It’s normal to feel a bit worried about exams; you can feel like you’re under pressure from school, family and yourself, to do well. It’s important that you recognise when this stress is negatively affecting you and find ways to manage it!  

I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well and felt a lot of stress and pressure when I was doing my GCSEs and A Levels. I remember studying super late into the night trying to put hours of revision in each night, and I realised over time that this was not productive, as it made me feel tired and drained and generally made me more stressed and anxious. I have written this blog to help you deal with any exam stress you may be feeling, and help improve your mental health and productivity! 

Exam stress can cause you to feel anxious or depressed, and this might affect your sleeping or eating habits.  If you recognise any of these feelings or are worried that exam pressure is taking over your life, you are not alone, and there are things you can do to combat this. Let someone know if you are struggling so they can be there to support you, encourage you and offer a listening ear! There are lots of charities out there offering support, including Young Minds. Talk through your concerns with trusted friends and family or even your teacher/tutor who can let you know what support your school, college or uni can offer you- they will have spoken to lots of students before who are going through similar things. 

Here are some of my top tips for dealing with exam stress: 

  • Join or create a study group: Working through problems with other students can be a nice way to keep your social life going and boost your morale. 
  • Be kind to yourself: You are amazing, just think about all the things you have achieved so far – you could even write these down to remind yourself! 
  • Make self-care a habit: Self-care is the little things we do to look after our own mental health. For more advice on how to implement self-care into your routine, check out this webpage: What is self-care?
  • Eat well (but remember to treat yourself every now and then!): Remember, skipping meals will deplete your energy and leave you feeling drained. Make sure you stay hydrated and choose healthy options! Check out this article: Healthy eating
  • Make time for yourself away from your studies: Taking regular revision breaks will help you revise productively and benefit your mental health. You could do something relaxing like having a warm bubble bath or listening to soothing music, but honestly just do whatever you enjoy and have fun away from your studies! 
  • Take time for your mind and body to relax: Close your eyes and take deep breaths, try some breathing exercises, meditation or yoga.  
  • Exercise: Regular and frequent exercise has been scientifically proven to be a good stress reducer. This could be include going for a walk or doing something intensive.
  • Talk to your family and friends: Seeing and talking to your mates will help you unwind and let you offload any problems. 
  • Get a good night’s sleep:  It might be tempting to cram late at night when you’ve got an exam the next day but instead try and get a good night’s sleep (and a regular sleep pattern) to help keep your mind fresh. 

Support and Information: 

For more information and support I’ve compiled some websites and resources for you to access more information and support regarding exam stress and how to deal with it: