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Exam Stress

School life can be busy and confusing, causing young people to feel stressed. Stress is when you feel overwhelmed by too many problems or too much pressure and start to find it hard to cope. Stress can trigger the ‘fight or flight’ response, causing feelings of anxiety. Stress is common during exam time when young people can feel lots of pressure to do well and get good marks. Some people might feel stressed at other times too.

A little bit of stress can be helpful: it can improve concentration and give short term energy to achieve a goal e.g. studying hard the week before an exam, completing homework for a deadline. However, too much stress or feeling stress for weeks and months at a time can cause problems such as

  • Difficulties sleeping
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Feelings of anxiety
  • Feeling angry or irritable

Some ways to reduce exam stress are:

  • Try to be supportive and not to put pressure on your child
  • Help them to get organised e.g. make study timetables
  • Try to get plenty of sleep and eat well
  • Take regular breaks from studying and get exercise outside
  • Practice coping strategies to deal with exam day stress e.g. breathing activities


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Here are a list of services that can help with exam stress. The icons below tell you the type of support available.

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age Under 25

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