The Brain Box

The essential guide to success at school and college

By: David Hodgson , Tim Benton

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Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 148 x 210mm
Pages : 192
ISBN : 9781781351130
Format: Paperback
Published: May 2014

The Brain Box is your indispensable guide not only to powering through the stress, hard work and brain-ache of school or college, but also to establishing good learning habits and self-motivation which will be invaluable throughout the next stage of your life, whether that be at university or in a career. Open The Brain Box and find out:

- How an essay is like a sandwich.

- Why the majority of people will say carrot when asked to name a vegetable, and red when asked to name a colour.

- How to get over a major case of CBAS (Can’t be Arsed Syndrome)!

Packed with doodles, games, quotes, quizzes and activities which you can fill in and keep, and interesting facts and questions to keep the grey matter going, The Brain Box is your essential guide to learning, revision and motivation. Discover great tips and tricks to master revision skills, revision strategies, study skills and time management.

‘Intelligence is a factor, but mostly it comes down to how well you work. Those who work hard or smart tend to do better.’

Chapters include:

  • At the Start: Dealing with Me!
  • Life: Dealing with the World and Finding My Place In It
  • At School or College: Dealing with Others and Finding the Best Way to Work
  • At Home: Dealing with Revision
  • Dealing with Exams
  • Dealing with Results

The Brain Box is a practical study guide for students studying GCSEs, A Levels, or in further education.

Picture for author David Hodgson

David Hodgson

David Hodgson is a training consultant and author who works with teachers and students across the UK and abroad. He has written a number of books to help teachers and students thrive in the classroom and beyond.

Bel Mooney recommends The Buzz in the Daily Mail.

Click here to listen to David on the TES podcast, speaking about how schools and colleges can provide high-quality careers advice.

Picture for author Tim  Benton

Tim Benton

Tim Benton is a trainer and educator whose business clients include M&S and Mercedes-Benz. He works with teachers, school leaders, students, parents or governors across the primary, secondary and further education covering learning skills, confidence building and preparing for life beyond school.


  1. Helping students prepare for their upcoming exams can seem like an uphill struggle for educators, whose dedication, expertise and love for a subject all come down to the results achieved by the external examinations.

    Different study methods work for each individual, so to try and get absorbed in new ideas is always helpful. In their book, David Hodgson and Tim Benton have compiled a mix of exam techniques, memory activities, revision and motivating tips that will appeal to students who are embarking on their examinations journey.

    Aimed at teenage students, the book is not meant to be read. It's one of those books that is designed to be scribbled in, highlighted, doodled with games, quotes, quizzes and activities all designed to help students get over cases of CBAS!!!

    We would go as far as to say that the ideas in the book would also make for fantastic Tutor Time activities for teachers to deliver with their pupils, supporting them in their preparation for exams, as well as helping them see the bigger picture and get an understanding of their place in life!

    We expect pupils to prepare for exams, whilst also expecting them to get the highest grades possible -” both for their futures and our accountability systems. What we are poor with is supporting them in the methods and techniques to prepare for these exams in an assured or confident matter, utilising skills and ideas which work best for them. Time should be given to students to help them explore different approaches that can benefit them within the process -” this book is packed with such inspiration which can fully support teachers, parents (and essentially) students to achieve their best.
  2. This is an inspirational, motivational and more importantly an essential resource to enable all students to gain the skills to promote learning, understanding, and confidence to succeed. The authors have tackled key issues of enabling the reader to gain skills of learning - smart rather than hard, whilst managing stress, dealing with previous failure, the negative inner voice, time management and gaining awareness of what positive people do. This book is more than a “learning to learn” text, it is a practical guide to promote self motivation, determination, and personal skills. It gives skills and strategies to overcome the “that's impossible” voice and promote the “I can do it” attitude by working smart ;
    Highly recommended for teachers and tutors at all levels.
  3. Teachers, students and parents - everyone needs a copy of this book. It is quirky in its style making it an easy and compelling read. As well as giving guidance on how your brain works to revising and taking examinations, there are loads of informative and interesting facts that keep you hooked from start to finish. Not only will I be recommending this to other teachers to use to support their delivery of revision lessons, I will be recommending this as a text to be used alongside a PSHE programme. Parents would also be encouraged to buy this, with a highlighter pen for their children as individuals are able to go through this book and analyse themselves, answering questions and filling in gaps and then be given great guidance and suggestions on what to do next or questions to ask themselves.

    A great book on so many levels - pure genius!
  4. The first thing to say is that I've not seen a book quite like this before. Sure, I've books about the psychology of mindsets; I've read books about revision and exam technique; I've even read a fair number of text books and revision guides myself. However I've never read anything that could be described as "A User's Guide to the Brain", until now.

    This book is chatty, positive and unremittingly enthusiastic about learning. It's also realistic and sensible about teenagers, exams and life in general. It never preaches, but gives solid no-nonsense advice aimed at getting teenagers to take control of their own learning and revision, and backs this up with reassuring hints for parents too. It's also irreverent and funny in places (who knew that the average person farts 17 times per day?) but never down-plays its intelligence for a cheap laugh.

    It does give some very specific hints and tips (the section on revising for oral exams is particularly helpful) but the purpose of the book is more about giving young people a wealth of ideas to choose from, and helping them to know their own strengths and weaknesses so that they are able to make good choices. There are quizzes and spaces to fill in, jokes, cartoons and quotes that add up to a visually appealing book as well as one packed with excellent material.

    It's definitely a book to pick up and jump into, rather than one to be read from cover to cover; and it's also a book that will be returned to time and time again.

    I loved it, and I will be buying copies for all the teenagers I know who are approaching exams and dealing with a lot of life as well. That'll be all of them!

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