Smartphone Management

3 Simple Smartphone Management Strategies For GCSE Students

The way a students their smartphone has become an important contributing factor to GCSE exam success.

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The Education Policy Institute think tank  estimates ‘over a third (37.3%) of UK 15 year olds use their smartphones for 6+ hours per day’

That’s almost half of the time they spend awake!😲

Let’s look at this statistic from a more constructive point of view for a minute… 

If you’re spending all this time on your smartphone anyway, you may as well try and make some of it helpful towards your school and exam performance.

It just makes sense!


Here are three easy things you can do to start using your smartphone a little differently in time for exam season: 

  • Use your smartphone as a mobile to-do list

Never forget what you need to do again, your smartphone is always with you! 

In particular, many students mention they find it difficult getting down to work once they get home from school.

Why don’t you write out some notes or a to-do list to follow the moment you get home from school each day? 

If you take the bus or train into school, this can easily be done on the way home. 

  • Be deliberate when using social media

All of the time you spend scrolling and tapping can be streamlined. Just ask yourself this simple question whenever you decide to open a social media app.

What is my purpose here? 

Once you’ve defined what exactly you’re going to do during each social media session you’ll find you start spending less time within each app. 

In addition, the time you do spend communicating with friends and consuming content will be of a higher quality. This is because you’ll be more aware of random irrelevant information distracting you from your priority.

Social media isn’t a bad thing. It can help us maintain relationships and learn new information. The skill is defining how exactly relationships are best maintained and what information is worth learning.

  • Use your smartphone to revise

Ever given yourself a quick test using an app on your phone? 

Ever listened to a recording of yourself stating some facts aloud? 

How about changing your phone screensaver to that word you can never remember? 

The smartphone can be a powerful revision tool because it is perfectly suited to carry out two of the most effective techniques for learning and memorising information. These are: 

  1. Active Recall (testing yourself on information)

  2. Spaced Repetition (repeatedly testing yourself on information and then spacing the repetitions further apart as you begin to remember more).


Pick one of the bullet points above to work on. Give it a go and you’ll find you have better grades and more time in your day.

7 ways to SAVE TIME on your smartphone

7 Ways To Save Time On Your Smartphone

1. Have. A. Purpose.

2. Decide which notifications are worth your attention and which aren’t.

3. Change your notifications preferences to align with your priorities.

4. Figure out which app you want to give the right to your attention by having them on the home screen of your phone.

5. Have something there (a screensaver) to remind you of good smartphone habits.

6. There’s a whole bunch of apps you can use to restrict or track your smartphone usage. Use them!

7. Even better that tip 6. Sort out your mindset and how you think about the smartphone and investing your attention.

Smartphone and app time trackers:

  • Instagram:

    • Go to your profile > Select the hamburger icon in the top right corner > select your activity

    • You'll see the average time you spent on Instagram in the last week.

  • Facebook:

    • Select the hamburger icon in the bottom right corner > select your time on Facebook

    • You'll see the average time you spent on Facebook in the last week.

  • Tracking screen and app usage time on iPhone:

    • Go to Settings > Battery > Scroll down > Select the clock icon in the top right corner.

    • This will give you a full time and percentage usage of the apps on your phone over the last 24hrs.

  • Tracking screen and app usage time on Android:

Smartphone and website blockers:

  • Forest App - plant your tree, watch it grow by not closing the app!

  • Hold App - earn points for not using your phone. Trade points for rewards (like cinema tickets). 😉

  • Stay Focusd - multi purpose website blocker

Exam Coach screensavers

The Exam Coach's Social Media Manifesto

There’s been much discussion in mainstream media about the connection between the smart phone, social networks, our usage habits, and whether it’s all any good for us or not. For me, it’s all about context. It can be both good and bad. This manifesto focusses on some simple practices you can follow to ensure you’re getting to the good out of it 90% of the time. It's just the way I think about and use social media, it works for me and what I want to do. I’m not a psychologist, I’m just an Exam Coach. But I do hope some of it helps you with your own way of successfully navigating the social media landscape. 😉