Getting your teen ready for their exams

Amidst the panic of buying lunch boxes and fancy gel pens for primary school kids, it’s easy to forget the extensive list of supplies your teenager needs as they prepare for their exams.

The mounting costs of scientific calculators, revision guides and USB sticks can come as a shock to many, making you nostalgic of a cheaper time when all they needed was new school shoes.

As with most things, the key to success in back to school shopping is preparation-especially when so much is needed! We’ve outlined some key tips to help make shopping for older children more manageable and prepare them for exam success.

Start Early

You should anticipate this shop to put a hole in your back pocket, so to minimise the damage space your purchases apart so it doesn’t come as a shock all at once. Most retailers have started their Back to School campaigns already, so you can take your time over the next six weeks or so to make sure you’re all prepared. Slow and steady wins the race!

Necessities only

It seems that no matter how old they get, the fascination with a jumbo pack of 120 glitter pens never seems to go out of fashion for some. However, at times when teenager’s bags should be filled with textbooks, they really don’t need more to lug about. The time for colouring-in has long passed and they need sensible writing equipment to complete their exams, not a magenta felt tip. You may find it helpful to prepare a list before you embark on a shopping trip with your teen to avoid impulse buys that extend the bill further than you planned.

Organisation is key

Providing your teen with the means to effectively organise their notes from the get-go sets them off to a great start for later on. Prioritise buying large ring binder folders, subject dividers and plastic wallets to encourage them to keep their work neat and tidy. It may not seem essential now, but it’ll save them having an armful of crumpled worksheets stuffed at the bottom of their bag in six months time. Watch out for offers in stationery shops that give you a discount on buying multiple folders at a time, like the 3 for £10 deal at Ryman. Shop through KidStart and get 2% back on all Ryman purchases too!

Wait for it

You may want to take advantage of the sales some bookshops have and stock up on revision guides and reading list books, but sometimes it can be better to wait until the kids have actually started school. Certain study guides are recommended by the school, and if you bought a different one already, you might end up having to buy another one to match the syllabus. Also, when schools recommend books for students to buy, they are often able to bulk order copies, saving you money. A couple weeks after school starts ask the teachers if this is possible to avoid spending more than you have to.

Buy in Bulk

There are some supplies that your teen will need replenishing throughout the year. Take advantage of deals now to keep a cost efficient back up supply of things like glue sticks and black biros. You can buy a box of 24 Pritt Sticks on Amazon, working out at £1.50 each, compared to £3.49 when you just buy one. This is just one example of how buying in bulk can save you money, shop around to find the best deals for you. Shop on Amazon through KidStart to get 2% savings into your account!

Making sure the kids have everything they need before they start the new year and prepare for exams can be stressful but with good planning, it can be smooth sailing.

P.S. remember to shop through KidStart to build up your child’s savings and take advantage of some of our exclusive deals!