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Beating exam stress

Published: 17 May 2018

Spotting the signs of stress

School is a great place to learn and make friends, but often with that comes stress and anxiety. Exam stress can have a real impact on children and young people's mental health and wellbeing - it can affect the way they socialise, the way they deal with things and can lead to a change in behaviour.

A survey* has shown that 96% of 1,300 young people felt anxious about exams, while 59% felt pressured by their parents. The survey also revealed almost half of pupils said they have skipped meals and two thirds said they had trouble sleeping.

Spotting the signs of exam stress isn't easy but here are a few to look out for:

  • Feeling irritable
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Loss of appetite or interest in food
  • Worrying
  • Feeing negative or depressed
  • Stomach pains and headaches.

Tips for getting through exams

We asked some young people to share a few tips on getting through exams:

  • Make a revision timetable complete with exam dates and times
  • Revise for an hour then take a break
  • Don't over-revise
  • Before going into an exam, stand by yourself to gather your thoughts and think positive
  • Try to keep up with sports and exercise
  • Go to bed early
  • Have study groups with your friends
  • Look up past papers for each exam
  • Try your best.

If you're a parent or carer why not reassure your child and try not to add any extra pressures on them during this stressful time. For more information and advice on exam stress visit the Childline website.

*The ChildLine National Exam Stress Survey

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