Free SoftwareUpgrade to Parallels Desktop 9!

You know by now that Software4Students is all about helping you save money so we definitely had to pass on details of a free software upgrade offer!

Buy Parallels Desktop 8 now and upgrade to the next version for FREE when it's released!

If you buy Parallels Desktop 8* between August 15th 2013 and October 31st, you are eligible to a free upgrade to Parallels Desktop 9 when it is released. You just need to register your details and activation key (you will find this in your Software4Students account) with Parallels here and you can claim your free version of Parallels Desktop 9.

So you don't have to wait to buy "The #1 Choice for Mac Users", buy Parallels Desktop 8 now!!!

More information about eligibility here.

What is Parallels Software?

Parallels desktop software is the #1 Choice of Mac Users as it allows you to run the Windows apps you need on the Mac you love.

Run Windows programmes and even Windows desktop settings from your Mac effortlessly with Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac. If you do not want to go through the hassle of rebooting your machine every time you run the Windows operating system and Mac programs side by side, Parallels is the solution. It is the fastest, most seamless, and intuitive way to do it. Students can use it to run their day-to-day Windows productivity applications with ease. 

If you love the look and feel of Mac OS, make Windows invisible while still using its applications. And if you are a beginner in Mac, keep the familiar Windows background and Start menu on your Mac. Either way, run Windows and Mac applications side-by-side with no compromises in performance.

Find out more about Parallels software here.

Microsoft Announce Academic Pricing on Surface RT


Microsoft recently announced that they will be offering special pricing on their Microsoft Surface RT product directly to schools and universities for a limited time between 19th June 2013 and 31st August 2013.

Microsoft reinforced their committment to providing discounted software and hardware to stajeholders in the education sector:

 "Our mission in education is to help schools and universities, students and educators realise their full potential. One way we do this is by offering software, hardware and services at affordable prices to education institutions" - Microsoft, 25th June, UK Schools Blog

Surface RT is a terrific tool for teaching and learning and this fantastic discount will help students and educators obtain the best technology on the market.

The exclusive direct to education institution pricing (which has only been provided in Sterling and Dollars) is as follows:  

  • - Surface RT (32GB) - £133 + VAT
  • - Surface RT (32GB) with Touch Keyboard Cover - £168 + VAT
  • - Surface RT (32GB) with Type Keyboard Cover - £196 + VAT

Please note, this offer is exclusively available direct to institutions, and not to students or educators directly.

Click here to learn more about the discount pricing and to see how your school can avail of this pricing.

 * The Microsoft Surface for education offer is available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States (including Puerto Rico).

Why Upgrade to Microsoft Office 2013?


With the release of Microsoft Office 2013 earlier this year came a lot of questions for our Software4Students fans, mainly “Why should I upgrade from Microsoft Office 2010?”.

Microsoft Office 2013 has been installed on our S4S computers for a while and we have been reading up on the changes that Microsoft have made to their flagship productivity software so we can help you understand the improvements that have been made. Not only that, Microsoft themselves gave us a run through of all things Office 2013!

So we thought we would share our insight into Office 2013 with this guide to the new additions to each of the Office applications.


The main differences between Office 2013 and other versions of the software are summarised here:

Collaboration: Communicate with your classmates, teachers and others easily. Skype is integrated with all Office 2013 tools so you can work together even if you are apart.

Office On-Demand: Student’s working from multiple devices can temporarily download an Office 2013 application from their Microsoft account, work on a document and re-upload it to their SkyDrive so you will always have the latest version of your document saved.

Cloud Computing: Save your files to the cloud via your SkyDrive where you can log in and access your files from anywhere, even devices that do not have Office 2013 installed. The SkyDrive also allows for easier collaboration with your peers as you can share links and access to your documents with others.

Functionality: Office 2013, as with Windows 8, has adopted the Metro look which provides a cleaner space allowing you to focus on your work. These Microsoft additions have also been designed with touch devices in mind and can be installed on tablets and other mobile devices.


All of the New Office apps offer a start screen which offers a selection of professional-looking templates (along with a list of recent documents) to choose from:


Microsoft Word 2013

The cleaner read mode with Microsoft Word 2013 removes the distraction of the various editing options toolbar, ideal for tablets, but still gives the freedom for users to pin a taskbar when required.

- PDF Editing: Open and edit PDF documents, incorporate content from PDFs into Word documents quickly and easily.

- Online Content: Include online video, images and other media with a simple drag and drop.

- Alignment: Align pictures and diagrams easier with the new alignment guide.

- Pin your place: If you are working on a big document such as a thesis or end of year project, Word 2013 will pin where you were working and give you the option to reopen where you left off.


Microsoft PowerPoint 2013

The star of Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 is the presenter view. This new screen allows you to zoom in on parts of your presentation, privately view speaker notes, upcoming slides and your presentation time.

- Widescreen Slides: Create and edit slides in widescreen view enabling you to use all available space and know exactly how your slides will look in full screen when you are presenting.

- Add Online Content: As with the new Word, you can simply add images from social media and other online sources without saving them first.


Microsoft Excel 2013

Excel 2013 promotes efficiency by predicting your behaviour and requirements as well as being a faster tool in general.

