Exam Stress

Sometimes it’s hard to say how exams make you feel. Talking to a someone or using our downloadable resources can really help.

If you’re feeling stressed about taking exams, you aren’t alone. Exam stress can start when you feel you can’t cope with revision, or feel pressure from your school or family. You might worry you’re going to fail or you won’t get the grades you need for the course or job you want, but we’ve got advice and tips on coping.

It can seem scary to talk about stress or anxiety. You might feel like nobody else is feeling this way. But bottling up stress and trying to deal with it on your own can often make the stress worse. So it can really help to talk.

Below are our 10 top tips and downloadable resources you can use to help manage your stress during exam season.

  1. Find out what kind of learner you are – there are 3 main types of learning style – Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic. Your learning style will tell you the most effective way for you to revise
  2. Avoid products containing caffeine – caffeine can increase your anxiety and heart beat which can make you feel more stressed. Avoid: coffee, tea, Coke, energy drinks, chocolate (sorry!)
  3. Start revising now – being well prepared for an exam is the best way to reduce test anxiety – if you have done this then you can only do your best  maybe make a revision timetable to make sure you fit it all in
  4. Milkshake breathe – get a straw and blow bubbles into your drink.. this can calm your body down and make you relax
  5. Get some sleep – the night before a test is not for cramming, getting a good night’s sleep will make you perform better in the exam. Making sure your room isn’t filled with papers and post it notes may help you to relax.
  6. If you can’t sleep – don’t worry! Any sleep you get will help but it is normal to have lots on your mind the night before an exam.
  7. It’s only a test – don’t put too much pressure on yourself, don’t put expectations on yourself, just do your best, and if you don’t do as well as you’d have hoped, or fail, you can always do it again 
  8. Focus on you – ignore what others say, who cares how many hours they apparently studied for, don’t compare yourself, it’s about YOU 
  9. A bit of stress is helpful – having some anxiety will help make us more alert and can enhance exam performance
  10. Remember to be kind to yourself – try coming up with coping statements that remind you how well you can cope: “I can do this”, “I just need to do my best”

Or download some of the following documents to help you.


Monthly Planner

Daily Planner

Beat Exam Stress – Childline

OCR – A Guide to Revision

Student Life – Mind

Wellbeing Toolkit

Worry Tree