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Coping-with-exam-stressCoping with exam stress: advice for pupils and parents

Exams are inevitably a stressful time, for pupils and their families or carers! Feelings of worry and pressure are very common. There is good news, however, because there are lots of steps you can take to cope better. Below are some things you should think about during exam time, whether you’re doing GCSEs or A Levels

  • Get a good night sleep before the day of the exam (the latest research suggests between 8-10 hours for most teenagers).

  • Avoid rushing on the morning of an exam. Set an alarm, and give yourself plenty of time for a good healthy breakfast, and sufficient time to arrive in school early.

  • Get organised – make a timetable to help you avoid last minute panic revision. Make sure you have a clear pencil case with all the equipment you might need in the exam such as a calculator and ruler.

  • Take regular breaks throughout your revision – don’t work longer than 45 minutes without taking a 10 minute rest.

  • Try to exercise regularly – a brisk walk or short jog will help you de-stress.

  • Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.

  • Stay relaxed! Think about activities that help you relax after revising or an exam – reading a book, watching television or even taking a nice warm bath.

  • Avoid drinks like coffee and energy drinks after tea time – they will make it hard for you to get that all important sleep.

  • If you’re feeling worried and anxious, talk about it! It is good to talk things over with friends or family members. Your teachers are also there to offer help and support.

  • Use the clocks in the exam hall to manage your time. Try to avoid rushing the final few questions.

If you’re really worried that stress is getting too much for you or your child, there are lots of sources of professional help:
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/coping-with-exam-stress/
https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/school-college-and-work/school-college/exam-stress/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1HsY1X8ySjKBMVXPVCbP4qH/exam-stress