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App aims to ease exam stress


Exam PAL provides exam schedules months in advance, along with time management tools, revision techniques and advice to help students organised their preparation and reduce pre-exam anxiety.
It has been created by graphic design teacher Andrew Buck (pictured) and developed by smartphone app specialist 4fx.
Computer giant Apple’s App store has given its clearance to the app, which is now on sale to students in the UK, USA and international schools.
Exam PAL provides workflow tools similar to those used in the workplace. Lessons, homework and exams, including mocks, are colour-coded within the timetable and there is a daily countdown function and alert feature so examination dates do not creep up on candidates.
It also allows students to plan revision into their timetables and provides revision tips and advice, including guidance on grammar and vocabulary as well as access to past papers.
Andrew, a teacher and examinations officer for 15 years, used his experience at Hastingsbury College of Business and Enterprise to develop the app.
“Secondary schools give pupils a paper copy of their exam timetables just weeks prior to their examinations which are scheduled throughout the year,” he said. “It contains vital information such as the exam paper details, entry levels, date, time, duration, venue, candidate and seat numbers. Needless to say, the schedules often become damaged or lost.
“Even though examination boards tend to arrange the exam timetables several months in advance, most candidates tend to use their personal timetables issued by the school before they start revision.
"Valuable time for revision planning is lost with students often using incorrect revision methods or simply wanting to know how and when to start revising.”
He approached 4fx with the idea of creating the app for use with Android and iPhones. “Most teenagers carry them,” he says. “It provides personalised exam schedules months in advance, time management tools, revision techniques and advice to help them organise themselves and reduce anxiety.”
Chris Coomber, who headed the 4fx design team, said: “At £1.99 we think this will be a big hit with parents who can keep an eye on things by linking their online diaries into their children’s Exam PAL app.”
The app also has the capacity to store exam results ready to be added to applications for jobs, university or college places. 4fx director Julia King said: “I personally think this is a simple but effective milestone because, let’s be honest, how many people lose their school exam results paperwork?”