-scoring tactics
    • Improving your memory recall for great results.

    5. Writing better essays

    My essay-writing strategies include essay structuring, quality of writing, and essay proofreading essays.  

    I will equip you with 12 clever strategies to take your essay proofreading skills to the next level. You don’t want to work on a 500-word essay, only for careless mistakes to your grade down!

    When you are walking on a path, physical signposts make it easier to know where you are going. The art of sign-posting  is equally important in essay writing, and we will work on it together to ensure your writing is clearer and easier to understand

    What to look for in an Academic Coach?

    You might be wondering why students and parents can’t just work on these strategies at home.

    Well – yes they can, or sort of.

    The results won’t be the same, however, and chances of getting to your full potential are low. Working with an academic coach like me has significant advantages over a do-it-at-home strategy.

    This is because an academic coach:

    • Understands the psychology of learning and productivity
    • Has been there and done it, and achieved at a high level as a student
    • Has a strong track record of teaching others
    • And has an empathetic/holistic approach to coaching

    By happy coincidence, all these traits of an academic coach describe……me! So this is the point at which I tell you a bit of my story.

    My Journey as an Academic Coach and How I Built Exam Study Expert

    My own learning challenges are what put me on the path to founding Exam Study Expert. 

    I have always struggled with memorizing facts and information, and up to about when I was 10-12 years old, I had mediocre grades; a sea of Bs and the occasional C or D.

    Despite this, there is one thing I have always been good at: figuring stuff out.  

    I figured out that if I put in countless hours of study, it would pay off. And this brute force rewarded me with10 A* grades at GCSE and 6 A grades at A Level 3, putting me in the crème de la crème of best-performing students countrywide, which is just 0.01%.

    My joy was short-lived.

    I had gotten into Cambridge, and I discovered that these ‘hard work’ high-school learning strategies were not going to work in the long term. I started drowning and I slipped to the bottom of my class. 

    So I had to figure something else out, and this time I realized I had a secret weapon!

    Happily I was studying psychology and we’d had a single lecture on the relatively new science of learning and retaining information for long-term memory. It was time to put this lecture into use.

    So I dove deep. I read and researched on the science of memory, I sought out experts on the subject and I was relentless in my experimentation, reflection, and refining of my learning strategies and exam methods.

    Ultimately, I hacked it, and in the process, I transformed my study habits, memorization techniques, time management skills, exam techniques, and essay-writing skills. My degree was saved and I graduated in the top 10% of the class with a First Class Honors degree.

    William Wadsworth

    I didn’t apply any brute force. I studied smarter – not harder.

    Over to You!

    So that is how I got into teaching the art of studying smarter, staying organized, and working towards your goals!

    After spending hundreds of 1:1 hours with students, I perfected my teaching formulas, and the students long term grades improved. My students have repeatedly found themselves working less hard, smarter, and getting better grades.

    But what is most rewarding, and makes me happiest, is when I am doing exam strategies’ coaching for high school and university students.

    It has now become my mission to work with students who are tired of mediocrity and want to level up their academics.

    I am confident that this post has clarified what academic coaching is, how it can help you, and how my approach at Study Exam Expert sets you up for academic success. The right coach and student relationship can lead to improved students’ performance, enhanced satisfaction with school, and even prop them up for success even in long-term pursuits!

    Want to test if academic coaching is right for you? You’re in the right place. Take the next step and book a free consultation call with me today.

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