Coping with Exam Stress

Exam stress can be really challenging, not only for children but for those who live with them. Research shows that having someone to talk to about their work can help students going through the exam process. Support from a parent, teacher or friend can help young people share their worries and keep things in perspective.

What can you do? You can watch out for signs of stress and encourage your child to talk to a member of school staff or someone who they feel is supportive. If you feel your child isn’t coping, it may also be helpful for you to talk to their teachers at school.

Encourage and support your child to build and maintain healthy habits before and during the exam period, such as eating a healthy balanced diet, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, doing exercise, having time to relax and socialise with friends.

Remind your child that feeling nervous and anxious is normal. Support them to be organised, have a routine, and build a revision timetable. Try not to add to their pressure by being flexible with them. Talk to them about how they feel, remind them of their goals in life and motivate them to stay focused. Staying calm will help them remain calm – and exams don’t last forever.

Here is a list of websites and a book which are useful resources in supporting children and young people with anxiety: