Exam pressure

Exam stress can be more than feeling nervous on the day of an exam.

Exam stree includes how you feel building up to exams, during exams and when waiting for results. Mind has excellent resources to help you if you are experiencing stress or pressure before an exam. Some of the strategies can be used to help you keep on top of your studies throughout your school year. 

Support and advice for managing exam pressure

It is normal to feel a bit worried about exams, especially if you're under pressure from school or family. Pressure to do well in exams can be overwhelming and affect your mental health. The pressure can cause you to feel anxious or depressed, and this might affect your sleeping or eating habits. Just Talk has a wealth of information and advice for coping withe exam pressure.

Here are some of the signs of exam stress:

  • worry a lot
  • feel tense
  • have headaches and stomach pains
  • not sleep well
  • be irritable
  • lose interest in food or eat more than normal
  • not enjoy activities they previously enjoyed
  • be negative and have a low mood
  • feel hopeless about the future

If you recognise any of these feelings, or are worried that exam pressure is taking over your life, YoungMinds recommend that you do the following:

  1. Let your trusted friends and family know if you are struggling
  2. Ask for help. Think about all the practical support you need
  3. Try find a study group, or start your own

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Things to help you during exam season 

Eating well

As a teenager, your body is going through many physical changes – changes that need to be supported by a healthy, balanced diet.

By eating a varied and balanced diet as shown in the Eatwell Guide, you should be able to get all the energy and nutrients you need from the food and drink you consume, allowing your body to grow and develop properly.

  1. Don’t skip breakfast
  2. Get your 5 a day
  3. Healthier Snack Ideas
  4. Stay hydrated

Sleeping well

Good sleep will improve your thinking and concentration. You should aim to get between 8 and 10 hours' sleep a night.

Allow half an hour or so to wind down between studying, watching TV or using a computer and going to bed to help you get a good night's sleep.

  • Be realistic about what you can achieve in a day
  • Take breaks and don’t sacrifice your social life/activities
  • Not everyone studies the same way
  • Focus on you and don't compare yourself to others


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