- Recommended Charts: Excel’s Chart recommendations will guide you through the myriad of chart options available helping you pick the one you need.

- Improved Table: If you’re a data freak, you’ll be pleased to learn that Excel 2013 makes it even easier to filter PivotTable data plus Slicers make quick work of filtering even the trickiest of statistics.

- Embed Online: Embed your data and charts from Excel online to share information easily.


Microsoft OneNote 2013

This often overlooked Office application is a Student’s best friend and is the unsung here of Office 2013!

- Compose notes and drawings: create short notes and drawings on the fly and attach just about any computer file to any part of your notes (including Excel spreadsheets) so your notes take on more of a scrapbook vibe. Students can keep their PowerPoint lecture notes and hand written noes from class and keep them together in a OneNote file.

- Cloud Storage: as with all Office 2013 apps, you can save your files to your SkyDrive where they will reside safe and sound. Your notes will sync across the OneNote apps on all your favourite devices including your Windows computer, Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Android and Symbian device – so you’ll always have them to hand.

If you haven’t already heard, Software4Students have created a new online learning platform called ExamTime where you can sign up for free to use our Mind Map, Flashcard, Notes and Study Quiz tool. Click here to sign up and learn more about ExamTime! 


Confused about the different Office versions? Visit our Microsoft Office Comparison Chart to learn more.

Have you been using Microsoft Office 2013? Leave a comment and let us know what you think below!

Top 5 Study Tips to Achieve your Study Goals


Your end of year exams may seem a long way away but implementing the right study techniques early on that will help you understand how to learn and improve memory, will ensure you achieve exam success!

Use this quick study tip guide from a brand new learning platform, to see how you can improve your study skills and get yourself on track to achieving those A's in your exams - it's just like winning an Oscar!


Preparing for Exam Success!

Your end of year exams may seem a long way away but implementing the right study techniques early on that will help you understand how to learn and improve memory, will ensure you achieve exam success! Use this quick study tip guide to see how you can improve your study skills and get yourself on track to achieving those A's in your exams - it's just like winning an Oscar!  


Study Tip #1 

  • Understand your study skills in your own words: Your teacher or lecturer can explain something to you, you can learn it from a text book, your friends can study with you, even your own notes can explain it to you but all these explanations are of little use if , by the end, you can can’t explain what you have learned it to yourself. If you don’t understand a study concept that you need to illustrate in an exam to get top exam results then you won’t be happy with your exam result. To combat this, get into the habit of explaining whatever it is you are studying, in your own words so that you understand your study notes. The key to help improve your memory is to understand what you have learned when you are studying it so don't just memorise and tick off the list, make sure you understand your theory.


Study Tip #2

  • Don’t be afraid to ask study questions: Of course, depending on what you’re studying, it may be quite difficult to get into a position to understand a concept, theory or other information you need to learn for your exams. This is where it is invaluable to ask questions of your teachers, lecturers or other educators. Don’t be afraid of asking a ‘stupid’ questions—there really is no such thing when it comes to study and learning! Embrace your curiosity, for as William Arthur Ward said: “Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning.” Doing so will allow you to fill in the blanks and better prepare you for exams.


Study Tip #3

  • Quiz yourself:  Once you feel you understand a concept or a topic it is important to test yourself on it. Try and replicate exam conditions as much as possible: turn your phone off, don’t talk, time yourself etc. You can set yourself a study quiz or practice exam questions and so long as you approach it with the right mindset you can get a very good idea  of how much you know. You gain a greater insight into  where you stand on what you have studied so far and it will give you some much need exam preparation, making the actual exam a more comfortable experience. Flashcards are ideal for boosting your memory and help you recall theory, definitions and key dates - these are great for quick study session, especially straight before an exam.


Study Tip #4

  • Get Creative with online study tools:Don’t feel obliged to just sit in front of a book with a highlighter; there are many different ways to study. You should pick whatever works for you. Try using as much study tools and techniques as possible to help you study better and kind what work best for you. Perfect examples of such study tools would be online flashcards, mindmaps , mnemonics , online study planners, video and audio resources. Login to your ExamTime account now to access your free online study tools; mind maps, flashcards, study quizzes and practice exam answers and bring your study notes with you wherever you are.


Study Tip #5

  • Set your study goals and create a flexible study plan: In order to achieve exam success you need to know what you want to achieve. That’s why it is extremely important to set your Study Goals now and outline to yourself what you need to do. With your study goals in mind and your end of year exams weeks and months away it makes sense to have a flexible study plan as opposed to a rigid one. The closer you get to your exams the more concrete your study plan should be but at this point it should be porous. It should be broad enough to allow you to add and change aspects but concise enough so you know you’re covering each subject/topic as best you can at this point.


Achieve Exam Success!

If you incorporate these 5 aspects into your study regime you will be well on your way to achieving exam success. Remember, the earlier you start learning and preparing for exams, the more you’ll remember and understand but most importantly, you will have to study less in the future!

Remember, ExamTime can help you achieve exam success! Signup to use ExamTime's free online study tools such as our mindmaps, flashcards, study quizzes and practice exam papers. Keep motivated to study by using the study goals feature to set yourself study targets to focus on. Online revision is the key to exam success, why not give it a go -  it's free!